May 2006 Pistons articles *Frequent Updates*

Discussion in 'Pistons Archive' started by LanierFan, May 1, 2006.

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  1. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    In honor of a certain namesake (and because there's a remarkably gay photo of Dice and Lindsey doing the Mississippi Belly Bump), I add this story by one Roscoe Nance:

    [USA Today]

    Pistons trample Cavaliers 113-86 to take 1-0 lead in second-round series
    The Cavs faced little defensive resistance in defeating the Washington Wizards in six games to reach the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time in 13 years. But it was a different story against the Pistons, the defending conference champions who posted a league-best 64-18 record this season.

    "We got our behinds kicked," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said.
  2. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]

    Chris McCosky's Game 2 preview
    The burden of adjustment is obviously on the Cavaliers for Game 2, but don't think for a minute the Pistons were wracking their brains to come up with counters.

    "I haven't thought about that at all," Chauncey Billups said. "They will make adjustments, but really, it's about us and what we do well. Whatever they are going to do, we've seen it before. Teams have tried a lot of different things to combat us over the last few years. We've seen it all and it won't take us long to adjust to whatever they're going to do."

    Dumars: Re-signing Ben is top priority
    AUBURN HILLS -- You never really know with Pistons president Joe Dumars, but he might have been sending a message to all the teams that might be harboring a desire to pry Ben Wallace away from the Pistons this summer.

    Don't waste your time.

    Pistons weren't sole factor in defeat
    Brown said he will stay with a small lineup to try and match the Pistons' speed in transition and get the offense going. He said his team isn't in a state of panic and has the guts to even the series.

    "Teams that don't have any hope are the team's that aren't going anywhere," Brown said. "We have guys that can respond."

    The King's Court
    "Sometimes in the past, where something might make me lose focus or I would go home after a game where I thought I could have played better and I would let it hang over my head for a long time when it shouldn't," James said. "But now, being a parent, I go home and see my son and I forget about any mistake I ever made or the reason I'm upset.

    "I get home and my son is smiling or he comes running to me. It has just made me grow as an individual and grow as a man."

    Second place doesn't suit James
    Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas had his own theory on why James didn't get the nod in his third season as a pro.

    "Maybe they (media voters) are afraid to give it to him," Ilgauskas said. "Because if you give it to him now, what are you going to do for the next 10 years? You know he's not going to get any worse."

    Best bet
    Because of the early 7 p.m. start, fans are asked to give themselves extra time because of anticipated traffic jams.

    Giveaway item: The first 10,000 fans will receive a free hard hat, courtesy of Rock Financial.

    LeBron, free-throw line should be no-talk zone
    Sorry, but this bordered on punk behavior. Even the newly crowned King should not be given a free pass on this.

    Once the player is at the line, no opponent should be able to approach him. Snicker at him, jaw at him, say anything you want, but don't go near him, and certainly, don't whisper in his ear. There's no rule -- none that I could find -- that enforces such a rule, but it seems like the decent thing, especially during the playoffs.

    You've got game if you have a Chauncey jersey
    Sure enough, Pistons jerseys -- especially ones with Chauncey Billups' name on the back --are the leading must-have items as fans stock up on team merchandise during the cagers' latest run in the playoffs, according to merchants.

    Fandemonium
    At home in West Bloomfield, he is Jacob Binke, first-grader at Gretchko Elementary.

    In the NBA world, he's Jake the Dancing Kid.

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Coach hopes film study helps
    "We have to do a better job contesting the shots," Brown said. "They did hit some tough shots, but we have to do better. We're not going to sit back and say, 'Oh well, they hit tough shots and that was it.' We have to figure out a way how to contest a little bit harder, a little bit closer, a little bit better and hope they miss some of those shots that they hit last night."

    Plan for Game 2: Just forget Sunday
    "We obviously could have some slipups," Billups said. "And if we do, it might not just be us, it might be them just playing great. But we learn from those situations. We talked about that in the Milwaukee series last week, and in that Game 2, we came out aggressive and played pretty good. We're going to come out and be aggressive and do the things we do."

    Still, the Pistons expect more from Cleveland tonight. They expect LeBron James to fight for more transition baskets. They expect him to use the running game to get foul calls and take more than the two free-throw attempts he had Sunday.

    Secretary of defense
    o other player has won the award four times in five seasons, as he has. Only one other player -- Dikembe Mutombo -- has four to his name at all. One more, and Wallace can share the other four trophies with each of the Pistons' starters, guys he credits for helping him earn the recognition in the first place.

    MICHAEL ROSENBERG: Cavs hope sequel mirrors original
    Before Michael Jordan completed his ascent, he lost three straight playoff series to the Bad Boy Pistons. Those Pistons had much in common with the current group. They had balanced scoring, led by a quick, clutch-shooting, first-team all-league point guard. They won their first championship after acquiring a talented, much-maligned forward in a midseason trade. (Mark Aguirre was the pickup then; Rasheed Wallace was acquired in 2004 in a steal that can only be described as "felonious.")

    Playoff dunk
    Game 2 TODAY
    At Detroit, 7 p.m.
    TV: TNT

    Game 3 SATURDAY
    At Cleveland, 8 p.m.
    TV: ABC

    Game 4 MONDAY
    At Cleveland, 7 p.m.
    TV: TNT
  3. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Akron Beacon Journal]

    Plan of attack
    The Cavs can't beat the Pistons if they make 15-of-22 3-pointers and shoot 60 percent, as happened during the guts of the 113-86 loss Sunday. Drastically changing their game plan due to one magical shooting game, however, would be falling into the Pistons' trap.

    "They shot the ball well and they did great, but their staple is defense and that's how we're going to win games,'' Cavs guard Eric Snow said. "They can say all they want about offense and guys shooting and scoring, but as you progress in each round, their defensive intensity picks up.''

