NBA Finals: Pistons beat old, slow Lakers 4-1!

The Lakers got clocked in game 3 88-68. Sweeeeeet! Pistons lead 2-1.

I’m almost afraid to exult.

Me too. But I would dearly love to see the Lakers get beaten.

I guess I can root for the Pistons again. I hated them oh so much when they were keeping Jordan and the Bulls from the NBA Finals. Whining Isaih, evil Laimbeer, cheating Rodman (Until he cleaned up his act and played for the Bulls, that is). OK, [size=2]go pistons[/size]. That’s all I can muster.

I guess I’m the only Lakers fan here… SO erm GO LAKERS

I like Kobe, too bad he had to go and rape someone… :D

I really like Kobe too, but Shak Daddy more than cancels him out. Ohh and Karl Malone makes me sick.

Seems like an eternity since those Bad Boys title days… I was in high school, I think. Anyways, I’m not going to start revelling until the fourth win is in the books. David Stern has thousands of reasons to see the series go seven games.

Pistons win game 4 and lead series 3-1. Word!

I grew up with The Lakers. Loved 'em most of my life, all through the 80s with Worthy, Magic, Jabbar, etc. But I got soured on 'em once Shaq came aboard, and then pretty much began rooting against 'em when Malone came on–hate that guy. And man did I hate the Pistons in the Laimbeer/Rodman/Isaiah era.

But dang if I’m not totally rooting for the Pistons to shut L.A. down in game 5.

Uttered for the first time in my life, but meant wholeheartedly: “Beat LA!”

What’s astonishing is that prior to the series most of the world didn’t give the Pistons much of a chance. It was all “Lakers in 6” or “Lakers in 7”. Some thought that the Pistons might be able to steal game 1 and then like against Philly the Lakers would decide that it was time to play for real.

As a Pistons fan, I just wanted them to win 2 games. I didn’t even give them a chance to win the series, but as long as they put up a fight I figured that was a successful season.

So they win Game 1, and the media treats it just like the Philly finals. Fine. Then they outplay LA for 47:30 and one bad possession + miracle shot by Kobe sends the game to OT where LA wins, and the media jumps into “Here they go, the giant is awake” mode.

The Pistons win Game 3 big, and it’s “Shaq doesn’t play well on only 1 day off” and “No team has ever won all 3 games at home in the middle and Detroit will have a hard time winning if they go back to LA”. Never mind that Detroit has totally p0Wn3d LA for all but 5.5 minutes (the last 30 seconds of Game 2 and OT) of 3 full games.

The Pistons win Game 4 handily, and now the coverage is split about 50/50. Half “No team has won all 3 at home in the middle” and half “No team has ever been down 3-1 and come back to win.”

The Pistons have gone almost completely away from the “Hack-a-Shaq” mentality that other teams have used to try and stop him. Instead, they’ve said “We can’t stop him. Let’s hope we can slow him down some.” With a couple of exceptions (notably Ben Wallace late in Game 2), they’ve not fouled Shaw when he’s close to or under the basket. They foul his tougher shots or when they know they can keep him from scoring and a possible 3-point play (doesn’t always work, but hey).

Instead, they decided that they’ll smother Kobe and play typical Piston D on the other 3 and go from there.

It helps that Malone is hurt, because he managed to “wily veteran” his way into getting Rasheed into foul trouble (notice Game 4, with little to no Malone that Rasheed went off?) when he did play. Sadly for him he was almost worthless otherwise.

Payton just looks old.

What was originally a pretty nice story with Malone and PAyton taking big pay cuts for what might be the last shot at a ring has turned sour. Their selfishness and stubbornness has gone a long way to costing them that very ring. Malone refusing to sit when obviously injured and ineffective (other than getting Rasheed in foul trouble), and Payton doing his “This offense doesn’t let me do my thing” crybaby act turn the game into 5 on 3. It’s a testament to how dominant Shaq is that even in that situation he has kept games close.

