sports quick hits

1) interesting column by phil taylor on cnnsi.com about why the pistons are falling apart. maybe taylor is just the first person to jump on an inevitable journalistic dogpile if the pistons lose (i should really amend that to "when" the pistons lose) to miami. everyone is going to have a field day with this, so expect to see more of these columns in the near future. what i do like is taylor calling out the pistons for being a bunch of crybabies who have whined openly in the media to the detriment of the team. remember everyone, this was the team that everyone said revived team basketball. he's so right when he says that none of these guys were complaining during the regular season when they were winning. what i don't like is his idea that the pistons are losing for any other reason than talent. dwayne wade is individually better than any piston. and with the way shaq has been playing, you might make the same argument. if the pistons lose, it's because they got their asses handed to them, not because of internal strife. please note the similarity of my argument with the argument i made when the lakers lost to these same pistons. it wasn't the internal bickering between shaq and kobe, it was that detroit had better players. i'm just happy that i get to use this argument against a team that i don't like. anyways, i'm sure that erik will have something stupid to say in defense of his heroes, but i think phil taylor put it best when he writes,
The way they're acting, they might as well be the Knicks.

2) this happened a few days ago, but ricky williams is playing with a canadian team next year. well, former CFL player joe theismann had some hot sports opinions on a talk radio show the other day:
I don't ever want to be mentioned in the same breath as Ricky Williams as a football player. He's a disgrace to the game. The man doesn't deserve to play football. He should go on with his life and treat his drug addictions or go do whatever he wants to do. He's been suspended from the National Football League on multiple occasions. Doesn't anybody have any class anywhere? For gosh sakes, let the kid go do what he wants to do. He doesn't want to play football.
what a completely assinine quote. is ricky williams a saint who just happens to like reefer? of course not, sure ricky isn't the best role model, but to say that he shouldn't be allowed to ever play reeks of suck blow-hardedness. not that any of us think that theismann wasn't a blowhard to begin with, but seriously, ricky is just trying to make his child support payments. eff joe thiesmann.


ian said...

This is just horse-race column writing, and most of these guys have to write something each day, or they'll get fired.

Suddenly the series is 3-2, the same place is was last year, only this time game 6 is in Miami and game 7 is in Detroit.

If Detroit wins game 6 (a BIG "if") then we're going to watch Tony Reali on "Around the Horn" asking Jay Marioti if the Heat are about to pull the biggest choke job since ... the 2005 Miami Heat.

The press coverage:

1. Miami wins game 1 - "Detroit lost home court advantage. They're dead."
2. Detroit wins game 2 - "Detroit let Miami make it close down the stretch. They have no killer instinct. They're dead."
3. Miami wins game 3 - "Detroit needed to win this one to recover home court. They didn't. They're fighting amongst themselves. They're dead."
4.Miami wins game 4 - "Detroit can't handle D-Wade or Shaq. Stick a fork in them. They're dead."
5. Detroit wins game 5 - "Detroit was lucky to pull it out at home. Miami will clobber then at home. They're dead."

They're going to say this despite the fact that Miami - one of the oldest teams in the league - looked worn down in the last game, and also despite the fact that the Pistons scored the last 11 points, closing strong just like the experts wanted them to in game 2.

If Wade doesn't score 40+ in game 6 the Heat are toast, because the rest of his team is wearing down. In order for Miami to win, he NEEDS to be better than any Piston. That can be the danger of reliance on one or two guys.

And that reminds me:

Last series people talked about "The Jordan Rules." They talked about how the Bad Boy Pistons would surround Jordan with three guys and how they were doing the same thing to Lebron.

That was true.

But "The Jordan Rules" meant primarily that they would POUND the crap out of Jordan with the ball or off the ball throughout the series whether on offense or defense. Over the course of a series, he would break down and the Pistons would win. This worked until 91 when Jordan played a Piston team that had Dennis Rodman and Mark Aguirre as the only healthy players. The Bulls still would have won, but probably in 6 or 7.

These Pistons have been pounding Wade in the same manner for the last two games. His production dropped markedly in game 5. Just an observation.

Jordan had the 89 Pistons down 2-1 before they won three straight to close it out. I'm just saying. Now, Jordan didn't have Shaq, and this series is 3-1, but the principle is the same, and Shaq's been wearing down, too.

Now, watch the Pistons get slaughtered on Friday.

ian said...

By the way, did you see Ben Wallace dropping Shaq on the blocked shot? That was like The Thing laying out The Hulk. Yes, I am a huge comic nerd.

Big Ear Creations said...

Yeah... and plus now I get to watch him... 3 downs rock!

Erik said...

Eff Phil Taylor and eff you, Bob, for slobbering all over his nuts.

