Detroit Pistons Apparently Fighting Each Other, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, & Rip Hamilton May Have Missed Chance At Being Dynasty?
LeBron James’ 48 points in game five overshadowed the rumors that the Detroit Pistons are suffering from chemistry issues … On Friday and Saturday, the Pistons downplayed any questions about infighting … What will happen in game six? … Click here for this story …
Game six of the Eastern Conference final is only a few hours away. And rumors are circulating that the are on the verge of self-destruction.
The Pistons, who boast four all-stars and several talented veterans, are on shaky ground.
Check out last night’s game. had harsh words for teammates, coaches, and referees. and assistant coach Ron Harper got into an argument. Most importantly, Detroit had terrible body language. I know LeBron dropping an epic 48 points can be disheartening, but these are the wily Detroit Pistons.
After all, Cleveland may have a King, , but the Pistons have a Prince, a Mr. Big Shot, a masked-man named Rip, a Sheed, and a C-Webb.
They’re supposed to be above the petty, me-first crap which plaques so many teams and franchises.
Right now, that famous team-first attitude has disappeared, replaced by reports of infighting and chemistry issues. Chris McCosky, a writer for the Detroit News who covers the Pistons, reported on this topic yesterday:
There were signs all game that the Pistons were battling themselves. Webber, after firing up a bad shot and picking up his fourth foul, yelled to the bench, apparently at assistant coach Ron Harper, “Just let me play my game. Let me play my game.”
Later, Billups and Hamilton appeared to have a brief discussion over who would shoot a technical foul free throw. Hamilton had made five straight at that point, Billups had missed two. Billups kept the ball and missed the free throw. Then, to compound the problem, he fired up a rushed three-pointer.
Wallace was angry, apparently at coach Flip Saunders, for his decision to go small for a stretch against the Cavaliers. Saunders did that because Antonio McDyess had been ejected. Between the third and fourth quarters, Wallace and assistant Dave Cowens engaged in a fairly animated discussion. Mostly Cowens was listening to Wallaces complaints about the strategy. Wallace later got peeved with Billups for a couple of his decisions. It was a long way from team harmony. (Detroit News, May 31, 2007)
On Friday, a day after game six, Chris Webber side-stepped the controversy:
"I’m just trying to win this series, and people have been asking me that all series," Webber said. "It’s not for me to decide. We just need to try to get the win. That’s all that matters now. Time and touches, that doesn’t matter. Right now the wins are the only things that matter."
He also didn’t want to comment much on the way Saunders subbed him and Maxiell in and out on offensive and defensive possessions.
"Anything I say, it’ll sound like I’m going against him," Webber said. "We lost, man. That’s for you guys to dissect on talk radio, newspapers. (Michigan Free Press)
The Pistons have appeared in five straight Eastern Conference finals. The players will be the first to admit they should have more than one NBA Title.
Their legacy is on the line tonight. This veteran team knows their window of opportunity is closing- and fast.
If Detroit doesn’t get it together, and soon, they will have missed their chance at greatness.
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