Kobe is fun to watch as he knifes the team in the back for his own glory. Last night, the Lakers were up 5 in the 2nd and the formula of “Shaq, Shaq, and hey, ley’s try some Shaq” was working and working well. Sadly, it meant Kobe wasn’t getting his points so he started forcing bad shots early in the clock. Next thing you know, the Pistons get a couple of fast breaks and it’s Pistons up. Thank you, please drive through.

The cherry on top of it all might just be Phil Jackson. His crying about the officiating after game 3 was classic. The team had taken 27 3-point tries in 3 games. How often do you get fouled on 3 point tries? They were more or less letting Shaq go, so you don’t see the normal pile of fouls committed on Shaq. The Pistons get so many free throws for two reasons: Their two main guys do a lot of driving to the hoop, and there are a bunch of mismatches where the Laker defender has to foul or give up easy buckets. Payton can’t keep up with Billups, Walton can’t handle Williamson, nobody but Kobe can keep up with Rip, and so on.

I give credit to the officials for not falling for it. Nor the tantrum techincal Phil got early in game 4 (something LArry Brown used and got results from in the NJ series).

I don’t know if the Pistons will win game 5. They’ve had a tendency all playoffs to slack off when they feel comfortable (game 2 in Milwaukee, Game 3/4 in NJ, Game 4 w/ Indy). But I don’t think they’ll have a problem winning in LA if they need to. Not only did they do it before, but they should have won the title last night but for the last bit of game 2.

Actually it was 88-80.

It looked to me like the Pistons were letting Shaq get his points but were doubling up on Kobe. That’s a shrewd strategy if that’s indeed what they were doing. The Lakers really don’t have anyone to pick up the scoring slack if Kobe is muffled. You can’t really stop Shaq so instead give Kobe fits. Smart basketball.

I agree though I don’t think folks weren’t really doing the “Shaq doesn’t do well on one night’s rest” excuse after Game Three.

Really, it was impossible to really know what to expect after Game Two - they didn’t just fold in the last 30 seconds, but the entire OT as well.

But LA didn’t use that to buid, they came out the same smugness, Detroit was determined to redouble its efforts and boom, 20-point victory. LA seems to understand by Game Four, but Rasheed finally breaks out and LA falters yet again. I think that if this was another western team - Sacremento (maybe), San Antonio or even Dallas, that they’d be able to beat Detroit. But LA is LA, and this year was way too much, even for them.

I hope Detroit wins Game Five, because the fans deserve a home celebration, LA deserves to lose on the road when they don’t deserve to win, and because I don’t want to see Jack Nicholson’s fucked up face on the sideline again for a long time. I’m sick of it. Shut the fuck up Jack.

It’s great stuff. Watching LA whine, complain, but bitch about calls and penalties is truly funny - as if they suddenly decide, “We’re the Lakers, we don’t deserve that!” Shut the fuck up Phil.

— Alan


Actually it was 88-80.[/quote]

Game 3. Game 3. Not game 4.

Divide and conquer.

I think that San Antonio had the best chance. You certainly wouldn’t have seen Billups dominate Parker like he has Payton. Sacremento would have big matchup problems and Webber was still not 100% on his knee. Dallas doesn’t play any D and their soft (plus Nelson is a bad coach). Minnesota maybe, it depends on if Cassell had been able to play and Wally World.

Dallas doesn’t play a lot of defense, but Detroit didn’t seem to do so either when they played this year (1-1). That being said, Dallas wasn’t “soft” at all.

— Alan

Dallas has my favorite player in the NBA: Antoine Walker. Goddammit I miss him (and so does Paul Pierce’s game). The only toughness Dallas had this year came from this guy, IMAO (in my arrogant opinion).

Yeah, that was a pretty sweet game. I could care less about the Pistons, I’m a Blazer fan. But, God, I love watching the Lakers lose.

The only toughness came from Walker? Come on - the guy is a big giant wuss. He makes bad decisions, takes way too many shots, is a ball hog, and doesn’t mix well. Dallas wants to move him, though no one else may want him - that being said, they left him unprotected for the expansion draft.

It may be that my dislike for Walker stems from the fact that Dallas doesn’t need him at all, but I don’t think he improved the team one whit when he came here.

— Alan