    TERRY PLUTO: Cavs show LeBron franchise can win if he stays
    James has never said much about his future plans, other than he likes playing here and has expressed little interest in leaving.

    The bottom line will be this question: Can the Cavaliers seriously contend -- and eventually win a title? Do they have the ownership and front office to make it happen?

    Big Ben big obstacle for Cavs
    "You have to be aggressive when you go to the hole because he's capable of blocking your shot or stripping you,'' Cavaliers star LeBron James said of Wallace.

    "He is the key to this train they've got going, especially defensively.... He is the best defender in the league.''

    [Booth Newspapers]

    Cavs hope Pistons cool off from 3-point range
    And while the temptation to shoot more 3-pointers may be there again tonight, Pistons head coach Flip Saunders said his players will be able to resist.

    "The threes we made early were inside-outside basketball (passing from the interior back out to the perimeter)," Saunders said. "We've learned to understand what is a good three, what is not a good three."

    A. SHERROD BLAKELY: Game 2 preview
    You might as well put a "Property of LeBron James" label on the free throw lines in Game 2, because that's exactly where he'll be most of the night. He only had two free throws in Game 1. He'll have more than that in the first two minutes in Game 2. Tayshaun Prince was quick to give credit to his teammates for their help in defending Bron-Bron, but let's keep it real for a minute. It wasn't Tay's teammates who got back and swatted Bron-Bron's bunny lay-up away. And it wasn't his teammates who showed that if you make LeBron work a little harder on defense, it just might take a little somethin-somethin' away from his game at the other end of the floor. Still, Bron-Bron is going to make a major impact on the game tonight, just like he has every playoff game he's been in. If he scores less than 30, Tay had a good night defensively. EDGE: CLEVELAND

    Wallace takes defensive play to another level with another award
    AUBURN HILLS -- Hall of Fame center Bill Russell is expected to present the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award to Detroit center Ben Wallace tonight before the Pistons' playoff game against Cleveland.

    It's fitting, considering Russell embodied all the attributes needed to be a great defensive center during the 1950s and '60s.
  4. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Why the rest of the series will be competitive
    Of course, I'm still banking on a Detroit victory — if this thing goes longer than five games, I'll be awfully disappointed. But the above four factors helped create something of a perfect storm for the Pistons on Sunday, and I just don't think it'll be quite this easy the rest of the way.

    [Need4Sheed.com]

    Ben Wallace Defensive Player of the Year Wallpaper
    New Ben Wallace Defensive Player Of The Year Wallpaper located in the Wallpapers section of the website. Available in Widescreen and Standard resolutions.
  5. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    No gimmicks
    Pistons probably won't shoot as well, but attitude won't change
    By Dana Gauruder

    Stick the orange vests back in the boxes. If the people around The Palace feel the need to pass out items before Game 2 tonight, they ought to distribute yellow safety helmets around the visitors' locker room.

    That would save the Cleveland Cavaliers the trouble of getting conked in the head when their shots gets rejected or another Piston 3-pointer drops through the net.

    The Pistons expect the Cavs to make numerous changes after absorbing a 113-86 smacking in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series Sunday. What the Pistons don't figure will change is their energy and intensity level. If the Cavs are banking on the top seed being overconfident in Game 2, they had better duck.

    Billups wants a piece of Wallace's latest award
    By Dana Gauruder

    Chauncey Billups believes he did his share to help Ben Wallace win the Defensive Player of the Year award for the fourth time in fi ve seasons. Wallace couldn9t have rejected as many shots without him.

    "I know I9ve got a piece. All those little guys running by me, he comes over and blocks their shot," Billups said with a big smile. "I definitely feel like I9ve got some of that award."

    Big Ben defines Pistons
    By Keith Langlois

    If anyone ever suggests Ben Wallace is overrated, arguing his atrocious freethrow shooting or severely limited scoring ability, do not walk away in frustration.

    Run away in disgust.

    Such a person knows nothing, is incapable of conversion and, in fact, likely is unbalanced and possesses the potential to cause great harm to himself and others.

    Big Ben won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award again Monday, and they'll give him the trophy before Game 2 of the Pistons' second-round playoff series against Cleveland tonight.
  6. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Fox Sports]

    CHARLEY ROSEN: How LeBron can get back on track
    On many, if not most, of LeBron's possessions, the Pistons simply triangulated him: James usually received the ball on the right side of the court anywhere from a step above the baseline to the vicinity of the nearest elbow, i.e., the meeting of the foul line and the lane marker. While Prince played him tightly (thereby discouraging any easy jumpers), a Pistons guard assumed a zone-position near the elbow, while a big man crossed the lane to a legal spot near the right box. This alignment offered Prince support whether James drove right or left — and was the same tactic that the Pistons had employed in their regular-season meetings with Cleveland.
  7. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]


    The worst trade in Cavaliers history

    Before he was an assistant on Flip Saunders' coaching staff, and before he won any of his five rings as a player with the Bulls and Lakers, Ron Harper was once a rising star with the Cavaliers. Born and raised in Ohio, he led his hometown team in scoring as a rookie, scoring 22.9 points [...]

    David Stern throws ABC under the bus

    Look, I've repeatedly said that I don't have a problem with the Pistons/Bucks series being played on NBA TV; it was godawful boring when compared with the ball being played in at least 6 of the remaining 7 series. And I'm willing to shrug off the 6:00pm start time to the Pistons clincher in [...]

    He is a lawyer after all...

    Jake Gone Wild!

    So yeah, Jake the Dancing Kid.
    I wasn't planning on touching that article since I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but now I don't have to — YAYsports! did for me.
    I know Jake the Dancing Kid is supposed to be cute, and I'm sure he brings the house down when he [...]

