Goodnite Detroit, goodnite!

LeBron James did the best Pookie Hudson impersonation I’ve seen since last year when Dwyane Wade did the same thing against the Mavericks for four consecutive games. The national sports media suffered a serious case of amnesia last night and this morning in asserting that the King James Version of playoff basketball was the best “witnessed” in years. I guess it’s all about tomorrow’s newspaper and the next ad spot. Oh, how soon they forget. To hell with reality. James was marvelous, but I’ve been down this road before – and recently.

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D.Wade: Remember me? Yep…beat the Pistons, won a ring. Yeah 2006, remember!!!

The Pistons can still win this series. If they lose, though, it will be because their big men are making life hard on Chauncey Billups. “Mr. Big Shot,” as Billups is known for his clutch performances, is being guarded by one of the better defensive big guards in the league in Larry Hughes. In addition, the Cavaliers recognize his centrality to the offensive machine of the Pistons. Billups is not getting help from his supremely big men who simply refuse to dominate the paint. It’s been almost 15 years since Rasheed and Webber had great nights with regularity on the box. That’s right – I’m taking it all the way back to Simon Gratz and Country Day. Chauncey could beg and plead, but it won’t work. Those guys are perimeter players who don’t have any interest in hanging out down low. The Pistons best chance of winning may come down to Tayshaun Prince realizing that there is nothing wrong with him taking over a series or two. I suppose if he came to that realization, the Pistons could even beat the Spurs. As it stands, I suspect that Cavs coach Mike Brown will be listening to a very special version of old Pookie’s doo-wop classic. Goodnite Detroit, goodnite.

Enjoy:

Still, I’ve gotta give props to the young gun. He has arrived. He understands what Tracy McGrady did not/does not. Eventually, he’ll get to wear a crown. I suspect it will be in the post-Duncan era. (Your era can, and usually does end, before you retire.) In the same way that Michael Jordan’s ascent (1991) marked the end of the championship era for Magic Johnson’s Lakers and the Pistons; LeBron’s eventual rise will probably mark the end of Duncan’s title-taking years. It was a young Duncan, teamed with The Admiral who put the seal on guards and forwards leading teams to rings. Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal have won 7 of the past 8 championships. The Big Fundamental is my odds-on-favorite to win again this year. The Cavaliers are still a year or two away – to say nothing of what may happen with this incarnation of the Pistons and the Miami Heat. It’s time for a shift. Wade took the spotlight off centers last year – and new rules have paved the way for explosive players like James to take over. It’s about to be on.

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4 comments

  1. I couldn’t believe the end of that game. I just kept on saying, Somebody please hit him! The number of uncontested dunks he got driving the lane down the stretch was ridiculous. I know he’s a great passer, but anything is better than giving him free lanes like that. The Pistons went into complete wimp mode; not just matador, but like running in the opposite direction; James had them utterly intimidated. And I admit, he’s a big strong fella moving awfully fast. But still…not one of yous can step in and make some contact?!

    I agree: LeBron has arrived. You could see that he knew it too, after the game, the emotions poured out. Even though I prefer the Pistons, I’m happy for the kid. He’s got what it takes. It really was a Jordanesque performance.

    I don’t know if the series is over, but it certainly just got very interesting…the Pistons need to do some soul-searching. In my opinion, it remains largely in the hands of Detroit’s bigs; do they want to bang bodies and play ball, or not?

  2. The Pistons bigs have never wanted to bang bodies. Ben Wallace wanted to do that because that’s how he made his name. Rasheed is still tough, tough, tough on D when he wants to be, but he gives the opposition a break by not imposing his will on the offensive end. Greg Anthony said the same thing about intimidation. That’s interesting because the only folks I’ve known to be intimidated by Webber, Sheed, Dale Davis and McDyess don’t play in the NBA. So, LeBron may be on to something.
    I highlighted D-Wade because he illustrated the folly of fouling truly great players. Last year in the playoffs, he was routinely fouled hard and often – but he made his free throws. When a guy makes 16 of 21 free throws, it really doesn’t make sense to foul him. In one game, I believe he made 17 or 18 in a row. At that point, all you can do is try to deny him the ball or trap…and LeBron STILL has NOT had to win a game by making 15 or 18 free throws.
    About the only guy to avoid that challenge successfully was Shaq – but every other great player has had to do that at some point. And the guys who can convert 80%+ are the guys with the rings. Jordan, Bird, Kobe, Wade, etc.
    Dirk didn’t get his because he settled for J’s – and guys who settle get to go fishing early.
    I don’t think the series is over either, but the Pistons can’t really expect to get these guys the exact same way they got ‘em last year.

  3. Hmnm interesting. Isn’t it funny that the regular season was so long ago?

    The Pistons did look punked. It feels like church happen’ the way Bron Bron is being coronated. Kobe Bryant would have had sixty five at least the way Detroit let 23 stroll down the lane saying the gentleman thank you.

    It’s money time. If this team truly wants to win a championship, they have to dig down deep and represent. Kai it is ridiculous. LeBron is imposing his will on basketball future. I wish Kobe and LeBron had polished teams so we could deservedly see some epic battles sick with straight up, no chaser pride and Michael and Magic inspired passion passion.

    LeBron has got to do the damn thing to put his name in 24 your lights.

    The hype is fame bright, but crusted legacy symbolic rings age twice as nice.

  4. It’s a wrap. The Bigs played small and the Pistons got what they deserved. Fishing rods and a place next to Kenny “The Jet” Smith on the pier. It’s Summer Time – hush little Piston, don’t you cry.

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