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NBA Obsessed - NBA Basketball News

Enigmatic Pistons put crushing blow on 76ers

by james on April 24th, 2008

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

The Detroit Pistons did not just beat the Philadelphia 76ers; they put a beat down on them.

Detroit 105 Philadelphia 88

Rasheed felt the urgency and led the team to a blowout victory.

Rasheed Wallace had the team ready for game two and scored 16 points

Image details: Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons, Game 2 served by picapp.com

The talk is of the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Pistons. One game they are deadly and the next game they are tame. Questions abound. How can this be? They have such a veteran club, shouldn’t there be more consistency? Don’t the Pistons understand the urgency of winning in these games to preserve tired old legs?

Hey, you with all the questions, what is your problem? The Pistons almost seem to need their backs to the wall, so get over it.

“To be a championship team you have to be able to play as the favorite,” coach Flip Saunders said. “It’s easy to play as the underdog or with your backs up against the wall. It’s more difficult to do it the other way.”

Or in Chauncey Billups parlance: “If it ain’t rough, it ain’t right.”

None of the Pistons can explain why they like to make it rough. None have a solution. And for all the good coach-speak about how they want to avoid it, none of them sound all that convincing, probably because it keeps happening.

“It’s been like that ever since I got here,” said Antonio McDyess, who arrived in 2005. “We like it when our backs are against the wall.”


Pistons have issues

The Pistons are a perimeter oriented team led by a complex man named Rasheed Wallace and a star player called Mr. Big Shot (Chauncey Billups). For this team to win, they have to play intense defense. It was their style under Rick Carlisle. It was their style under Larry Brown. It is still their style with Flip Saunders and remember Flip was brought in for his offensive coaching tactics. Turns out Flip is a pretty good defensive coach as well.

Rasheed can shut certain players down in the post and even though they no longer have Big Ben Wallace, the young guys Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson, as well as veteran Theo Ratliff, provides more coverage in the post. Meanwhile guard Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince have both been on 1st or 2nd team NBA all defensive teams. Even the shooter, Rip Hamilton, had to learn to be a tough defensive player to stay on the floor in Detroit.

Defense is work and not fun work. You have to be motivated. Philly has certainly motivated the Pistons.

Now Philadelphia won’t go away in this series, because Detroit is so perimeter oriented on offense they tend to go cold now and then. That is when they have to rely on their defense to win.

Detroit seems to be waiting to play the Boston Celtics in the Conference finals of the NBA Playoffs. The Pistons are good enough to beat any team in the West, but may not be able to beat the Celtics to get to the NBA Finals. That series with Boston seems to occupy their thoughts. Philly caught them daydreaming in game one and stole one.

NFL Basketball special comment Detroit will have a hard time keeping their focus until the Boston series. It may cost them a lot of energy along the way, energy they need for that series.

As always, any NBA Basketball related comments are welcome.

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POSTED IN: Boston Celtics, Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons, Flip Saunders, Philadelphia 76ers, Rasheed Wallace, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince

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