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May 2006 Pistons articles *Frequent Updates*

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

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  1. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    ~ Detroit News ~

    Uh, oh! Tied up
    Cavs don't heed 'Sheed, guarantee a return trip to Cleveland
    By Bob WoJnowski

    Just like that, we have a brand new theme for this playoff series, one the Pistons had better heed before it really gets dangerous.

    Nothing is guaranteed, no matter how loudly you say it.

    Cleveland took Rasheed Wallace's words and stuffed them, and you can bet the Pistons are chewing uncomfortably now. The Cavaliers stuck to the Pistons almost as if they belonged, and in a tight, tedious game, pulled off a 74-72 stunner Monday night, tying the second-round series 2-2.

    No guarantee
    Yet another unsung hero foils Pistons in playoffs
    By Chris McCosky

    And in the fourth game, Sheed did indeed bleed.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers shoved Rasheed Wallace's guarantee down the Pistons' throats Monday, winning 74-72 in a wild and controversial Game 4 to even the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series at two games apiece.

    "We just play basketball," said LeBron James, who had 22 points, including his team's last three. "We can't get caught up in Rasheed's comments."

    Phew! This stinker just reeks of bad timing
    With Brown possibly on his way out, Knicks president must deal with mess he created.
    By Rob Parker

    That stench you smell is the Pistons.

    Monday night, they did what we never believed they could do this season. They turned in the worst stinker in the worst situation.

    These Pistons were supposed to be different. This group, which raced to the best record in the league so it would have home court throughout the postseason, vowed it wouldn't take the hard road to the Finals as it had the previous two seasons. Wrong.

    Instead, in three days here, the Pistons turned what was a laugher of a series into a real series. For the first time in a long time, the Pistons have a chink in their armor.

    Game Report



    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    No more guarantees because talk is cheap
    By Mitch Albom

    Can we stop now with the guarantees? They're silly. They don't help. And they're beneath a team like the Pistons. So was a performance like Monday night's. This team, and particularly Wallace, learned a lesson that banks taught us back in the Depression -- a guarantee is only good as long as the guarantor is in business. Wallace went down early with a bad ankle roll. He limped all night. The business he is normally in -- making killer three-pointers and smart passes -- was suddenly closed.​

    And so, it turned out, were the Pistons.

    Where's the killer instinct?
    Pistons let Cavs get back into the fight
    By Drew Sharp

    This is what happens when you screw around -- a series emerges.

    Never one to mince emotions, Ben Wallace broke it down quite succinctly after the Pistons' 74-72 loss.

    "We played like (expletive)," he expounded.

    No arguments here.

    The Pistons were understandably ticked off with their charitable impulses Monday night. The series is now tied at 2 because the Pistons assumed Cleveland's frustration at the end of the third quarter in Game 4 signaled a young team crumbling from the weight of a great opportunity missed.

    Sprained ankle slows down 'Sheed
    By Krista Latham

    Another round, another sprained ankle.

    Richard Hamilton sustained an ankle sprain in Round 1. Now, Rasheed Wallace is on the ankle-watch list after Monday's Game 4 of the second-round series with the Cavaliers.

    Wallace rolled his right ankle with 9:22 left in the second quarter, and after grimacing and limping to the bench, he left for the locker room.

    He returned during a time-out a little over a minute later, and after stretching, skipping and hopping back and forth for several minutes, he went back into the game.
    But his production was limited the rest of the night. Wallace finished with seven points and shot 3-for-13. The team will evaluate him today, but Wallace said he'd be OK for Wednesday's Game 5.

    Cavaliers finding the right balance
    Cleveland winning the Piston way
    By Mark Snyder

    Quietly, not so patiently, the Cavaliers are learning.

    They've given the Pistons enough respect and said repeatedly they'd love to be a balanced, strong defensive team like Detroit.

    With their second straight home win, the Cavs are picking it up too quickly for the Pistons.

    Monday's 74-72 Cavaliers victory proved Game 3 was no fluke and showed the Cavs are following coach Mike Brown's script.

    Cavs to attend funeral
    Will join Hughes at service for brother
    By Mark Snyder

    After playing two games without Larry Hughes, the Cavaliers were scheduled to join him today at his brother's funeral.

    The entire team planned to fly to St. Louis after Monday's Game 4 against the Pistons to attend the funeral of Justin Hughes. The service is scheduled for this morning. The Cavs intended to fly from there to Detroit.

    "There was no question and no ifs or buts about it," forward Donyell Marshall said Monday. "He's part of our family, and we've been like brothers to everyone all season."

    NBA TICKER
     
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Mutoni's Musings]


    sheed-politikin

    Could you imagine if Rasheed Wallace was the Bush Administration's press secretary? I can; it would probably go a little something like this:

    On Saddam's alleged attempts to kill Bush senior after the Gulf War

    'Sheed: “I guess that was his wannabe retaliation. I started laughing and got a (technical foul) for that.”

    On the invasion of Iraq

    Reporter : “Mr Wallace, what do you think of America's chances of winning this war?"

    'Sheed: “I know we goin’ win. I know we goin’ bust they ass. Y’all can quote me, put it back page, front page, whatever.”
     
