Friday, May 11, 2007
The Detroit Pistons are playing like a team on a mission. ESPN’s new morning show reported that they were unhappy about not being included among the league’s elite, and my question is, when did this team stop being one of the NBA’s elites? This is a team that has made the Eastern Conference finals (the NBA’s final four) the last four years in a row. Furthermore, five out of the past six years, Detroit has won the Central Division (the year they missed was 2004, when they won the title) The Spurs might have more championships, but other than them, Detroit is the closest thing to a dynasty the NBA has had in the past five years. Unlike last year’s playoffs, when they made it as far as they did purely on the weakness of the rest of the East, Detroit this year is playing like a champion. The Bulls were hot at the regular season’s end and in the first round, this is a good Chicago team. Apparently they are not good enough. Detroit is defending out of its mind, the Bulls guards are completely unable to figure out Detroit’s vice like zone. On offense, the Pistons starting line up, featuring five legitimate offensive threats, is coming together at just the right time, especially Tayshaun Prince, the best 3 (who plays like a 3) in this round (taking over for Deng last round). Most importantly is the focus Detroit is bringing every single night. According to reports, the Pistons’ players and opponents are citing a new level of intensity as the reason behind the Pistons’ improved play. No kidding. Entering the playoffs I wondered aloud about the Pistons’ ability to turn it on. As the regular season came to a close, they were not playing a high quality of basketball. The Bulls were by far playing like the better team. Seems as though the Pistons have gotten their game together at just the right time. They could win a championship at this clip.