    I fear that Jake may succumb to the same pressure that ruined many a child star. What happens when he gets older and some other little kid is dancing with no shirt on, stealing his limelight? Is this how streakers are born?

    It’s wrong. It’s even more wrong they show it on TV. It is disturbing. So are the Spare Tires. I’m sure a qualified psychologist could explain how this behaviour is textbook post-brawl fallout.



    50% off Links! Everything must go!

    BootlegSports says the Pistons Getting Away With Murder.
    Farlane racks his brain and comes up with a list of Things Faster than Antoine Walker.
    Sam Anderson thinks the NBA playoffs aren't as fun without Kobe Bryant.

    Getting away with murder article is a must read.

    Counterprogramming: Why the series won?t be competitive

    I understand that Game 1 of Cavs v. Pistons was a bit off the script. I doubt very many people expect a repeat performance of the 27 point pimpslap laid upon the Cavs Sunday. But just as Matt supplied the reasons why this series could be more competitive moving forward, I'll supply some [...]

    Pistons-Cavs: Game 2

    Pistons 97, Cavs 91
    Recap to follow, but feel free to get the discussion started in the comments.
  8. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Associated Press]

    Wallace Pumps Pistons to a 2-0 Lead
    UBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- LeBron James almost made the Detroit Pistons regret getting bored. James scored 23 of his 30 points in the second half, but Rasheed Wallace had 29 points and Tayshaun Prince added 20 to lead Detroit to a 97-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night - and a 2-0 lead in their second-round series.

    Comeback Gives Cavs Some Hope
    "It showed that we can play with them," Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said of Cleveland's second-half comeback fueled by LeBron James, who scored 23 of his 30 points after halftime. "Now, we've got to play with them for the entire game."

    [Detroit News]

    HOLDING ON: Pistons overcome lax effort, Cavaliers rally
    The Pistons won this game with their leading scorer -- Richard Hamilton -- making one field goal. Fifteen of his 17 points came from the free-throw line. They were outrebounded 51-38. They gave up 17 second-chance points. The Cavaliers shot better (44 percent to 41 percent) and made more field goals, 35-28.
    At one point late in the third quarter, the Cavs had one more field goal and 12 more rebounds than the Pistons, but were losing by 19.

    James' patience pays dividends in Cavaliers' late comeback
    James did what he does best late in the game when the Cavaliers needed him most. He turned up his game another notch and took advantage of what Pistons coach Flip Saunders called his mistake when he left his starters in in the second half.

    The Pistons, Saunders said, looked and played a bit fatigued, which he suggested might have contributed to the Cavaliers' late, spirited run.

    No disrespect intended
    The Pistons were surprised and mildly amused that the Cavaliers went to the Hack-a-Ben strategy in the first half, but they didn't think it was in any way a dirty or disrespectful ploy.

    "I just thought it was going to be a real long game," coach Flip Saunders said. "I don't think it was a matter of them trying to show anybody up. You do what you think you have to do to win the game. (Cavs coach) Mike (Brown ) felt that was something they needed to do."

    Game report
    The Pistons had a huge advantage from the foul line. They made 31 of 42 to 15 of 22 for Cleveland. The advantage was Cleveland's in second-chance points, with 17 to 11 for the Pistons. Cleveland had 13 offensive rebounds. The Pistons had five.

    Three stars
    Rasheed Wallace, Pistons: Cleveland apparently isn't convinced that the big man can shoot from behind the arc.
    ?He did it again, making 5 of 8 three-pointers, and led the Pistons with 29 points in 41 minutes. He also had nine rebounds and two blocked shots, and did not have a turnover.

    Russell praises Big Ben
    "Players have tendencies. In order to counter them, you have to understand their tendencies. So that when a guy gets to that same spot, his first step is to go to the next spot. If you know where that next spot is, you can cut him off at the pass. I watch him do that and I enjoy it."

    [Akron Beacon Journal]

    TERRY PLUTO: Better, but not good enough
    The Cavs lost this game early as the first quarter was another 16-point disaster, just as in Game 1. They had a three-second call, a five-second call and a 24-second call.

    All in the first nine minutes. All utterly unnecessary.

    Consider that the five-second call came after the Cavs called timeout, set up a play -- and then guard Eric Snow could not get the ball inbounds.

    Cavs' run might pay dividends later
    Using a zone defense and trapping entry passes to the post, the Cavs were able to force the Pistons to take jump shots out of rhythm. On offense, the Cavs isolated James to make it harder for the Pistons to double-team him, and it left James freedom to find space for drives and pick-and-rolls.

    The Cavs outscored the Pistons 31-19 in the fourth quarter and held them to 31 percent shooting in the second half. James scored 23 of his 30 points after halftime and filled the stat sheet with 14 rebounds and seven assists.

    Russell's prophecy is worth fulfilling
    Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, an 11-time NBA champion, said if the Cavs surround LeBron James with quality teammates, "He's the guy who can come closest to our domination.''

    Wow! [But right now, he's surrounded by Pistons.]

    [USA TODAY]

    Pistons hold off pesky Cavs in the fourth quarter for 97-91 victory
    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Detroit Pistons went back to their roots, hard-nosed defense, Tuesday night to turn back the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-91 and take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.

    [NBA.com]

    Pistons Start Fast, Hold Off Cavs For 2-0 Lead
    AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 9 (Ticker) --The Detroit Pistons are threatening to turn the Eastern Conference semifinals into a very short series.

    Rasheed Wallace scored 29 points to lead a balanced attack as the Pistons again asserted themselves early and demoralized the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 97-91 victory that opened a 2-0 series lead.

