Thursday, June 01, 2006

Here we go again

I don't think the Pistons will win the East finals after falling behind 3-1.
By saying that, I am probably assuring myself that the Pistons will rally in seven and advance to the NBA Finals for a third straight year.
For the third straight time this postseason, the Pistons stared elimination in the face and came out a winner, prolonging their season by at least one more game with a 91-78 win over Miami Wednesday night.
Logic would seem to tell you that the odds of the Pistons winning three straight against the playoff-toughened Heat would be far less than winning two in a row against the green Cavaliers. But Detroit is uncanny when it comes to these kinds of situations. It's almost as if they need the challenge of facing elimination to get truly motivated. John Elway was the same way in many respects.
Wednesday, after messing around in three of the first four games, playing sloppy offense and halfhearted defense, the Pistons stiffened in Game 5, much like they did in Games 6 and 7 against Cleveland. The relentless defense returned, and Miami was held under 80 points.
It will be interesting to see what transpires in Game 6. Much like against the Cavs, I think if the Pistons manage to wriggle out of Miami with a win, they will take the series.
Of course, the Heat could make this all a moot point by simply winning Game 6 and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time ever. While the Pistons seem to be masters of rallying from behind, it's tough to overlook the fact that since Game 3 against Cleveland, they are 4-6. Long stretches of sub-.500 playoff basketball will result in elimination eventually.
Detroit has been doing just enough to get by the past several weeks. In the end, that's what a team has to do. But if the Pistons keep losing three games per playoff series, sooner or later, that fourth loss will get them.

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