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1st Round Pistons Opponent

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Yeah, I would really like to see him win one as well.

Me too. I like our chances more this year than past years. I like our team allot more when the bench comes to play .. the bench - not 'Dyce - are key.

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It really is a perfect setting for the Pistons. They should breeze into the ECF's without much effort. Then they hope Cleveland and Boston beat each other up for 7 games, while the Pistons rest up some.

You have to figure the western conference will be a total bloodbath. If the Pistons make the Finals, hopefully they are playing a beaten up and tired team from the West. On paper at least, it looks as if the Pistons have a pretty good path to the title.

Perfectly said. And with the win last night, the Pistons would have HCA in the Finals. Boston is good but Detroit has been to the ECF 5 years in a row.

That experience, and a deep bench, could be the difference.

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I still worry about McDyess being tired. Sure he hasn't played much for being a starter, but he has still played more minutes then any of the past few years.

I worry about this as well, especially because his shot looks tired and has for a few months now. I've been hoping all year long that he an Max would basically split those minutes. They should both be at about 24 per game. I worry that Flip will increase Dice's minutes along with the rest of the starters when I think Dice is at (or over) his maximum already.

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Me too. I like our chances more this year than past years. I like our team allot more when the bench comes to play .. the bench - not 'Dyce - are key.
Exactly. Imo, the starters are slightly overrated. Our frontcourt is very inconsistent. The bench will have to step up in the games in which the starters can't get it done.

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Well, his FG% is right around 50% in April after a rough Feb and March so hopefully that bodes well for the playoffs.

Max has been great this past month so hopefully Flip will split Dyce's minutes with him more equally.

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Don't underestimate McDyess' ability to grab rebounds. Even if his shot isn't falling he will be a valuable piece out there.

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TNT analyst Reggie Miller spoke Tuesday about the NBA playoffs:

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TNT tips off its “40 Games in 40 Nights” of NBA Playoff coverage on Sunday, April 20 with a first-round tripleheader (times TBD).

Reggie Miller – TNT NBA analyst, on picking Boston in the Eastern Conference Playoffs: “It’s going to be such a blood bath out West where I see every series going at least six games. The least resistance is in the East. It’s going to come down to Boston and Detroit, the two best teams in the East. Charles and I are in unison that we love the passion that Kevin Garnett has brought to Boston, there is something special that Doc (Rivers) has resurrected in his team. I like the addition of Sam Cassell, he’s been great as of late. I like Boston in the East.”

Miller on the Philadelphia 76ers having a favorable match-up against Detroit in the first round: “I’m going to give a lot of credit to my good friend Billy King for assembling the team, I thought he really got thrown under the bus three or four months ago. That’s going to be a scary match up for Detroit, Philly has gone into to Detroit this year and beaten them. Sammy Dalembert matches up well with the front line of the Detroit Pistons. I’m not saying they are going to beat Detroit, but think it’s a favorable match-up for Philadelphia to go against Detroit in the first round. I applaud what Mo Cheeks has done, as well as AI (Iguodala).”

Miller on an Eastern Conference teams chances to win the NBA Championship: “I would not be surprised if every first round series in the Western Conference did not go six or seven games. And I would not be surprised if a team from the Eastern Conference, once they get to the Finals, end up winning it because these teams in the West are going to be so emotionally drained. Their playoffs started right after the All-Star break when everyone was trying to jockey for position. They’ve been in playoff mode for almost two months now. Meanwhile, Boston and Detroit have been almost cruising the last three or four weeks, resting a lot of players. I would not be surprised if a team from the Eastern Conference ends up winning (the championship).”

Miller on why he thinks the L.A. Lakers will go the NBA Finals: “In the West, it depends on when (Andrew) Bynum comes back, but even if he doesn’t come back at full strength, I like what Phil Jackson and, my MVP pick this year Kobe Bryant, has done for the Lakers. With the addition of Pau Gasol and their front line, you’ve got the best player on the perimeter in Kobe Bryant, they are well coached, they have a very deep bench. I really like the Lakers. I still believe everything is going to go through San Antonio, but I see the Western Conference Finals going 7 games with the Lakers very narrowly edging out the Spurs to win.”

Miller on if the NBA should change the current playoff format: “I think (the NBA) should go with the best 16 teams (regardless of Conference). Obviously, from a travel (standpoint), the logistics would be difficult. If you want to truly find out who is the best team in the NBA, if you had the 16 best teams, only four or five teams from the East are going to make it. You would have Golden State, maybe Portland in the playoffs. When Charles and I played in the 1990’s, the East was the best Conference when you had Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Detroit and Cleveland. We were much better than the West and no one was talking about re-seeding then.”

