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Pistons vs. Lakers

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My point is that Indy is a better defensive team than the Lakers. I still dont' think that we're gonna start putting up 100 ppg but we'll score more than we did against Indy. At the same time, our defense won't hold LA under 70 but we'll still play good defense. As I said before, when we win it'll be in the 85-80 range and when we lose it will be the 90-70 range. When we aren't scoring because we're not hitting our shots(like the first half the other night) we're gonna lose pretty good. When we are hitting our shots(like the second half the other night) we're gonna be in good shape. Those games are 50% for us, it'll just be important that we win the games where we're playing that way and hope we take one from them in LA.

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What I think many people tend to forget is the nature of the games with NJ & Indiana as contributors to the Pistons' low point totals.

Against NJ, we wanted a slow game because NJ is the best running team in the NBA.

Against Indiana, we not only played against a slow-it-down halfcourt team, but a team that plays many of the same offensive sets and philosophies that we did. After all, there was a bit of familiarity (Carlisle) -- and that will produce lower scores, not higher scores. If you know what's coming, it is easier to defend.

Basically, IMO, the ugliness of the Indiana series was a result of the familiarity between the teams.

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One thing that I don't think has been mentioned that I would like to see us do is press more and force a faster tempo. We're going to need every break and little advantage we can get and by forcing a faster tempo we would be using our speed advantage and also making those old, tired legs over there get out and run. Usually teams that can run a little have some success against the Lakers because Shaq can't play too effectively at that tempo. I'm not saying let's go out there and run wild, but we certainly have to take advantage of our speed and get as many easy buckets as possible.

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UGH!

I have a two very busy days at the wrong time of the year. I'll sneak in here and make some comments later.

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Originally posted by B.Higginson

One thing that I don't think has been mentioned that I would like to see us do is press more and force a faster tempo. We're going to need every break and little advantage we can get and by forcing a faster tempo we would be using our speed advantage and also making those old, tired legs over there get out and run. Usually teams that can run a little have some success against the Lakers because Shaq can't play too effectively at that tempo. I'm not saying let's go out there and run wild, but we certainly have to take advantage of our speed and get as many easy buckets as possible.

I like the idea of pressing. I expect LB to use Hunter ALOT. BHig, I'd have no problem running wild if it meant we won.

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Originally posted by B.Higginson

One thing that I don't think has been mentioned that I would like to see us do is press more and force a faster tempo. We're going to need every break and little advantage we can get and by forcing a faster tempo we would be using our speed advantage and also making those old, tired legs over there get out and run. Usually teams that can run a little have some success against the Lakers because Shaq can't play too effectively at that tempo. I'm not saying let's go out there and run wild, but we certainly have to take advantage of our speed and get as many easy buckets as possible.

Good idea except for one thing. The Pistons are an awful fast break team. They dont know how to run it. They dont get the ball to the middle of the floor, they dont fill the wings, and they more often then not turn it over. Rip and Chauncy both dont know when to attack the basket or pull it out. Many times you will see them go 1 on 2 or 1 on 3 and put up some crazy shot or turn it over.

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..In regards to pressure, from my comments above (I know they were long, so you might not have gotten to this part, but it bears repeating).

Pressure

I hope that Larry looks at the game we won against LA and realizes that pressure won that game for us. In order to be successful against LA you HAVE to press them full court. We have the depth and youth that they don't have to make this work. It prevents them from having enough time to set up Phil's precious triangle offense and work the ball inside to Shaq. Plus it forces them to play their staters more to limit their mistakes, but also helps to tire their aging starters while our bench is putting the pressure on. I really think this is the number one key to victory.

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Originally posted by Deleterious

If you agree that a team that holds its opponent to 85 ppg is good (I do too) then you have to think a team that averages 86 ppg on offense is not a very good offensive team. And that is what we averaged this season.

So yes, Indiana did give us some problems, but lets face it, we are not a very good offensive team.

Detroit averaged 90 PPG for the entire season not 86.

