As I’ve said twice now already in this space, I’m really, really looking forward to this series. I picked Detroit in seven before the playoffs began and I’m sticking with that, though a lot of evidence points in the opposite direction. What’s going to be great about this series is that it showcases two great defensive teams with very different styles. Chicago’s defense is designed to lead to fast break opportunities. The Bulls pack the defense inside, forcing the opposing team to take outside shots, and then the quick Bulls guards grab the rebound and run with it. Detroit is quite the opposite. When they play man, they practically dare opposing guards to try to take them off the dribble or make an entry pass. Their perimeter defense is so tight its hard for either of those to happen, but its really the only way to beat them because it is so tough to get open looks from outside. While the Bulls like to push the tempo off missed shots, the Pistons like to set up their deadly, patient offence. As I pick a winner, I’m throwing all the stats out the window for this one. The fact of the matter is, this is a professional Detroit team, able to turn it on at the right time, which they have done. Before the playoffs began I questioned their ability to do just that, I worried that they might be coasting, but their domination of the Magic has shown me that my worries had no foundation. Like I said in my initial prediction, this series can go either way. I pick Detroit for their depth, and because Chicago, as a perimeter oriented team, fits right into their hands. But man will this be a good one.
Detroit in 7