My mother always taught me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. That’s not so easy to do when you have a blog to maintain.
Having stewed in my excitement all weekend for the first of three double-elimination contests, I was as cranky as a teething baby when I discovered that it was to be a game seven where a solid six was the peak on the excitement chart. Although I managed to fight the boredom long enough to stay awake for the end, my leg fell asleep twice, and a pot plant facing the TV died during the third quarter. In short, the game that was declared a classic before it had even tipped off turned out to be as anticlimactic as my tenth-grade school trip to a rock museum. (“What? You meant rock as in stones?”)
What makes it all worse is that I was prepared to yell ’til my teeth came loose. I’d had visions of technical fouls, overtimes, game-winners, streamers and fat people dancing in the stands. When all was said and done, the closest we’d come to a chubby celebration dance was a particularly emphatic offensive foul call from Joey Crawford. Thrilling.
Solid basketball it might be, but the Pistons’ play is dull enough that even superfans like myself often wonder if there might be a political debate worth watching on another channel. Many of you will already be crossing yourselves at such blatant blasphemy and praying to David Stern that my soul might be saved, but I urge you to hear me out even if you respect this opinion like Rasheed Wallace does a referee’s.
We’ve been told so many times that watching hoops played “the right way” is as much fun as you can have with your pants on that we’d begun to believe it. I’m not sold, though. So-called “purists” can say all they want about the entertainment value of Detroit’s modus operandi, but I fail to see the big deal about a team that won a full-length series by putting in four performances only marginally less sloppy than those of their opponents.
That said, my anti-Piston polemic isn’t meant to imply that I don’t enjoy seeing squads built around dogged defence as much as the next man. In fact, there’s nothing I like more than to watch a team systemically locked down and smacked about, beaten like a boxer whose night ends with a knockout. The Pistons, however, haven’t delivered a killer blow all series. Instead, they’ve seven times slugged it out for the full forty-eight without going for the goodnight punch, waiting for the points decision to see if they’ve won or lost.
Efficient? Yes. Impressive? Yes. Entertaining? No, sir.