    Postgame photos and quotes
    Flip Saunders: “We go to Cleveland, its 2-0. No one’s going to keep track of what the score is in the game, its 2-0. We did what we had to do at home, now we know we’re going to go there. So for us, they did some things we’ll look at and there’s some things that we can evaluate and probably do a little bit better, and I’m sure there’s things that they’re going to evaluate and think they can do better.”

    On the fourth quarter: “Whichever team is the most aggressive is the team that’s going to make runs and I thought that they got aggressive and we didn’t. As a coach, I took a calculated gamble trying to have our starters start the fourth and maybe try and push it up. Our guys, there’s no question, they were tired in the fourth quarter.”

    [The Mighty MJD]

    Pistons 2, Cavs 0
    “We are all witnessin’ somethin’. We’re witnessin’ an asskickin’. ”
    - Charles Barkley

    Not really a lot to say about this one. The one positive for the Cavs is that they were able to make the game somewhat close at the end, which will hopefully build a little confidence for them in Game Three. The other good news is that they’ve got a few days to rest, change up the gameplan, find different ways to get LeBron involved… The bad news is that none of that is going to matter, because they still have to play the Detroit Pistons, and they aren’t good enough to beat them.
  9. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit Free Press]

    King Pinned
    Saunders can take the blame if he wants, but there's another theory that seems to make sense. Up big at home, the Pistons just let up, assuming the game was over.

    "We had the game going so good through three quarters that I thought we got a little relaxed," said Chauncey Billups, who scored 15 points but shot 4-for-13. "We kind of went away from our defensive schemes and LeBron started to hurt us."

    Playoff dunk
    Larry Hughes missed 7 of 11 shots and fouled out in the fourth. Damon Jones' leopard-skin jacket is making more noise.

    DREW SHARP: Rasheed is straw that stirs the Pistons
    Nobody else has frustrated the Cavs more than 'Sheed through the first two games.

    "There's no question in my mind that he's the most talented big in the game," Lindsey Hunter said. "There are times when I think he might be too talented for his own good. And you could see this team gradually taking his personality as much as anybody else's. He's our edginess."

    MITCH ALBOM: If you can't attack, you can always hack
    Look, if you don't want to play, you don't have to. But don't start hacking Ben Wallace. In the second quarter? If that's the best the Cleveland Cavaliers can come up with, maybe they should rethink this whole second-round thing.

    True, they were already trailing by 20. And yes, they were clearly out of ideas. They had already used the 24-second violation, the five-second violation and the three-second violation. There's not much left. Maybe pass interference.
  10. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Here we go again. Some might see this as desperate, but I assure you it is not.

    We've got dozens of registered members who read the news, and don't post. Members who have never introduced themselves, asked a question, come out of the shell. You know who you are.

    This is a fan driven site. There are no ads. There are no fees. We don't email you or give out your email address. And several of us give up our valuable personal time to present the news to you.

    All I ask in return, is that you pay it forward. Kick back to us some love. Introduce yourself. Say hi. Rant about Flip. Poopoo on Mo Evans. Remind us what Darko is up to.

    I've pleaded a few times, and with the exception of two members (out of dozens and dozens), we've got no feedback. And on a night like tonight, while I scrape the walls of cyberspace, marvelling at the daily precision of news posters like Zoso and LanierFan, question why we gather the news for strangers.

    So please, give a little back. 5 minutes of your life to show you appreciate the news and want to keep it going every single day. It's a small price to pay for the quality of team news we provide that other teams' fan sites do not enjoy.

    With that said, HERE WE GO....



    [The Oakland Press]


    A real hack job
    Fouling backfires on Cavs, and Pistons survive late comeback
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - The NBA's TV partners want a LeBron-A-Thon. What they're getting is a Hack-A-Thon.

    LeBron James and his befuddled Cleveland Cavaliers teammates are so helpless guarding the Pistons at times, they have to resort to fouling. Hack-A-Ben, Hack-A-Sheed, Hack-A-Rip, Hack-A-Dude Wearing White.


    Cavs' Hack-A-Ben strategy doesn't work
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Ben Wallace looked down and shook his head.

    "Second quarter?" he said. "I don't know, man."

    That's when Cleveland coach Mike Brown told his players to start intentionally fouling the league's worst free-throw shooter. That strategy has been used many times since Wallace joined the Pistons.


    Pistons hold off Cavs
    Quick, someone find anyone who can help out LeBron
    by KEITH LANGLOIS

    AUBURN HILLS - This market report brought to you by Pistons' presenting sponsor Rock Financial, a Quicken Loans company: Mortgage rates could be affected as lender extraordinaire Dan Gilbert could be forced to borrowing mode.

    Gilbert, who made his millions after founding Quicken upon graduation from Michigan State and who bought the Cleveland Cavaliers at an age when most men are trying to scrape together enough money for a paddle boat, is forced to such action in a desperate attempt to keep the Cavs alive longer than the four games the NBA is still foolishly insisting their playoff series with the Detroit Pistons must last.

    Dan Gilbert is a poor man's Mark Cuban. I like Cuban. I don't like Gilbert. It ain't right that Rock Financial is the presenting sponsor. Is LeBron going to get courtside seats at the Palace again this year during the late rounds? We'll be sick of him 10 fold by then.


    [Booth Newspapers]


    Pistons survive furious Cavs' rally, win Game 2 97-91
    Wednesday, May 10, 2006
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- The Detroit Pistons have seen teams intentionally foul center Ben Wallace when the Pistons have taken big leads.

    But in the first half, of a playoff game?

    Yes, the Cleveland Cavaliers got that desperate on Tuesday, all but waving a white flag before halftime.

