A kind of magic

Another one. Pistons have won seven in a row, Magic have lost four straight. Pistons beat the Magic (in Orlando, as opposed to this one) last week. Magic are 12-26 on the road, Pistons are 29-9 at home. Pistons are locked in at the two, Magic are fighting for a playoff spot (and dying). Based on these facts, even the last one, I'm suspecting that the Pistons will hand out a thrashing. Maybe they'll get to or past 54-28 after all. It's not like their remaining schedule (this one, Milwaukee, Cleveland, at Atlanta and at Charlotte) is very difficult. Coming into the playoffs with a 12 game winning streak certainly wouldn't be a drawback, unless one believes that playing crap teams will leave them unprepared for more talented ones (which I don't).

Nocioni docked one for his knock
Fair enough, I guess. It's just too bad they didn't dock his playing time over a number of days instead of killing it for one. On a related note:

Argentinian rookie Andres Nocioni is quickly developing a reputation as a dirty player who lets the heat of the game influence his actions. It would probably be wise for him to curb his act before someone does it for him.
- Tony Mejia, yesterday's power rankings

If only he could be like Bruce Bowen and bring some talent all around the court (except at the stripe), then perhaps there wouldn't be as much of a complaint.

Memphis = feeble?
The feeble manner in which the Grizzlies have made their playoff push make them a leading candidate to be swept right out of the Western Conference playoffs, regardless of who they draw.
- Same guy, same place as last quote

Feeble being winning five of their last seven, with losses coming in Dallas (fourth best record in the league) and home to Denver (has won 20 of 22). Apparently they recently changed the meaning of feeble to "good enough".

We expected rookie Kirk Snyder to get under opponents' skin with his physical play, but he's done more damage with his mouth, becoming one of the game's biggest trash-talkers from the jump.
- Same idea

Similar to Nocioni, once he brings some talent (like improving that 8.81 PER) then we'll talk.

The Suns
I like how I'm reading on message boards (sportsline or ESPN) that Phoenix's defense is terrifying. However, this is untrue. Obviously 15th in the league is nothing to jump for joy about, but when they're first in offense over the Heat by about the same margin that separates the 76ers and the Celtics, it really doesn't make you want to gag either. Not that I don't think defense is more important than offense, just that sometimes a wicked offense is fine if your defense is average rather than terrible (a la the Sonics, who are #3 on O and #25 on D). Note that I believe the opposite works as well, as the Pistons are #17 on offense and #3 on defense.

Poll commentary
Current poll in the NBA section on Sportsline asks, "How will Detroit's season end?". There are only 883 votes at the moment, not enough for a good sample, so I'll be sure to put up a tally when it has more opinions in. Unsurprising, "Loss in East finals" has a big lead at the moment.


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