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [PISTONS BULLETIN]


    Could it be? The Pistons in trouble?

    The Detroit Pistons are in a much tougher series than they bargained for with Cleveland. The Pistons are still the...
     
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [The Association]


    One Simple Question

    When is stiff-arming the defender on a drive to the bucket a defensive foul?
     
  5. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Associated Press]

    Pistons in a Tight Series with Cavs
    The Cavs started to switch on pick-and-roll plays, leaving bigger players defending guards and smaller players guarding post players. The Pistons and their coaches haven't countered aggressively, leading to a lackluster offense that set NBA playoff lows with 33.3 percent shooting and 72 points Monday night.

    Just as he said in an easy first-round series against Milwaukee, Saunders says the Pistons are playing more against themselves than Cleveland.

    "The Cavs are doing things, but we're still beating ourselves in a lot of areas," Saunders said nonchalantly Tuesday.

    [Not exactly subtle, eh? The script is complacent, overconfident Pistons versus young, hungry LEBRON. Expect to see it everywhere.]


    [Detroit News]

    "We were just horrible"
    AUBURN HILLS -- It's been awhile since Chauncey Billups woke up the morning after a game with that sick, hollow feeling.

    It's been awhile since he spent a day holed up in a dark room watching the tape of the previous night's game -- over and over.

    BOB WOJNOWSKI: Talk is cheap, Pistons: show it on the court
    I can't be a hypocrite. I enjoy Rasheed's attitude. But the Pistons need only go back to the NBA Finals in 2004, when they were mortally offended by the Lakers' smugness and the arrogance of Phil Jackson, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

    Words don't affect performance but they can reflectperformance. And the past two games, the Pistons talked and played as if entitled, as if overconfident. They're human. It happens. Every fan wearing a Pistons jersey was just as overconfident.

    Monday's defeat should serve as a catalyst for Pistons
    The last time the Pistons didn't get their way was Game 7 in San Antonio last season, when they lost the NBA title to the Spurs. So, just when they thought their series against the Cavaliers was going to be like their first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks -- a cakewalk -- well, think again.

    Chris McCosky's Game 5 preview
    "I don't buy that because he's really cocky, he's really supremely confident, and he's expecting to win these games," Evans said. "For him to say that, that's just his media pitch, to take pressure off him and his teammates.

    "But, they're expecting to win, and people think they actually have a chance. The series doesn't start until someone (loses) at home. If they win here, OK, now it's a problem. All we did, we didn't make it as easy as what we thought it was going to be."

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Talking points
    "A lot of times we didn't run our plays through," point guard Chauncey Billups said Tuesday. "Everybody wasn't touching the ball like we usually play, moving the ball from one side to the other side. We got away from that, and we relied on our defense, which I thought was good.

    "But offensively, we were just horrible, man. And we've got too many players to be that bad."

    Pistons and Cavs Corner: Ankle injury limits Sheed
    "I know I'm not going to be 100%, but I know I'll be good enough to go out there and run up the court," he said.

    Wallace didn't practice with the team Tuesday after he suffered a sprained right ankle in the second quarter of Monday's loss. Instead, he worked with strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander, doing some light jogging, sprints and some "workout stuff" as Wallace put it.

    [Akron Beacon]

    Snow keeping Cavaliers cool
    A veteran of more than 80 postseason games, Eric Snow doesn't have to watch ESPN Classic to familiarize himself with a hard foul.

    The 33-year-old guard has absorbed plenty. And with his Cavaliers nursing a 70-69 lead, Snow realized it was time to apply one.

    Cavs visit distraught Hughes
    BIRMINGHAM, MICH. - For the past week, the Cavaliers have made sure to communicate that they have no idea when Larry Hughes will be able to return to the team.

    After personally witnessing the grief Hughes and his family are going through at his younger brother Justin's funeral Tuesday, they're more uncertain when he'll be emotionally ready to think about playoff basketball, much less play it.

    PLUTO: There are 23 reasons to give Cavs a chance
    It's very possible that the Cavs will lose tonight and come back to win Game 6 at home Friday ing up Game 7 on Sunday in Auburn Hills.

    Yes, the Pistons would be at home, but they seem shocked to find themselves in a grueling series with the Cavs. They seemed to think that the NBA Finals are an entitlement, having been there the previous two seasons.

    Take a Game 7 in Detroit -- or even a Game 5 -- in which the score is tight, and the Cavs have James, and suddenly, the pressure can smother the home team. It doesn't happen to a playoff-tested team such as the Pistons often, but it's also rare that they encounter a rising star the magnitude of James.

    [USA TODAY]

    The NBA playoffs: Moves & Countermoves
    Sputtering offense: The Pistons shot 36.3% (53-for-146) while losing Games 3 and 4 in Cleveland, and they faded in the fourth quarter of each game as the Cavs outscored them 54-34. They were scoreless in the final 3:30 of Game 4.