    Actually Sherrod, they were trying to disrupt the Pistons. Not the best idea but a rookie coach doesn't have all the answers in his first playoff run.

    Wallace humbled by comparison to Bill Russell
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- Picking up his fourth NBA Defensive Player of the Year award wasn't the only honor Ben Wallace received on Tuesday night.

    Presenting him with the award before the Detroit Pistons' 97-91 victory against Cleveland was Bill Russell, an 11-time NBA champion who is regarded as one of the greatest defensive players ever.

    "It means a lot because people say he's the game's best defensive player ever, and he's got more (championship) rings than anybody," Wallace said. "It's more surprising and humbling that people are comparing me to him than the fact that I just won this for the fourth time."

    Ben has a lot more class than Chauncey. I can just imagine Chauncey saying, "yeah, Bill Russel was great, but I'm great too! Right D Hall?"

    Playoff Primer

    Highlights of the Detroit Pistons' 97-91 NBA playoff victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday:

    Key play: After Cleveland cut Detroit's lead to five points late, Pistons guard Richard Hamilton was fouled while making his only field goal with less than a minute to play. The Pistons' lead wasn't threatened again.

    Hero: Detroit forward Rasheed Wallace got it going early and had a team-high 29 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field.


    [ESPN.com]


    Jumper reliance might be Detroit's flaw
    by Brian Windhorst

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- It took the Cavaliers a game and a half to finally find a glitch in the Pistons' engine.

    It was too late to save Game 2 Tuesday and maybe too late to save the series, but it is an issue the Pistons will need to address because it was out for all to see. The Pistons won, 97-91, and took a 2-0 lead but not without getting handled in the second half by the Cavs and needing a few big plays in the final minutes to hang on.

    Wow. Someone must have been reading this forum. I'd say that after 89 games, the jumper is not flawed. But what do I know, I liked Larry Brown as a person.

    Page 2
    By Scoop Jackson


    When the shirt arrived it was like Christmas in May.

    Witness


    That's all it said.

    Because that's what we all are.

    This guy should change his name to Snoop Jackson. He tries to play this "I'm black, I'm urban, I can talk street to these guys. I hang at their cribs and wear their kicks". If LeBron doesn't make it to the ECF next year (consider that the Cavs will face Detroit in the second round unless they backslide into the 6th playoff seed) his credentials should be revoked.

    [Yahoo Sports]


    D up, King James
    By Dan Wetzel

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Whereas these Eastern Conference semifinals quickly have turned into The Education of LeBron James/The Maturation of the Cleveland Cavaliers, there is one thing King James can do that would be worth bearing witness and worth building upon for inevitable future playoff glory.

    Play defense. We're talking nose-to-nose, baseline-to-baseline, no-frills, Henry Iba-style defense.

    Yes. But how does one defend against 4-1/2? Sorry Ben.

    [Toledo Blade]


    NBA wrong to withhold Pistons' due
    by John Harris

    Apparently, the Detroit Pistons are too good for their own good.

    For all of their recent success, the Pistons remain largely unappreciated outside of Detroit.

    Ooooooh. Pistons disrespect. Let's beat this drum again.

    [I Hate The Raptors]



    Cav Lose Again, Need Makeover

    Detroit 97 Cleveland 90

    The Pistons were just too good for the Cavs. That's the collective feelings of everybody as Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the series against Cleveland. They led the Cavs by as much as 22 points only to take it easy in the 4th quarter. ' No we were not bored ' answered 'Sheed Wallace when asked the reason for easing up on their opponents. LeBron James had a hard time being his usual high scoring self for 3 quarters. ' They are a great defensive team' said LBJ .

    You can say that the Pistons triple team on the phenom worked . I believe some of the Pistons fans called this strategy ' Tame The James ' . The Cavs were so desperate that their coach tried the hack-the-Shaq technique on Ben Wallace. It was abandoned after Ben made 2 of 4 free throws. Coach Brown has to try everything ' to stop the bleeding ' he said to explain the move.

    The Cavs don't have enough finishers to play transition offense. Until they learn to execute in the half court, they will always be susceptible to teams like Detroit that DO execute and can limit turnovers.


    [Blue Collar Blueprint]


    Dead Team Walking

    After getting home from Game Two, the 97-91 win over Cleveland that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated, I tuned into the TNT broadcast of the Spurs – Mavericks series. Magic Johnson was a guest analyst and said that the Cavaliers comeback from 22 down to get within five points in the late going would “Give them confidence for Game Three,” and Magic was now willing to concede them one victory in the series.

    Kenny Smith disagreed, calling the comeback an illusion that doesn’t fool anybody. In either case, Game Three becomes the Cavaliers World Series and Super Bowl. If they lose again, they’re looking at getting swept. If they win even one game against the Pistons they’ll feel much more strongly that their season was one of great growth.

    Kenny Smith is overrated. Magic Johnson is clueless in the studio. For all his buffonery, Chuck "Thump and Bump" Barkley is the only legit mind at that desk. The thing about Sir Charles, is that he isn't afraid to be wrong, which leads to him being right more often than not.
  11. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]

    Cavaliers confident, but still in a hole
    "It's not like we are playing a so-so team," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "That's a doggone good team, if not the best in basketball. So a lot of what's happened has a lot to do with how well they're playing.

    "But having said that, I don't think our guys are intimidated at all. I think we're learning what level it takes to play and get past the second round of the playoffs; the level it takes to compete with a team that's probably the best in the business."

    Ilgauksas is point man
    Ilgauskas, a 7-foot-3 center, averaged 15.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in 30 minutes during the regular season. But his production has slipped in the playoffs -- he's averaging 10.4 points. He's at 12 against the Pistons.