They averaged 91.2 with Rasheed. The Lakers averaged 98 but gave up 94 for a net plus 4. The pistons averaged 90 and gave up 84 for a net plus 6.

Detroit was 20-5 with Rasheed losing the 1st game 87-86 to Orlando ....another loss was 82-81...

OF THOSE 20 WINS ALL WERE BY 8 POINTS OR MORE....14 OF THE WINS WERE BY 15 POINTS OR MORE.

The Lakers by all means have no cakewalk here.

more stats...in the playoffs Detroit is averaging 86 and giving up 80. The Lakers are averaging 90 and giving up 86. The playoffs is defense. By the way the Lakers have scored 100 points twice in 17 playoff games this year.

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I think we are underestimating the Lakers bench. Well, the guards off the bench anyway. Kareem Rush can drain shots if he gets warmed up, and he showed that in the last series. Derek Fisher will also be able to put in some quality minutes at guard. They are, however, really weak off the bench down low with really only Slava Medvedenko available...get Shaq and Malone in foul trouble? The Wallace's will obviously be the key in the series. I think we need to guard Shaq with some Sheed and give Sheed the ball and try to get some contact.

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Originally posted by LansingLugnut

Detroit averaged 90 PPG for the entire season not 86.

They averaged 91.2 with Rasheed. The Lakers averaged 98 but gave up 94 for a net plus 4. The pistons averaged 90 and gave up 84 for a net plus 6.

Detroit was 20-5 with Rasheed losing the 1st game 87-86 to Orlando ....another loss was 82-81...

OF THOSE 20 WINS ALL WERE BY 8 POINTS OR MORE....14 OF THE WINS WERE BY 15 POINTS OR MORE.

The Lakers by all means have no cakewalk here.

more stats...in the playoffs Detroit is averaging 86 and giving up 80. The Lakers are averaging 90 and giving up 86. The playoffs is defense. By the way the Lakers have scored 100 points twice in 17 playoff games this year.

Impressive stats. And all those still equal Lakers in 5, 6 if the Pistons get lucky.

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My meaningless thoughts?

1. Most people (especially nationally) don't understand that the Pistons will score more on LA than they've been scoring on extremely good defensive teams. For two series every time someone drives to the lane the ball gets knocked away. I think the Pistons will have more easy buckets.

2. The Pistons cannot go 5-6 minutes without scoring and expect to beat LA.

3. One way to think the Pistons have a shot is this: Take one game in LA and come home 1-1. Then, win 2 of the 3 home games. If you lose 2 of 3 you're dead. So if you pull that off, you get two cracks at the title in LA.

4. What annoys me is the Pistons will have to go 7 or win to get much credit. Nationaly everyone is already saying "The Lakers will get bored" and other stupid things, saying the Pistons will win two and not even by earning them. The assumption for some reason is that the Lakers will be just bad enough to win it at home in game 6. So don't expect much credit even if they beat them a few times.

5. People keep saying "The only places LA has the advantage is with Kobe and Shaq". Yeah but I'm thinking when it's two mega-stars it outweighs the other three matchups pretty easily.

6. My prediction (which too is meaningless): Pistons win games 3 and 5, losing the series in six.

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I've watched the Lakers through the playoffs and can't say that I am overly impressed. But the thing is, they seem to find the gear they need to play in to beat whomever they are playing, so it's hard to know what they will bring against the Pistons.

On the defensive end the Pistons need to be able to keep Kobe and Shaq each at the 20 point range without disrupting their entire defensive scheme to accomplish it. Giving up 40 points to the superstars means the Lakers are going to have to find 40+ elsewhere and that's where the Pistons defense can play havoc.

The Pistons must try to make fatigue a factor. They have the deeper bench, the grinding defense and the quicker more athletic team. They must make ball movement tough for the Lakers through traps, taking time off the shot clock and clogging up the passing lanes. And go big. I don't think the Lakers have the answer for that at SF, it will help keep the Wallaces out of foul trouble and it will help on the offensive end if Okur can pull Shaq out of the paint.