    Countermove: The Pistons are relying too heavily on perimeter shooting, and it has gotten them in trouble. Rasheed Wallace is Detroit's best post player. Even if his mobility is limited because of a sprained right ankle, at 6-11 he can shoot over Drew Gooden and Anderson Varejao. He needs to take them inside and use his height advantage instead of hanging around the three-point line.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    YAYbest-out-of-three!
    Before the start of the second round, we had The Cavalier from YAYsports! explain to our readers just what his beloved Cavs would need to do to upset the Pistons, and Ian and I likewise explained to his readers what the Pistons needed to do to continue on their path to the Finals. With the series now relegated to a "best of three," we thought we'd revisit our original posts. The following is another guest post from The Cavalier, who outlines three keys for his Cavs to follow in their effort to complete the upset bid.

    [Need4Sheed.com]

    Need4Sheed.com Getting Tons of Free Press
    Detroit Free Press ran a piece on me and Need4Sheed.com. A wonderful writer, Erin Chan contacted me to do a story on me and what I do. Needless to say I was honored, Erin came to my home and interviewed me at length asking a multitude of questions about Sheed and The Pistons. It was a wonderful experience, although nervous at first Erin made me feel like I was just talking "Pistons" with a friend. Thanks Erin!
     
  6. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Monday, Mrs. LanierFan flew back to New Hampshire and presented me with a Coney Island hot dog from Metro Airport. Mmmmm! If you've never traveled far beyond Detroit, you'll be surprised to learn that the familiar chili 'n onion coney is pretty much unheard of in many parts of the U.S. (and don't get me started on loose burgers). Then I ran across this story from Sunday, which I don't think anyone has posted yet. If you've already seen it, enjoy it again -- just as you do with that tasty post-Coney burp.]

    [Detroit News]

    Coney cuts mustard with Flip
    This story -- the Flip dog story -- started last summer, Tony Lipuma explains, arms folded, hands sticky from serving sodas. One of the Pistons' assistant coaches started visiting the place. Eventually, he brought Saunders, a Cleveland native, along too.

    "He asked if we carried Cleveland Stadium Mustard. To tell you the truth, I'd never heard of it."

    So, Lipuma continues, Saunders' assistant coach brought him a case of the stuff.
     
  7. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [The Oakland Press]


    It's time for Flip to prove he's the man
    by PAT CAPUTO

    After 82 games of the regular season, a laugher of a series in the opening round of the playoffs and two easy victories to begin the Eastern Conference semifinals, we're finally going to find out about Flip Saunders.

    We'll discover whether it was the right move making the Pistons a 3-point shooting machine instead of staying the run-theclock-down-and-get-the-bestshot course.


    Evans irked by LeBron's scowl
    by DAVID BIRKETT

    AUBURN HILLS - Maurice Evans recognized the you-can't-stop-me look LeBron James gave him Monday, and he didn't appreciate it one bit.

    Evans, who played 10 minutes in Game 4, caught an icy glare from James after James buried an off-balance 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

    He said the look, one he's delivered before, remained etched in his mind Tuesday.

    "It always does when players do things like that," he said. "I don't get the minutes to really start - I'm not trying to start a war or anything - but mentally, I'm a player in this league who works hard as well, so for somebody to do that, it just really burns you up a little bit."


    Wallace and Pistons still exuding confidence despite two setbacks
    by DAVID BIRKETT

    AUBURN HILLS - Backto-back losses, putrid offensive performances during which the Pistons shot 36 percent from the field and scored a combined 149 points, have made this a series, but they haven't done anything to silence Rasheed Wallace.


    Open Book: A blog by Pat Caputo
    by Pat Caputo

    Rasheed criticism too harsh It¹s time for Rasheed Wallace to put his guarantees away for good.

    But it was not the reason the Pistons lost two games in a row in Cleveland.


    [CBS Sportsline.com]


    Tony Mejia offers opinions on his main beat, the NBA, and whatever else he feels like.

    Miami fans better put down the Kool-Aid

    Sipping Miami Heat Kool-Aid yet?

    Detroit is struggling with Cleveland, after all, and the Heat have finished off the New Jersey Nets, becoming the first team to reach the NBA's final four, the conference finals. Miami won't have to play another game until at least Sunday, giving a veteran team a much-needed chance to rest up for what will likely be a challenging rematch with the Detroit Pistons.


    Pistons getting more than bargained for from Cavaliers

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Flip Saunders insists his Minnesota Timberwolves were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs seven times in eight years because the other teams were simply better.

    [Fox Sports]

    Cavaliers mourn with Hughes
    Associated Press

    CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates took a solemn break from their playoff series Tuesday to attend the funeral of the 20-year-old brother of guard Larry Hughes.

    The Cavaliers flew to St. Louis after beating the Detroit Pistons 74-72 Monday night to even the best-of-seven second-round playoff series at 2-2. Hughes has missed the past two games - both wins - to be with his family following Justin Hughes' death last week.



    Suddenly, Pistons in a tight series with Cavs
    Associated Press

    AUBURN HILL, Mich. (AP) - Flip Saunders insists his Minnesota Timberwolves were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs seven times in eight years because the other teams were simply better.

    If the first-year Detroit coach can't help the Pistons stunt Cleveland's momentum in their second-round series, it will be difficult to explain the early exit the same way.

    Other than LeBron James, the Pistons seem to have more talent and experience at every position.
     