    "We have to keep giving him the ball," Cavaliers guard Eric Snow (Michigan State) said. "He's been great for us all year. We need to force-feed him the ball and give him a boatload of touches and good things will happen."

    Press clippings
    Sampling coverage from Cleveland-area media.

    [Detroit Free Press]

    A family flipped
    Flip's routine has changed significantly without his family's presence. With an abundance of time on his hands during home stands, he has become a television addict, existing on a diet of basketball, reality television and late-night infomercials.

    And yes, he has been known to order some of the knick-knacks and do-dads advertised to revolutionize one's life. An egg peeler, a blinking fishing lure and a bullet-style smoothie blender are the ones Debbie remembers most.

    PISTONS CORNER: Cavaliers appear to be chasing false hope
    The Cavaliers will certainly remember the way they suddenly found openings for LeBron James to attack the defense and forced the Pistons' offense into outside shots in the second half. If they needed some confidence after getting chewed up and spit out through the first seven quarters, they likely found it in the eighth.

    The Pistons believe that might be false hope.

    [Booth Newspapers]

    Cavs counting on defense to help them offensively
    AUBURN HILLS -- Having played on championship-caliber teams with the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers' guard Eric Snow has a pretty good idea of what it takes to be a successful playoff team.

    That's why, while many observers are focusing on the lack of offense by Cleveland players other than LeBron James, Snow knows it's up to the Cavs' defense to get them back into the best-of-seven playoff series that the Detroit Pistons lead, 2-0.
  12. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Yahoo! Sports]

    DAN WETZEL: D up, King James
    Cleveland has been a poor defensive team, and while it is near sacrilege to pick on any part of King James' game, his defensive play (or lack thereof) is a big reason why. LeBron has all the size, speed and strength to be a great defender, but he hasn't displayed the willingness to become one. He sometimes coasts, sometimes fails to close out and sometimes loses focus.

    Until he changes that, the Cavaliers still have a long way to go.

    [Fox Sports]

    MIKE KAHN: LeBron and Co. don't have enough at Detroit
    All the numbers that we can manipulate to dance, sing and write concertos don't make a bit of difference if one team just knows it is superior to another team. The same goes if deep down the other team knows it is inferior to the other guys.

    The reality is nobody expects the Cavs to win more than a game in this series. If they do, it's only because the Pistons let down for an entire game, just as they did in the fourth quarter Tuesday night.

    [SI.com]

    Goliath has David on the ropes
    No one expected Cleveland to survive a series with a battle tested team like Detroit but the Cavs have made the transition from "just win, baby" to "just happy to be here" almost seamlessly. While Detroit's offense has operated with machine-like efficiency through two games, Cleveland has seen its offensive sets constantly disrupted by Detroit's long-armed defenders and aggressive perimeter play. It's a hit Cavaliers coach Mike Brown has to take: You can't win a small-ball series with the Pistons, so why try? Perhaps the one advantage Cleveland had at the start of the series was Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Big Z holds a four-inch height advantage over anyone in the Pistons' rotation but for the second straight series has been treated like a cast member from the Real World: briefly considered and quickly forgotten. Cleveland has gone to Ilgauskas so infrequently this postseason that 72-year old Bill Russell, in attendance to present Ben Wallace with the Defensive Player of the Year Award, probably could have given Detroit a few meaningful minutes off the bench.

    [Akron Beacon Journal]

    Players' slumps hurting Cavs
    The Cavaliers played their most impressive quarter of the series Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons with virtually no contribution from their two highest-paid players.

    It has been a recurring theme for Larry Hughes and Zydrunas Ilgauskas in these playoffs. Each has endured long stretches without supplying offense.

    [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

    Pistons find offense is missing
    Hughes' offensive challenge has not gone unnoticed, especially by the opposition. Pistons guard Chauncey Billups said some of Hughes' struggles could be a result of surgery on a broken right middle finger that had Hughes sidelined for four months.

    "Right now, Larry's still trying to find his rhythm," Billups said. "Missing that many games [45] is tough, especially at a time like this where a team gets to dissect you for a whole week and a half over a seven-game series on what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. A time like this is tough, especially against a good defensive team."

    [IndeOnline.com]

    LeBron's supporting cast under the gun to save Cavs
    "Part of controlling LeBron is our ability to score. He did what he’s done for 82 games. Early on, he didn’t have as many lanes (in which to drive). He was trying to make what you’d consider the right basketball play."

    But that only works if his teammates make shots – and they haven’t thus far in the series.

    [DetroitPistons.com]

    DAVID WIEME: The Devil Wears a Wet Suit
    I’ve said this before about this team…I hate when we shoot well from outside, early. I think it gives us a false sense of confidence and we forget – only momentarily, but we still forget – what got us to the dance: defense, establishing the tone and executing. Jump shots from the three-point line or just inside are too easy. We just come down and bomb it. Well, we got away with it tonight, but that isn’t going to be the case against an older, more experienced team.

    Let’s get our heads on straight. What we did tonight, and I didn’t listened to the press conferences or read the quotes, but what we did was give Cleveland some confidence. And with a young team, sometimes all it takes is confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I know we are still up 2-0, but I’ve been in this too long to know that you never, never, ever give your opponent confidence, no matter how small.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Who wants to play with inflatable Damon Jones?
    Damon Jones, who I think enjoys being quoted in the papers and showing off his wardrobe on TV more so than actually playing basketball, weighed in on the Inflatable Defender.

