Detroit by One: Third Quarter Check-in

Well, they were up by one until that very enormous white man on the Cavs, the one with  the bald spot, made one of two at the charity stripe. And now, after I was so pumped to see Detroit begin to assert a little Mo’Town Magic, Gibson, the headbanded rookie bandit, nails a trey. Ugh.

I worry about the Pistons. I do. They seem to have it all: shooting, defense, confidence, the full rainbow of excellence that should let them roll through the one-trick pony that is the Cleveland LeBron James. Position by position, Detroit is a better team. They’re battle-hardened, unified, and don’t seem to have me-first guys. So, conventional wisdom would suggest a wider gap in the games’ scores.  

So, why does Cleveland seem to be right in the thick of things? They lost the first two games by a total of six points, won the third, and are now down by two in the fourth game’s third quarter. I don’t take anything away from the rest of the Cavs, but let’s be honest, James is one bad dude who is the major reason why the Cavs are here. At times, there are flashes so brilliant, you’re almost sure he’s bionic. The quickness and levitation, the speed and hang-time, he’s a great talent. But surely he alone can’t dominate an entire game the way sports writers demand of him. 

Here’s why I think it happens: The Pistons get lulled and, I sort of feel bad saying this, play down. I play a lot of pool and find that when my opponent isn’t shooting too hot, I slump as well. Yet, when he or she starts dropping a few, making a few runs, I too turn up my game. So, when the Pistons feel heat, they turn it up themselves. 

And I hope they start monitoring their own game instead of letting their opponents do it for them. I’d love a Spurs/Pistons final. I’m probably in the minority here, but I love defense, dislike the Spurs (who play great defense), and think that, as far as knock out murderball goes, that potential final would provide the best entertainment value for my, albeit strange, dollar.

Fourth quarter, here we come…2.3 in the third, 65-65, Billups fouled, going to the line. Nice play, Damon Jones. Nice.

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