  8. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Booth Newspapers]


    Pistons need more aggressive offense from Billups
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- Chauncey Billups went into Games 3 and 4 of the Detroit Pistons' playoff series at Cleveland with every intention of being aggressive on offense.

    However, like most of Detroit's goals in those games, it didn't work out as planned.

    Billups passed up some shots that he normally takes. He didn't recognize mismatches in the Pistons' favor often enough. And as he and head coach Flip Saunders pointed out, Billups wasn't nearly as aggressive as he needed to be.


    Pistons say there's no added pressure after losses
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- After dropping two games at Cleveland, one might think the Detroit Pistons are feeling some added pressure heading into Game 5 of the NBA playoff series tonight.

    However, considering all the Pistons have been through the last couple of years, players aren't that alarmed.

    "We're fine," said Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter. "Is this Game 7? They won two games at home. (We need to) go home and handle our business."
     
  9. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [NBA.com]


    Pistons Forward to Receive the David Robinson Plaque
    Detroit’s Rasheed Wallace Receives NBA Community Assist Award for April


    NEW YORK, May 17, 2006 – In recognition of Rasheed Wallace’s outstanding efforts in the community, and for his on-going philanthropic work, the NBA announced today it has honored the Pistons All-Star with the Community Assist Award for the month of April. This is the second time Wallace has earned the honor, winning the award in February of 2005.

    Despite being in the midst of a playoff run, Rasheed Wallace found the time for his community work and during April he joined forces with the Detroit Pistons to support the “Let’s Make Dreams Come True for Children” Gala and Auction to benefit The Rasheed A. Wallace Foundation.

    [Hoopsworld]


    Motown Soundtrack: Gotta keep movin’
    by Adriano Albuquerque

    It’s pretty obvious that the Detroit Pistons, after suffering two losses on the road in these Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Cleveland Cavaliers, need to score and play better at the fourth quarter. Those were their two main weaknesses in two games in Ohio. But the key to doing both of those is something that might sound strange to them:

    Run.
     
  10. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Associated Press]

    Cavaliers Take Series Lead with Squeaker
    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- All series long, the Detroit Pistons huffed and puffed. On Wednesday night, it was LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers who blew their house in.

    A stunning role reversal on the Cavs' fairy tale ride?

    Maybe not.

    "It's just basketball," James said. "They're not the Big, Bad Wolf. And we're not the Three Little Pigs."

    [NBA.com]

    Detroit Pistons 84, Cleveland Cavaliers 86
    Pistons Guard Chauncey Billups on coming out and playing tight:
    "Early on we probably wanted it a little too bad. It threw our stuff out of sync a little bit. We were just trying to do it. It's natural. We knew it was a big game and we threw ourselves out of rhythm early. Once we started to make our run and we'd get it back, they would make a little light run and kill it. It was a good game though."

    On whether he's concerned facing elimination:
    "I'm still not concerned. I'm still not concerned because I know what we're capable of. We've been there before - everybody knows that. We've got to take it one game at a time. We can't be looking for a game seven because if you're not careful, there won't be [a game seven]. I'm not concerned, I know what we're capable of and I'll be ready for Friday."

    [Detroit News]

    Pistons are on the brink of unthinkable collapse
    AUBURN HILLS -- As improbable as it might seem, as utterly unimaginable as it might have been just a week ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers are a victory away from knocking the two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Pistons out of the playoffs.

    After fighting uphill the entire game, and with starters Chauncey Billups (fouled out) and Rasheed Wallace (five fouls, injured right ankle) on the bench, the Pistons ran out of bullets, losing Game 5, 86-84, on Wednesday night at The Palace.

    Pistons make no excuses for defeat
    AUBURN HILLS -- A return to aggressive play including drives to the basket, putbacks and trips to the line weren't enough to push the Pistons past the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5.

    But the approach made the Pistons focus on their possible elimination in Game 6 on Friday in Cleveland.

    Game report
    It was a night of firsts. For the first time in the series, the Cavaliers led at halftime, 50-45. They were behind at halftime in the first four games -- 69-48, 52-36, 42-36 and 38-36.

    THE PISTONS' RUN
    It was 63-53 when they made their first real run of the last two games. They outscored the Cavaliers, 13-5, the rest of the second half to make it 68-66 going into the fourth quarter with the Cavaliers leading.

    Fouls don't derail Cavaliers
    By halftime, six Cavaliers had two fouls or more. By the fourth quarter, Drew Gooden and Anderson Varejao had four, Zydrunas Ilgauskas five and LeBron James three.

    The tricky foul situation forced Brown to limit the minutes of Gooden and Ilgauskas, while leaving Varejao on the floor.

    Notebook: Where was Sheed?
    Wallace picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter and picked up his fifth early in the fourth. He played just 22 minutes. For the second game in a row, he was on the bench in the final minutes of the game.

    "It's not my call," Wallace said. "People are asking a lot of questions about that. All I can say is it isn't my call. I'm not trying to start any paper war or nothing."

    Grades
    C- Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups picked the wrong night to go cold. Billups made 6 of 16 shots. Hamilton hit 5 of 16. Hamilton couldn't get a shot off on the last possession.

