Thursday , Jun , 17 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Game Five- Detroit Wins Series 4-1

Pistons Rout Their Way To Third NBA Title

Game Five- Detroit Wins Series 4-1

Well that was disappointing. It has nothing to do with the Lakers being heavily favored then playing as horrendously as they did, it was a bad series because it was the Finals, the Finals are suppose to be the best of the best, but that series was so one-sided and only one game actually was a game in the last 5 minutes (Game 2).

Game Five- Detroit Wins Series 4-1

Detroit definitely put the East back on the map, after a season of Eastern Conference bashing the Pistons came out and bashed back as they cruised past an overwhelmed LA team. Looking at how this series went, makes you wonder how the Lakers ever got of the West, I don’t know but looking back, I would liked to see how that Detroit defense would have handled a athletic big man like Kevin Garnett.

Lakers came out in Game 5 like they actually wanted to go back to LA, jumping out to a quick 8-point lead, only to watch it all dissolve thanks to Shaq going to the bench with two fouls. Kobe played a little bit better but overall still shot way too many jumpers and tried to often to single-handedly take over the game.

The rest of the Lakers were again non-existent, except for Medvedenko early, and Derek Fisher at garbage time, and there was allot of garbage time as I think LA quit about mid-way through the third quarter. That was the difference all series long, LA seemed to think Detroit would just let them have their way because they were the Lakers, but even with huge leads (which was often) the Pistons were still out hustling, rebounding, defending, and playing the under-manned Lakers.

Chauncey Billups got the MVP award even though it could have gone to any of the Pistons’ five starters, save Rasheed Wallace. Ben Wallace totally dominated Game Five, Richard Hamilton was awesome in Games 3 & 4, and Tayshaun Prince was solid all-series long. On the other side really only Shaq was consistent, as Kobe had only one really good game, and Payton and Malone we’re both non-factors for different reasons.

On the coaching side, Larry Brown becomes the first coach to win an NCAA and NBA title, which while impressive in basketball terms, makes you wonder if Brown will ever relax for a minute and enjoy it. Maybe Phil Jackson on the other hand needs to dump that triangle offense, Detroit exposed every weakness in not only the Laker team but also shot all kinds of holes in Jackson’s system.

In the end it was too much Detroit Pistons defense though we can’t overlook how well they ran their offense in the half court and getting into the open court.

The better team won, and deserves all the credit for showing no effects of being heavy under-dogs, and then coming back from Kobe’s clutch shot in Game Two and sweeping the Lakers out of The Palace. Whether this is the start of another Piston run, who knows, but one thing for sure and that is Detroit proved that the beasts of the East can certainly hold their own against the best from the West.