    ALSO:
    Bill Russell passes the torch
    YAYsports hates Chauncey Billups (and we're sorta fine with that)

    [Need4Sheed.com]

    LeBron James's Retirement Options
    Since I did a piece on Zydrunas Ilgauskas's retirement options, it made me think of what other players might do when their NBA careers are over. The spotlight today is on LeBron James. With all that money he doesn't need to do a thing, but I think he would make a great Manicurist. We all know of his on court nail biting, but maybe when he's no longer playing basketball he can take that habit and turn it into a new money making machine.
  13. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [The Sporting News]
    STEVE GREENBERG: Take Pistons over "Fab Five"
    Let me make sure I understand the question -- am I being asked who would win a series between the Detroit Pistons and a five-man team of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki?

    I think that's what I'm being asked. And I bet at first blush, most people would say that, given a month to prepare, this Fab Five would kick the crap out of any existing team.

    But that is so wrong. The Pistons would destroy the KoBroncanNashkis. The Pistons would -- I'm sayin' it -- sweep 'em. By a good 30 points a game.


    TRISH GARNER: NBA's best over Detroit's dozen
    We're talking about LeBron. Kobe. Nash. Nowitzki. Duncan. Four of them finished 1-4 in the MVP voting this year, and Duncan wasn't far behind. Duncan and Nash have accounted for four of the past five MVP awards. Kobe and LeBron both averaged over 30 points this season. I mean, come on.

    Yeah, our Fab Five will get killed on defense. Big deal. This isn't a game of "Who can put on the best clinic of fundamental basketball." This is a game of "Who can put more points on the board," and that's a game these guys can win.
  14. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Pistons don't look scared
    Cavaliers fourth-quarter rally didn't rattle Detroit much
    By Dana Gauruder

    The Pistons want to keep it real.

    From their perspective, they've shown the Cleveland Cavaliers in the space of seven quarters what they're all about. After distributing that harsh dose of reality, they got lazy and stopped playing their usual game.

    So if the Cavaliers went home with renewed hope after cutting a 20-point, fourthquarter defi cit down to five in Game 2 on Tuesday night, the Pistons view that as a false sense of security for the underdogs.

    "They went away with a little confidence, but I don't think it's what they did, it's what we didn't do," Chauncey Billups said Wednesday about his team's 97-91 win in Game 2. "We got a little undisciplined with our schemes. It was coming so easy to us, we got complacent."

    Billups gets fired up away from palace
    By Dana Gauruder

    Road playoff games bring out the offense beast in Chauncey Billups.

    His two highestscoring games in this postseason occurred during games 3 and 4 of Detroit's firstround playoff series against Milwaukee. He averaged 30 points on those nights. Not coincidentally, those were the only away games the Pistons have played.

    "I always get excited playing on the road," he said.
  15. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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  16. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    Agreed. Chauncey's publicist has done well by him the past couple of years. I don't think he's that great a defender, but standards for PGs are low and neither Kidd nor Payton are really candidates anymore.
  17. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Fox Sports]
    Wallace has regularly led the NBA in technical fouls, which are usually doled out for badmouthing a referee or other miscellaneous fits, and he holds the league record for most technical fouls in a season. His reactions are usually fast since he is usually quickly ejected, but there have been times when he has needed to be restrained. Sometimes, it's even a teammate on the other end of his rage. In 2001, Wallace cursed and threw a towel in the face of fellow Trail Blazer Arvydas Sabonis in response to an inadvertent contact between the two. Surprisingly, he remained fairly calm during the Detroit Pistons-Indiana Pacers brawl in 2004.

    [Somebody will find a use for the great Sheed graphic bannering this story - guaranteed.]
  18. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]

    Key to the city
    LeBron James, a high school phenom from Akron, was waiting in the wings. And the Cavaliers were more than happy to make him theirs.

    In the three years since, and through a confluence of basketball talent, marketing and personality, James has become the marquee name representing Cleveland to the world.

    Hughes' family tragedy stuns Cavaliers
    CLEVELAND -- The mood at Cavaliers practice Thursday was somber as players and staff were caught off guard by the death of Justin Hughes, the brother of guard Larry Hughes.

    Justin, 20, died at 3 a.m. Thursday after a long struggle with heart problems.

    Larry Hughes left the team to return to St. Louis to be with family. His availability for Game 3 on Saturday is in doubt.

    Tale of two teams: Cavaliers owner tied to Pistonsl, too
    For the Detroit-area native who grew up rooting for the Pistons -- the team he's using as a model to build the Cavs -- Game 1 was a surreal experience for him.

    "I could see my seats for the Lakers-Pistons NBA final two years ago," he says. "I felt like I had been traded."

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Pistons go full speed in workout
    That doesn't mean the Pistons have backed off from hard labor. They completed one of their most intense practices of the playoffs Thursday in an attempt to keep energy levels high and break up the monotony before Game 3 on Saturday at Cleveland.

    It was the first time every player had participated in full-contact workouts since the playoffs began, coach Flip Saunders said. And they included Hamilton, who has been hampered by an ankle sprain suffered in Game 1 of the first-round series against Milwaukee.

    MICHAEL ROSENBERG: Believe it or not, defense is played in the NBA - just ask Tony Delk
    One myth is that nobody in the league plays defense. The other is that the league doesn't have many great shooters. The two myths are related -- people don't realize the defenses are so good that it is very difficult for even the best shooters to score.

    Let's address them one at a time. First, on the defense: If you think today's NBA teams don't play defense, go watch tape from 30 years ago. Defenses were not sophisticated. There was very little double-teaming. Scouting was not nearly as advanced as it is now -- these days, teams know every tendency for every player, even the subs. Teams know how players like to dribble, where they like to shoot from and which cheerleaders they hit on.

    Pistons Corner: Ben honored again for defense
    Ben Wallace earned another league honor Thursday afternoon, making a fifth consecutive appearance on the NBA All-Defensive first team. Teammates Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince made the second team.