    C- Rasheed Wallace's ankle was hurting, and it showed. He had 10 points and nine rebounds but didn't have any bounce. Tayshaun Prince led the Pistons with 21 points. Antonio McDyess provided a lift in relief.

    C+ Ben Wallace added some offense with eight points and led the Pistons with 13 rebounds. But his free-throw shooting was a killer. He missed all seven attempts.

    Three stars
    LeBron James, Cavaliers: Here's what he didn't do -- shoot the lights out. He made 13 of 30 field-goal attempts, which is good but not great. But he elevated his game at key moments and carried his team. James scored 32 points and had five rebounds and five assists. James committed two turnovers in 47 minutes.

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Cleveland 86, Detroit 84: On LeBrink
    The team that hasn't been to the second round of the playoffs in 13 years is one win away from eliminating the two-time NBA finalists.
    In the end of a tight Game 5 at the Palace on Wednesday night, the Pistons couldn't get off a final shot. With 1.9 seconds left and no time-outs, Tayshaun Prince had no better option than to inbound to Richard Hamilton, who faced a double-team. Hamilton lost the ball as time expired, and the Pistons lost the game, 86-84.

    DREW SHARP: Time for Saunders to flip gag switch off
    Chauncey Billups stood in a virtual trance, a towel draped over his head. The mouth that never stops, Rasheed Wallace was silent. Lindsey Hunter pleaded to his teammates "Don't play scared! Don't play scared!" but fear had already cracked the veneer of invincibility that was once the Pistons this season.

    MITCH ALBOM: Panic Time!
    Antonio McDyess just sat there. The court was empty. He just sat there. A few fans yelled encouragement. Someone said, "It'll be all right." But he just sat there, hands over his head, staring into the abyss. The arena emptied. What was he thinking? What was everyone around here thinking?

    It was a game they don't lose, right? But they lost it. It was turnovers they don't make, but they made them. It was the situation they never dreamed they'd be in, but they are in it.

    Pistons Corner: Billups and Ben voted second-eam All-NBA
    The NBA announced its All-NBA teams Wednesday, and Detroit point guard Chauncey Billups and center Ben Wallace made their way onto the second team.

    It was the first time in the team's history two players made All-NBA teams in the same season.

    Young Cavs are growing up fast
    "Our guys have bunkered down and had a bunker mentality," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "That's been huge for us, especially against a team like this and an environment like this."

    The Cavs' control in the final 30 seconds was a testament to their improvement from their first two playoff games at the Palace. With 27.8 seconds remaining, Drew Gooden planted himself under the basket for a lay-up off a pass from James to make what would be the winning bucket.

    [Akron Beacon]

    Cavs top big, bad Pistons, lead series
    AUBURN HILLS, MICH. - The Detroit Pistons huffed and puffed, but they couldn't blow down the little Cavaliers.

    Defying conventional wisdom, but not their surging confidence, the Cavs continue to amaze with their sudden savvy and cool execution. In another heart-stopper, the Cavs again prevailed 86-84 on Wednesday, turning their once-lopsided series against the heavily favored Pistons into a basketball fairy tale.

    Cavs play as team to manage the improbable
    The Pistons, who entered this pivotal game with a 42-4 home record, have no idea from where this Cavs' insurgency is coming. Neither do the Cavs.

    And that's exactly the point. It's no longer just LeBron James having to do everything for the Cavs to win. Coach Mike Brown's team is getting contributions from all precincts at the most opportune time.

    TERRY PLUTO: Cavs do it!
    Cavaliers fan, how is your heart this morning? Did you get any sleep at all last night? Do you find yourself counting down the hours to the game Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena?

    Can you believe what you have been watching this week?

    [Fox Sports]

    CHARLEY ROSEN: Tale of two stars led to shocking Game 5
    After cruising through much of the regular season, the cocky Pistons (with Rasheed serving as their madcap mouth-piece) believed that they could switch on their A-game whenever they needed to do so.

    Uh-uh, guys. That's not how prospective champ do business.

    In the end, Lebron found a way to overcome his shooting difficulties and lead his team to victory — while Rasheed was a bad joke. A clear case of the King emerging triumphant over the on-court Jester.

    [USA TODAY]

    LeBron, Cavs come of age against Pistons
    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Each night brings new oohs and fresh ahs. Each night, LeBron James' stock closes higher. We are seeing the full-blown birth of a prodigy who can take an ordinary team to breathless places.

    Nobody knows that better now than the Detroit Pistons. One more loss and they are finished. Best record in the NBA? Finished. Champions in waiting? Finished.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
    First, a lesson in history:

    [Be sure to check out the game coverage of this one - very thorough write-up by Matt and Ian.]

    ALSO:
    Rasheed Wallace started young
    Flip Murray is familiar with Rasheed Wallace's trash-talking from when they were both school children in Philadelphia.

    [Need4Sheed.com]

    Cavaliers Take Series Lead 3-2
    I have a few thoughts about the past three games the Pistons have played. First off I give the Cavs a lot of credit, they played with passion, they played with hustle and they played to win. With that said I need to get some thing off my chest.

