From the beginning

Let me start with something that I had to explain to friends that said 'Hello' to me with, "Pistons suck" and "Pistons got owned"... the Pistons lost a home game in every series last year and look where they wound up. Don't be like Marc Stein and not do your research before claiming ownage.

I've heard of hot and cold, but this is ridiculous
So the Pistons put up 33 points in the first quarter and 33 points in the second half. Yeah, something's a bit off there. Something else might be off when one guy on the opposing team has 10 offensive rebounds. Jeez! Foster was everywhere. Don't get me wrong, I think the guy's a great player and I know he tends to play well against the Pistons, but he shouldn't be crushing them like this in a playoff game. The Pistons shouldn't be losing playoff games where their opponent has a PPS of 0.97. But, it happened in game two. It's pretty clear what the Pistons need to do next game... keep up the good D and box out. I know it's not a very popular concept in the NBA, but they need to do something to slow those second chance opportunities down. I mean, outside of Foster, it's not like any of the Pacers played particularly well. Reggie couldn't defend a chair, Jackson was 2-9 from behind the arc, Tinsley was 4-19 from the field, J-O had a PPS of 0.88 (but made up for it with the quintet of blocks, I know). Even if they hold him to like five offensive boards, still a big number, the Pistons have a great shot to win the game. Instead, he grabbed ten and they were doomed. As noted at the top, I know they didn't do particularly well on offense after the first quarter, but it would've been enough if they could've slowed Foster down a bit. I don't mean to diminish the guy's success, he was playing like a superstar, but part of it was the Pistons' mediocrity on the glass. Being outrebounded by nine? Being outshot by 18? For a team with the big man talent of the Pistons, brutal. I don't place the blame squarely on one of the Piston big men for this, as all three of them had their chance on Foster on both ends, so all three deserve a chunk of it. I know Ben had 15 defensive boards, but he was in on it too. Despite all of the complaining, I fear not, as I believe Brown will pound them into shape for Friday. Side note, Tayshaun was silently very effective. 24, 9, 7, 2 blocks and a 1.6 PPS. He made up for his weak game one in a big way, too bad it went to waste. However, it's alright. If Reggie keeps guarding him, he'll get the opportunity to do such things again in the coming games.

Stern to the hill
I'm not expecting much here. It's not like news that a pile of NBA players are on steroids is going to come out afterwards. As the article says, suspensions on the subject have only come out twice since the policy started. Granted, that was only six years ago, but I doubt many more would've been up if the policy was older. Look out for late night TV jokes that involve Katelyn Faber injecting Kobe, though.

Artest back in the news because... he's talking about stuff to somebody
This seems to be the head column on it. A quote:

Consider lifting Artest's suspension after Game 2. Let Ron come out and play. Don't tell me it's unrealistic.

Not only is it unrealistic, it's also never going to happen. Why in the hell would Stern randomly lift the suspension after game two? I can only imagine the bad press the league would get for it. "NBA lets suspended fan beater back in for ratings reasons alone!" is the first headline I foresee. I know, it wouldn't be correct, but the league would sadly get a bad rap. I think Artest ought to be back as well, but I've thought he should've been back about 30 games after he started being out. That's just me, of course. Now that he's out, letting him back in for game three of a playoff series (after saying he'd be gone the whole year) just wouldn't make sense. Letting him back in would be like letting Dumars fire off a trade for a decent backup 2/3 and letting him play in game three... it just makes no sense at this point in the year.

Lebron did something
Guess who put up an article about it! Hint, I ragged on him and got complimented for it last post. I'd comment on it, but I haven't read it. I'm sure it's very circular and self-contradictory, as per standard.

Unrealism, part two
He's kidding, right? Right? Two things of note here. First, the draft is in a month and a half and yet, he's just now declaring himself for it. Second... he's coming out of nowhere, not hiring an agent, completely willing to go to school if need be and expects to go in the first round. It's too bad we all can't make assumptions that bogus, huh? If we could, I'd assume that I could get someone to pay me for sitting around and scratching my ass all day. I really hope he's kidding, otherwise, he shouldn't be heading to Texas A&M... he should be heading to Arkham Asylum.

Weird out west
Funny, I didn't think one would go to the wire until at least game three... didn't think Dallas would win one until then either. Keeping in mind that the score was 106-106 before the events happened, let's take a look at the last few plays of the game, as noted by the ESPN.com Gamecast:

0:06 4th DAL Dirk Nowitzki made 16 ft two point shot.
0:06 4th PHO Phoenix Full Timeout.
0:06 4th DAL Marquis Daniels enters the game for Jason Terry.
0:00 4th PHO Quentin Richardson missed 25 ft three point jumper.
0:00 4th End of the 4th Quarter.

I can't say I've seen the play yet, but one of two things had to have happened here. Either (a) COY D'Antoni drew up a triple at the end of regulation when down two or (b) the ball randomly found its way to Q with six seconds on the clock for some reason and he decided to have a triple try. I'm guessing the second one is more likely. I realize the guy was 3-4 from behind the arc before that shot, but come on, you'd think Amare would be a more derisable target when 0:06 on the clock and the score being 108-106 in your opponent's favour. Or failing that, Marion, who had a wicked game of 23, 15 and 6 blocks. This isn't "Reggie chucks up ugly 28 footer with time on the clock at the end of Q4 against Boston in game six", but it's close. On the opposite side... welcome back, Dirk Nowitzki! His last name is misprounced almost as much as Jamison's name. Maybe I should put up a pronounciation guide for NBA player names, it sounds like a lot of folks on TV and the radio out there need it. Anyway, back to the topic at hand, Dirk finally shot well. 8-18 for 23 points and nice PPS of 1.28. Not only did he shoot well, but his verbal busting up of Dampier after game one might've helped as well, as that lethargic beast (no, Dirk didn't call him that) went 7-8, 15 and 12 in only 27 minutes. Granted, he had fouls like Jerome James/Big Dog, but his contributions were great nonetheless. Maybe I was wrong about his playing time being really limited.


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