    [Two other points worth noting: this article has a picture of Sheed wearing a pair of the rattiest sweats ever, and also mentions that LeBron James got a vote for the All-Defensive 1st team. Guess you can buy anything these days.]

    Hughes leaves Cavs after death of brother
    Though none of the Cavaliers cited Justin's condition as a distraction for Hughes, his brother was clearly on his mind. He missed a day of practice in December to return to St. Louis, where Justin had been hospitalized. In February, Hughes told the Washington Post that Justin was "going through a little something" but wasn't more specific.

    Playoff dunk
    "I told him that he had a new hair cut."
    - Sam Cassell, Clippers guard, on what he said to referee Joe Crawford as he ended a discussion by squeezing Crawford's head during Wednesday's game against the Suns.

    [Akron Beacon]

    Hughes out due to death of brother
    Justin Hughes was born with a heart defect, and when he was 12, he went into cardiac arrest. Less than a week later, on January 2, 1997, he received a transplant from a 16-year-old girl, who died in a car accident. It was a long and difficult recovery, and Justin sustained some brain damage following the surgery.

    A year later, Larry Hughes turned pro after his freshman season at Saint Louis University, in large part because his family needed money to pay for Justin's care. He was drafted in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers at the NBA Draft in Vancouver, with Justin at his side. Two years later, he launched the Larry Hughes Family Foundation to help families of organ donors.

    [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

    BUD SHAW: No defense for the Cavs' hack attack
    A riveted nation waits to see if the Cavs start intentionally fouling Pistons center Ben Wallace even earlier in Game 3, perhaps during the jump ball.

    Apparently, TV sees the series for what it is (noncompetitive). Maybe, too, it sees that particular ploy for what it was - your basic cry for help by a rookie head coach.

    Game 3's time, channel switched
    Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons on Saturday has been changed from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. at The Q.

    The game will now be broadcast on ESPN and locally on FSN Ohio.

    The Pistons have played on network television (ABC) once during the entire playoffs when they hosted the Cavs on Sunday. Somehow, television executives don't see the Pistons as a major draw.

    Once again, it's Gooden active in playoffs vs. the Pistons
    "I asked myself this the other day: Would the Detroit Pistons have been the same team if we would have knocked them out in the first round of those playoffs my rookie year?" Gooden said.

    How would he answer that question?

    Cavs hold Hughes family near
    "Our thoughts and prayers are with . . . the entire Hughes family during this very difficult time," Ferry said in a statement released by the team. "Justin Hughes touched all of us in a special way with his resilient life. Life sometimes helps put the proper perspective on basketball, and this is one of those occasions. Now is a time for Larry to be with his family as they deal with the loss of Justin."
  19. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Booth Newspapers]

    JUSTIN ROGERS: Full-Court Press
    During an afternoon interview on WDFN Detroit, Pistons coach Flip Saunders said the best way to contain LeBron James is make him play a one-dimensional game.

    "When a guy has the ball in his hands as much as he (LeBron) does, and he basically has the ability to go at any time, you want to make him either a volume type scorer, where he has to take a lot of shots, or you want to eliminate his ability to make plays for other people. You can’t have him where he does both, where he scores a lot, has a high efficiency, gets to the free throw line a lot, yet he sets up his teammates a lot for open looks."

    [Lots of fresh material in this blog. Check it out.]

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Sad day for Larry Hughes and his family
    Justin Hughes, brother of Cavs shooting guard Larry Hughes, passed away earlier Thursday at the age of 20, apparently succumbing after a lifelong battle with heart troubles. Larry Hughes has left the team to be with his family, and his status for Saturday's game is unknown.

    ALSO:
    DBB readers take good pictures
    Three Pistons make All-Defensive teams
    The Detroit Sound Machine
    Chauncey Billups still has no shortage of confidence

    [Los Angeles Times]

    There's Only a Remote Chance that He'll Lose
    It isn't called the Motor City for nothing. Detroit Piston Ben Wallace says he has been collecting radio-controlled cars since his rookie season of 1996-97. The 6-foot-9 center told SI.com that he has 120 of the cars, which he assembles himself. 'It helps me relax,' said Wallace, 31, who recently became the first player to win the defensive-player-of-the-year award four times in a five-year span. 'You can't have any distractions. It's a nice way to unwind, especially during the playoffs.' Wallace races his two-foot cars, which can cost up to $1,000 each, against other hobbyists at a track near his off-season home in Richmond, Va., but he said he also takes on his 3-year-old son and the neighborhood kids. 'We get in my driveway and go around a little bit,' Wallace said. 'I always win.'
  20. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Real GM]
    The NBA’s second round match up between the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers is the perfect example of what wins and what sells in the NBA. It pit’s the leagues rising star and its marketing center piece against the best “Team” in the NBA. A contest of a one man marketing wonder struggling against a team that runs with a machine like efficiency.


    [Las Vegas Sun]
    Eight teams are still alive in the NBA playoffs, but gamblers have anointed one of them as virtually a sure thing to win the title.

    The Detroit Pistons are favored by as high as minus-250 (risk $2.50 to win $1) to win the championship at betting shops that are still taking action on that proposition.


    [Cleveland Plain Dealer - Cavaliers Blog]

    The Cavs have no chance in the series with the Pistons. You knew this before the series started, you know it now. Don't get all upset about it and let it ruin your month. The Pistons can beat them any way they want. Accept it, learn from it and move on. Cavs had a breakthrough season.

    The Pistons are a jump shot team, a very good one at that, filled with players that can post up but would prefer to shoot jumpers and want to drive by would prefer to get fouled or pull up than actually finish at the rim. Why the Cavs give them so much respect by backing off them and double-teaming them, I don't know. In general I think the entire league gives the Pistons too much respect, which is another way of saying the play scared.
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