    Who are these players that have donned Pistons jerseys the last few games? They surely aren't the team that I have watched dominate the NBA all season long. Where is the fire, the passion the championship swagger? Where is the defense? Where is the unity? I'm calling you out.
     
  11. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    [the Oakland Press]

    Simply stunning
    Cavs shock Pistons to capture series lead

    By DANA GAURUDER
    Of The Oakland Press

    AUBURN HILLS - A knife could not cut the tension in The Palace. A chainsaw would probably have been useless, as well. After playing with the chests puffed out the entire season, the flustered and frustrated Pistons are watching their season unravel before their disbelieving eyes.

    'Big Ben,' Billups earn All-NBA honors
    By DANA GAURUDEROf The Oakland Press

    AUBURN HILLS - Many great players have worn the Pistons uniform. George Yardley, Dave Bing, Bob Lanier, Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Grant Hill, to name a few, were some of the dominant players at their positions during their years as Pistons.
     
  12. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    [mlive.com]
    Latest loss has Pistons on the ropes

    By Dean Howe
    JOURNAL COLUMNIST
    AUBURN HILLS - Mr. Big Shot was on the bench, having been vanquished there for grabbing the greatest of Cleveland Cavaliers by the collar late in the fourth quarter of an NBA playoff game.

    Veteran Pistons' losses surprising
    By Dean Howe
    JOURNAL COLUMNIST
    Talk is cheap.
    So is all that hype we've been feeding you about the Detroit Pistons.
    It was only days ago when I called this basketball team a great basketball team.
     
  13. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [The Grand Rapids Press]


    Brown looks good with Saunders in hot water
    by David Mayo

    AUBURN HILLS -- For all the dismay this unanticipated 3-2 playoff deficit has caused the Detroit Pistons, there is good news out of New York.

    Larry Brown might be available soon.

    Oh, the ability to laugh at the familiar situation playing out in Knick City might be tempered today by this double-match-point situation facing the Pistons. And seriously, who wants more of Brown's omnipresent drama playing itself out here again?


    [Booth Newspapers]


    Pistons face elimination after Cavs pull stunner at Palace
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- About midway through the second quarter of Wednesday night's game at The Palace, a Detroit Pistons fan yelled to no Piston player in particular, "How bad do you want it?"

    Apparently, not as bad as the Cleveland Cavaliers, who took control of the game -- and the playoff series -- with an 86-84 nail-biting win. The Cavs now lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2, with a chance to eliminate the Pistons in Cleveland on Friday (7 p.m.).

    "Normally, they say a series doesn't start until somebody wins on the other team's court," said Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter. "Now, you got a series."


    Pistons admit they were pressing
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- Rasheed Wallace's usual pre-game twirling of his index finger toward fans at The Palace to get them excited before tip-off didn't occur on Wednesday night. It was the first of many signs that the Detroit Pistons were not themselves.

    The team that has been loose and laid back all season could not have played any tighter than they did during the 86-84 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    The Pistons have now lost three consecutive games -- a first this season -- and are one defeat away from playoff elimination. They must win at Cleveland on Friday, and then again at home on Sunday to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth season in a row.



    Playoff Primer

    Highlights of the Detroit Pistons' 86-84 NBA playoff loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday
     
  14. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [farlane]

    NBA Comix Presents: Got Game?

    [​IMG]


    [The Mighty MJD]


    Why The Pistons Suck

    Things run a lot smoother and easier with Flip. Sometimes, this is what smoother and easier gets you. Let’s call New York, offer to pay half of the $40 million, buy Larry Brown out, and pretend like the whole thing never happened.

    This is a great blog entry from MJD. Well worth the read for Pistons fans.


    [ESPN.com]


    LeBron's trust in teammates pays off against Pistons
    by Brian Windhorst

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- There was no mistaking the redness in LeBron James' eyes or the softness in his voice.

    The visitor's locker room at the Pepsi Center in Denver was quiet and still on that night in January as James tried to explain, perhaps even to himself, what was happening.

    The Cavaliers had just lost a one-point game to the Denver Nuggets, their third loss by two points or less in a three-game span on what turned out to be a brutal six-game Western trip.


    [MSN.com]


    Pistons need to stop talking, start playing
    Detroit looks lost and uninspired on its way to potential collapse
    by JT the Brick

    It is time to put up or shut up in the Motor City.

    Either Detroit bounces back after losing three games in a row to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs or the Pistons go home as the new poster boys for the term choking.

    JT is such an ass.
     
  15. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [The Oakland Press]


    TORTURE
    To paraphrase Butch and Sundance, who were those guys?
    by KEITH LANGLOIS

    AUBURN HILLS - In the two biggest minutes of their season, Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace were joined at the hip on the Pistons' bench.

    If the fact that they sit one loss from elimination amid their first threegame losing streak of the season wasn't disorienting enough for you, digest that one for a second.


    Have we underestimated these Cavs?
    by PAT CAPUTO

    AUBURN HILLS - Confidence is a relative term that can be as fleeting as Michigan weather during the month of May. The Pistons are two-time Eastern Conference champions. They are only a playoff season removed from an NBA title. The Pistons finished 14 games ahead of Cleveland during the regular season.
     