On offense, Billups must find his game and Rasheed must bring some consistency. After a whole season of being frustrated by a lack of post play this may be the series that it's best they don't have it. The Pistons will be better off creating slashing opportunities and using their quickness to try to draw fouls on Shaq. Back to Billups, it seems he thinks its assists or scoring, I think he needs to bring both to this series.

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This series is really simple to figure out. If your read only one point it's the obvious point #1 that will dictate this series. Point #2 is moot if Chauncey isn't allowed to be "last year's Chauncey" so probably shouldn't be listed. Point #3 is just a point - not a key scouting remark. Point #4 and #5 are probably then the next two keys for me.

1. If Colby (Cheese) and Shaquilla come with their A games, focused and willing to play team ball with each other then we are in serious trouble - no matter who we rotate on Shaq or Kobe (Hamilton or Prince). The past proves. Superstars win titles and if LA's two superstars are on the right page, watch out.

- Personally I want Prince on Kobe. And there's part of me that would like to see Campbell start at least the first four minutes so that we can have him maybe bang away on Shaq a bit. He has experience against Shaq obviously. The only problem is this can't happen with what I talked about in the actual point. If Prince guards Kobe then he has to start. And you would be an idiot to take either Wallace out of the starting five. So really this whole dashed point I'm making here is pretty meaningless. So I like to babble about stupid things.:classic:

- Someone said early on put Darko if for six fouls. I think we all know that can't and better not happen. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

2. Billups - Again this is probably a moot point because I don't see Brown changing his philosphy. But IF he does, Billups could really be a key producer for us. If he is allowed to play his game, drive, post and take an occasional jumper (his decision making there I agree with Brown is very questionable) then we have a better shot I honestly believe. We can't have a mentally confused Chauncey if we want to win this series.

3. Scoring - These games for the most part aren't going to be 74-70 or 104-98. They are going to be in between the two. All this talk about what we have to score or the Lakers are going to score is pretty dumb to me.

4. Benches - Our bench has more potential and is probably better. But here's the key - we are going to demand more of our bench. LA's isn't as strong in my opinion, but they don't need their bench to produce as much as ours. If you put this matchup of the benches into a context of what they need to do to win this series for their teams then I think from a demand standpoint it's pretty much a wash. Our talent I think is pretty solid. But the question is can they play up to the level we really need them to to win this series? And that level is going to be pretty darned high. I think it's a tall order. LA's bench - not much will be demanded of them and consequently anything they provide will look outstanding on the statsheet. Just think if our bench had that luxury. But it doesn't we need Campbell and Okur to have huge defensive series and need some big minutes from Williamson. Do I even dare say we are going to need some big minutes from Ham? I think we do. And then our bulldogs (I don't like that forced nickname actually). We need the to produce as well when they go out there.

- I guess a better way to explain this last comment is we need to have our bench make a huge impact with any minutes it gets. That's a tall order. LA's bench needs to play adequately and just hold down minor complimentary roles. Being asked to do that is 10X easier and will make them look more effective than they probably are. What a luxury.

- Truth's point about fatigue is a great one - and one I've thought about all week. I wonder if we play this series more or less with a regular-season rotation. Rotate guys to keep our starters fresh and so we can have fresh people in at all times? If we do will we derive benefits against LA incorporating? Hard to say - long time outs, breaks between games. I don't know. But I think it really is worth a shot. If we play basically seven guys 8 or more minutes or more I don't think we win this series.

5. Pressure defense - We need it. We need to do whatever we can to get this team out of its halfcourt offense for any amount of time we can. If they establish their offense and have 20 seconds to work for a shot, we are in trouble - even with our defense. Cut it down to 16 and suddenly we can make it a series. This is where the depth at guard will be huge. And the fact that our backup guards are pretty darned good at this pressure game.