Phil Taylor compares the 2006 Pistons to the 2006 Knicks?! This is inflammatory, and just as Ian says, clearly this guy is coming up with complete BS just to fill his column quota. There has been all sorts of ridiculous hyperbole after each game of this series, just as Ian points out. Worthless sports journalism, that's what that is.

The real story here is:

1) How the Heat have been playing well better than expected

2) How the Pistons have not made important adjustments on defense and have some public bickering for the first time,

and most importantly

3) The NBA hates any team without a marketable "the next Jordan" superstar to promote.

Look at the promotion jobs done on television and in the print media all the time about Wade and Shaq and LeBron and even Nash or Dirk. They're the ones who get all the attention. How many feature stories have we seen about Tayshaun or Chauncey? Next to none. The NBA hates the team concept, and they love to promote big stars in big media markets - a la Wade.

As a result, the Heat take 47 free throws in Game 4. 47. Pistons took half as many. If I, Erik Love, were playing the Heat by myself, 5 on 1, and I got 47 free throws, I think I'd win the game.

Yes, the Pistons should have played better in games 1-4. Yes, the Heat are playing remarkably well and they have a better coach. But that does not make the 2006 Pistons into the 2004 Lakers or the Knicks.

And the Pistons still have more talent than the Heat, Bob, so you'll have no problem explaining how the Pistons win in 7.

Erik said...

Oh, by the way, here's how you do sports journalism.

"Keep this stat in mind: Since 2003, the Pistons have won four different series when facing a 3-2 deficit, including their most recent one in the conference semifinals against Cleveland."

ian said...

Most "experts" predicted this thing would go 7 anyway when it started.

"You have an all out prize fight, you wait until the fight is over - one guy is left standing, and that's how you know who won."
-Al Capone

Unfortunately, these guys can't wait that long before they have to come up with something to write.

Bob said...

a couple of things fellas,

1) wallace fouled shaq. close call, but upon further review, this was a call that went the piston's way. not that it really affected the outcome. and not that i disagree with the no-call, cause players like that should get calls. but really, there was enough contact where something should have been called.

2) i tend to agree with ian in that it's a horse race column and that sports writers rely too much on cliches for most of their stuff. however, just because it's cliche doesn't mean it's not true. detroit won on their home floor, but let's see how they respond in game 6 before we defend them anymore.

2) i've noticed that none of you have addressed the comments of the players, which is completely sorry. in fact, what they are doing is no different than what larry brown did during the playoffs last year when he was talking to other teams.

4) conspiracy theories are tired and until you show me some concrete proof, then i'm not going to respond to any of this.

5) sure sports columnists are full of crap, but you can't begrudge them writing about a series during the series. what are they supposed to do? just keep saying, "well, sure very very very few teams have ever come back from 3-1, but we better not do any analysis of what we've seen now and make any predictions, after all, anything can happen!" sure it's scheduling the parade after every win and dismantling the team after every loss in a seven game series, but that's what makes it fun. mavs rule! and pistons drool!

Ian said...


1) Shaq fouls people when he BREATHES. Surely he can take it. Foul or no foul, it was fun to watch him get dropped by someone he has about 100 lbs on.

2) Considering what Phoenix did to the Lakers in this very playoff season, I would be a little hesitant to make any bold predictions if I were these writers. Three weeks ago we were all hearing how Kobe was the real MVP vs Nash and how badly the Suns need Amare.

3) Everyone makes comments like that when they're losing, and the media will always be there to amplify every one of them.

4) I won't comment on the conspiracy theories. I don't buy them. I just happen to think stamina is an important factor in these playoffs, and that the Heat are starting to show signs of wear as the series heads into the late games. We'll see how they hold up tonight. I read an article that Wade is experiencing flu-like symptoms. Maybe so. Or maybe the dozen or so spills he's taken in the last three games are beginning to take their toll.

5) I've still got Mavs-Pistons in the finals, despite the deficit. If we get this matchup, I expect a frustrating 1980's Pistons/Celtics-like matchup for Bob. You know, the one where the Pistons would win every game at the Silverdome by 15+, and lose every game at the Garden by 2-4. Just replace Pistons with Mavs and Celtics with Pistons and you'll have my prediction. Detroit wins its four home games by a combined total of 15 points. Dallas wins each of its three home games by 15 points or more and STILL loses the series.

IAN said...

Well. There we go. I don't know what was the matter with them, but it happens that way some times.

Anyway, congratulations to your Dallas Mavericks, and I hope they win it all.

But Bob, I have a question for you...

Tell me with a straight face that this years Mavs would beat the Aguirre, Blackman, Harper, Perkins, Tarpley, Schrempf, Donaldson Mavs in a 7-game series. Personally, I think they'd get swept.

Bob said...

it's a tough call, the x-factor being tarpley. but i think you're underrating a seven foot plyaer that can handle the ball, shoot, and play the post. i think it'd go seven games. and i think that no one, not now and and not back then has an answer for dirk.