  16. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Associated Press]

    Cavs humble in drive to eliminate Pistons
    CLEVELAND (AP) -- LeBron James and his teammates flashed only a few smiles after practice Thursday.

    The Cavaliers are confident and feeling good about taking a 3-2 lead against the Detroit Pistons, but they've learned how quickly things can change in the playoffs.

    [Detroit News]

    Chris McCosky's Game Six preview
    Thus, the Cavaliers have extended their defense out to the three-point line. They are trying to shrink the floor by keeping the Pistons to one side. Then, they are almost daring Billups or Hamilton or even Tayshaun Prince, to try and beat them off the dribble.

    The Pistons, in the last three games, have taken the Cavaliers up on that dare to negative results. The offense has been stymied. In the last three games, the Pistons have had more turnovers (50) than assists (49) -- this from the team that led the league in assist-turnover ratio all season.

    "We aren't going to lose
    "We haven't lost this series," Chauncey Billups said. "We aren't going to lose this series."

    Though things were quieter than normal at the practice facility -- mostly because Rasheed Wallace was in the back taking treatment on his sprained right ankle -- the Pistons remain defiant.

    BOB WOJNOWSKI: Shock and awe
    AUBURN HILLS -- There is more at stake now than a game, or a series, or a season. This is about a legacy, about how the NBA's Ultimate Team will always be viewed.

    The Pistons are fraying on the edges, unsure what to do with these pesky Cleveland Cavaliers. In one of the most-stunning reversals we've ever witnessed, a 2-0 series lead has become a 3-2 deficit, and the Cavs can eliminate the Pistons tonight in Cleveland.

    Notebook: All hands on deck for Game 6
    When asked if he felt there was added pressure on coach Flip Saunders , since he's the only new component to the team, Billups said, "Everybody is to blame for us being down 3-2. It's not just Flip. It's myself everybody.

    "Everybody knows we're the best in the league at being a team. Now we lose a couple games and everybody wants to break it up. People want to point the finger at him or him or him. That's not how we do it."

    James: "We need to close out"
    James said, even with the Cavaliers' confidence, closing out the Pistons in Game 6 won't be an easy task.

    "It's going to be a high-intensity game," James said. "They're in desperation right now, they need to win both games and we need to close out."

    ROB PARKER: Key to a Pistons comeback is getting back to the basics
    The Pistons need to do three things to turn around this series. They have to reduce their turnovers, turn up their offensive intensity and come up with stops in the final four minutes.

    "From our standpoint, we know that we haven't played very well," coach Flip Saunders said. "(Our mistakes) are correctable. But it's something you can't talk about, we have to go out and do it."

    [DetroitPistons.com]

    The Palace to Host Palacevision For Game Six
    The Detroit Pistons will open the doors to The Palace this Friday, May 19 and are encouraging fans to come out and watch crucial Game 6 of the Second Round versus the Cleveland Cavaliers on the giant PalaceVision screens. Game time will be either 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. (to be determined). Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. if the game time is 7 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. if the game time is 8 p.m.

    DAVID WIEME: I hate easy baskets!
    now he’s big and I know he’s strong, but for crying out loud, step in front of the guy or give him a hard foul and let him know you are there. He’s not like Shaq…Shaq doesn’t react when he gets fouled because he has been getting fouled all his life. LeBron isn’t used to getting fouled hard…he doesn’t like it. You can get to him. Nothing easy…nothing…nothing…nothing…nothing…nothing easy…for anyone. I really hate easy baskets.

    [A little dated, but the rant will be appreciated by fans]

    [Akron Beacon]

    TERRY PLUTO: Series is ripe for Cavs to pick
    The time for the Cavaliers to put away the Detroit Pistons is right now. Tonight. At home.

    Do it quickly, while the Pistons still aren't sure what has hit them in this remarkable Eastern Conference semifinal series.

    TERRY PLUTO: Guards stopping Pistons backcourt
    Many Cavs fans have been critical of Snow since he arrived. He certainly is no Jason Kidd, but he excels in a gritty, defensive playoff game. He can go scoreless as he did in Wednesday's 86-84 victory, but still have a good game because he had seven assists and only one turnover. He frustrated Billups, who had more fouls (six) and turnovers (six) than assists (five).

    In the last three Cavs victories, Snow has held Billups to 15-of-41 shooting, and just 6-of-17 on 3-pointers. He has crowded the Pistons star guard, not allowing him to take open 3-pointers -- his favorite shot. Murray is doing a respectable job on the always-moving Hamilton. An offensive player, Murray has not worried as much about his scoring to concentrate on defense.

    Irritation worth having for 'Z'
    Zydrunas Ilgauskas has rediscovered a need for a comb. He's not particularly wild about using it, but the alternative to neatly grooming his thick swatch of facial hair is to risk looking like a man with a beard of bees or being confused with an American Taliban member.

    "I'm a little tired of it,'' the Cavaliers' center said. "I've got to comb it when I get up in the morning.''

    Run could land LeBron long-term
    CLEVELAND - There's a river of positive energy flowing through the Cavaliers organization right now and its biggest dividend could come this summer.

    Spurred on by limitless playoff potential and the satisfaction of achievement from this breakout season, all signs point to LeBron James quickly and happily signing a five-year contract extension in the offseason.
     