6. Hey they don't have rings either. Payton and Malone. I keep hearing about their experience. Last time I checked they haven't won a ring yet either. NBA finals experience - yup and that's key, but you don't think it's possible they could be pressing this series thinking this is their last chance. That finals experience would mean a little more to me if they won before. Right now they haven't and still don't have a ring. It would be easy for either - especially since they were team studs in the past - to play outside the roles the Lakers need them to play. I'm not saying this is a huge factor. But it's something to look for.

7. We have nothing to lose. If the Pistons come out tight then that's their fault. I couldn't think of a better atmosphere for going into an NBA Finals. There is no way you are the favorites. Going against for NBA All-Stars, at their place four games and you are a clear underdog. If you could make an NBA Finals and have no pressure mentally on you this is it. Go out, have fun play as darned hard as you can and see what happens.

Do I think we are the favorites - of course not. But I think we have a shot. I think any team that has won more than 50 games can win four of seven against anyone. It's ridiculous not to think they can. And I can honestly see the Pistons stealing game #1 or #2. Problem is we are not going to win all three at the Palace. I honestly feel this is going back to LA for game #6 and possibly with us up 3-2. If this happens we darned well better win Game #6. I don't see us winning a game #7 in LA.

Realistic - We win two of three at home and none on the road. Pistons lose in 6.

Optimistic realistic - Pistons lose in seven after winning one of the first two and two of three at home. Lakers focus and win last two.

If I put %s on it I think the Lakers win this series 9 of 10 times. The Pistons win it 1 of 10 times. It's up to us to make it that one time.

Let's end the pessmistic cap now and be Pistons fans!

NOW LET'S GO DO IT!

GOING TO WORK!

AND YOUR 2003-04 World Champions! THE DETROIT PISTONS!!!

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Sorry I haven't been around. I've had some horrendously busy last three days.

I haven't even read one article about the series (not too unusual actually).

I have to admit I've put on talk radio a few times to hear what people have said about the series and not much really has come out of that though. Just talk about how we can't win this series. And during the Handyman show I don't recall him bringing up the Pistons even once. Just stuff about cauking, and the imporance of Tang instant breakfast drink as a household appliance or cleaner.:classic:

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The Lakers have Shaq and Kobe who may be the leagues best 2 players like Jordan and Pippen.

But Malone is the 3rd best scorer. He is over the hill averaging 13 PPG...after him there isnt anything else.

When the Pistons were going good they started with Prince, Billups, Hamilton, and Wallace X2. Those starters would shoot over 50% during their 1st quarter run nearly every game. They would play about 8-10 minutes and leave with a 20-14 lead or so and in would come the bench.

Mike James, Hunter, Okur, Williamson would usually come in and actually outscore the other team by more then bring back the starters with about 6 left in the half as they were rested and would move up the halftime lead. We need to see some 50% shooting again the Lakers are no Pacers on defense. we shall see tonight.

I predict the Lakers will win 96 to 86 tonight.

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One more thing I didn't throw in there because I think the point is moot.

We all know Okur is an outstanding three-point shooter. When he's out there it would be great to see him try to draw Shaq out of the lane with his perimeter shooting. And if he doesn't - burn him. However, I don't think we'll see that happen anytime soon.

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Originally posted by DTroppens

One more thing I didn't throw in there because I think the point is moot.

We all know Okur is an outstanding three-point shooter. When he's out there it would be great to see him try to draw Shaq out of the lane with his perimeter shooting. And if he doesn't - burn him. However, I don't think we'll see that happen anytime soon.

DT, I think we might see this depending on the game situation. And I also think Billups will look to score more. First he's done a lot of damage against the Lakers this season and second, he really doesn't have to control the tempo the same way he did against a team like the Nets. I thought he had a horrible series against the Pacers, especially failing to be the floor general in the closing minutes of Games 1 & 2. I like what Brown wants out of a PG but now it's time to get what he can out of the PG he has.

One other thing, if the Pistons are a little tight I won't blame them. This is a place they have never been and in LA no less. If they aren't tight, I will give them a lot of credit.

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