  17. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit Free Press]

    Pistons dead serious as elimination looms
    The rambunctious spirit so often a part of the Pistons' practices took a day off Thursday, as a more serious-minded team dealt with its suddenly serious situation.

    There were no high-energy, three-on-three sessions. No Rasheed Wallace pelting teammates with good-natured verbal abuse. No spontaneous jokes.

    MITCH ALBOM: Making a list and checking it twice
    I might have been Chauncey or maybe Rip. I could have been Ben. I don't think I was Rasheed, because I would have remembered saying something. Maybe I was Tayshaun.

    Anyhow, last night, as I was a Piston, just before I went to bed, I put a note on my refrigerator. A "To Do" List.

    Doing things the right way is the challenge now
    Coach Flip Saunders said the Cavaliers' defense is operating almost like a zone, so the Pistons need to attack it with zone-specific cuts, passes and shot selections.
    Cleveland almost begs the Pistons' ball-handlers to drive inside. That's when four players suddenly collapse inward and force contested shots or draw charges.

    Cavs try to keep it cool
    In the past three games, the Pistons haven't counteracted the Cavs' improved defensive play. On Thursday, Brown crunched some numbers for his team and printed his findings on a bulletin board to prove how important a role defense played in their wins.

    When the Pistons won, they scored 113 and 97 points, respectively, in Games 1 and 2. In the Cavs' wins, the Pistons scored 77, 72 and 84 points.

    [Hoops and Other Pop Culture]

    Flip under fire
    All of this carping certainly disappears with just two more wins over an extremely mediocre Cleveland squad (hardly a Herculean task). But if you are a Pistons fan, you have to start asking yourself this: A) Why can't the Pistons do anything to make LeBron pass the ball out for jumpers at key situations? Surely you don't want 111 pound Tayshaun Prince trying to stop LeBron off the dribble. It won't happen. Even perfect defense by Prince will result in the 240 pound LeBron gaining an advantage toward the hoop just by operation of basic physics.
     
  18. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Sports Inferno]
    Funeral for a Friend?
    This version of the Pistons won’t ever win another championship. For the next couple years they might be a top seed and get to a conference final, but they lost that killer instinct to be a champion.

    Joe now has one of two choices. One, hang on to the past and try to milk another championship out of a dead cow. Or two, let Ben go and start anew. Trade Rasheed, stockpile draft picks like the 2000-2003 seasons. Joe needs to make the shrewd moves that made him executive of the year.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]
    Saunders to maintain energy with more players
    Flip Saunders admits that it'll take a high-energy effort for 48 minutes to pull out a season-saving victory tonight. In fact, he's going so far as to suggest he'll actually use his bench.
     
  19. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [SI.com]
    MARTY BURNS: Ben Wallace's return to Detroit no sure thing
    Even if the Pistons are truly in the driver's seat, there is no guarantee that negotiations with Wallace will go as smoothly as many think. For one, Big Ben just doesn't seem to be enjoying himself on the court as much as usual. His refusal to re-enter a game late in the season might have been just a one-time occurrence, but it raises questions. Then there's the fact that Wallace recently hired Arn Tellem as his agent. Why hire a hardball agent like Tellem if you don't intend to at least test the market?
     
  20. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Booth Newspapers]


    Pistons will rely on comeback experience to try to avoid elimination
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- The Detroit Pistons rallied from a 3-1 series deficit three years ago to eliminate Orlando in the playoffs. Two years ago, they overcame a gut-wrenching triple overtime defeat (127-120) at home to New Jersey, only to come back and win the series and later, the NBA title. And a year ago, the Pistons won three out of four elimination games against Miami and San Antonio, with two of those wins coming on the road.


    Strength of balanced attack now a bit of a weakness
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- Detroit Pistons coach Flip Saunders has often said that a team's strength can also be its greatest weakness. The positives are obvious with a team like the Pistons that features a lot of good players, but no go-to players.

    Lately, as the Cleveland Cavaliers have taken a 3-2 playoff series lead, the Pistons have experienced the downside to having such a balanced roster.


    Hughes to rejoin Cavs for Game 6
    by TOM WITHERS
    The Associated Press

    CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes will rejoin the team Friday night for Game 6 against Detroit after missing the previous three games because of his brother's death.

    Hughes spoke with Cavs coach Mike Brown on Thursday night and told him he was coming to Cleveland.


    [Full Court Press]


    Sheridan: LeBron gets away with too many calls
    When asked if LeBron gets too much leeway with the officials during an ESPN chat this afternoon, Chris Sheridan had some interesting comments.

    I like the candour of Chris' response. I hate seeing this kid getting Jordan-in-his-prime type calls at teh age of 21. It sets a dangerous precedent for how his games will be called later in his career. They may as well burn the damn rule book now.


    Simmons: The NBA will change tonight
    Not only does ESPN columnist think the Cavaliers will win the game tonight, he believes LeBron will have one of those memorable performances people will talk about for years to come.

    Bill Simmons' fan base grows. Now Isaiah and I both want to kick his ass. I am so sick of running across this idiot's columns.
     
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