Miller on the Cleveland Cavaliers stumbling into the playoffs: “If any series in the first round in the East (Conference) is going to be compelling it’s going to be the Cleveland/Washington (series). This will be the third time in a row that they’ve faced one another. I’m going to tell you from my playoff experience, it’s tough to beat a team three years in a row in the playoffs. We’ve all been hearing about the trash talking going back and forth between (Washington’s) DeShawn Stevenson, Gilbert Arenas and LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. I think there has been an adjustment from the big trade that Cleveland made (with Chicago in February) and trying to get everyone accustomed to a new system. I think they are really limping into the playoffs these last two or three weeks with LeBron having the sore back and (head coach) Mike Brown trying to solidify his playoff rotation. This is going to be a very interesting match-up for Mike Brown and the Cavaliers. I would not be surprised if Washington, with Gilbert Arenas coming back along with a healthy Caron Butler and (Antawn) Jamison, can beat Cleveland.”

Miller on if the big trade the Cavaliers made with the Bulls in February helped them or hurt them: “I like Joe Smith on (the Cavaliers) and I like Delonte West if he is knocking down shots. (West) is a very capable defender. It depends on which Ben Wallace is going to show up…the Detroit Ben Wallace or the Chicago Ben Wallace. Is he going to be back 100% for the grind of the playoffs? Is it an improvement on last year’s team? Absolutely, if Lebron had these guys in the (2007) Finals they might have won a game or two. It all depends on if Wally Szczerbiak is knocking down shots, which he was brought there to do and he doesn’t have so far. If Delonte can knock down shots and play defense. If Big Ben (Wallace) can rebound and block shots, which he is paid very well to do, then it’s an upgrade. But they’ve been so inconsistent since the trade.”

Miller on how the Lakers can win with Andrew Bynum in a limited role: “Can the Lakers win without (Andrew) Bynum? No. If he does come back, (Lakers head coach) Phil Jackson is going to put him in the role that he was in before he was injured and averaging a double-double. All he has to do is rebound and block shots, the scoring will (fall on) Kobe (Bryant), Pau (Gasol) and Lamar (Odom). If (Bynum) comes back and plays 12 minutes a game, average six to eight rebounds and three blocked shots, (the Lakers) will win it hands-down.”

Miller on the Phoenix Suns: “When Phoenix made the trade for Shaquille O’Neal, they were leading the West (Conference). They got off to a rough start but have rebounded and have started to play well with Shaq. The advantages that Shaq brings to this team, if you’ve seen the play of Amare (Stoudemire) the last two or three weeks, where he has been going ‘bozonkers’ scoring. They’ve been able to move him to the four-spot where a lot of fours can match-up with Amare. I think the biggest plus has been the (increased) free throw shooting of the Suns. That’s the factor that Shaq brings to your team, he’s going to get you into the bonus early. If you are asking the Phoenix Suns to win three straight series starting out as the underdog on the road, that is a tall order. Especially with Shaq at 35- or 36-years-old, you’re asking him to do a lot. This is a team that’s been there before. Are they going to be judged on not getting to the Finals and adding Shaq or getting to the Finals with Shaq? That remains to be seen.”

Miller on what New York fans are thinking as the season comes to a close: “Thank God for Donnie Walsh. Hallelujah”

Miller on the Denver Nuggets needing to play defense in order to win: “We all know that the pace of the game comes to a deafening crawl and it becomes a half court game. If you break down the match-ups you’ve got to have rebounding, you’ve got to control your turnovers, but you also have to execute your offense in the half court situation. I look at the Nuggets, are they are going to be able to execute their offense against the Lakers? But more importantly, are they going to be able to stop the triangle of Phil Jackson? Defensively, when teams win championships that is the catalyst. Can the Denver Nuggets stop the Lakers from executing? That means all five players, Carmelo (Anthony), AI (Allen Iverson), I know (Marcus) Camby’s going to bring it, he’s going to block shots, and I know (Kenyon) Martin’s going to bring it. But are these others guys going to commit on the defensive end?”

Miller on the New Orleans Hornets: “If you were constructing a team, with your wants and needs, you would want a great floor general, you have that in Chris Paul; you would want outside shooting to spread the floor, you have that in Morris Peterson and Peja Stojakovic; you would need somewhat of an inside presence, you have that with (David) West; you need a defensive presence inside, you have with Tyson Chandler, and you need for that team to be well coached, you have that in Byron Scott. If you were going to put a team together with your wants and needs, the New Orleans Hornets have everything that you would want. Now, are they going to be able to parlay that in playoff wins? I’m excited to see when the lights are on the brightest, when it gets hot in the kitchen, how is Chris Paul going to react? Teams adjust, make changes and there are bigger guys they are going to be guarding. Every game takes on a whole new life in the playoffs . Every team makes adjustments and changes in the age of video tape and scouting, so every game is going to be totally different. Are they going to be able to adapt on the fly? The only way you get that is through experience. Experience does matters come playoff time.”

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080416/SPORTS03/80416057/1051

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I'm hoping that this year, we won't as George Bush said, "misunderestimate" our opponents. I think if we're motivated we'll make it to the NBA Finals. I'm not sold on Flip's coaching ability in the playoffs, but I'm not afraid of anyone else in the east.

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A Detroit team that has played in five consecutive Eastern Conference finals is heavily favored over a No. 7-seed Philadelphia team that hasn't made a playoff appearance in two years. By no means do the Pistons fear Philadelphia, but they do respect the 76ers.

"That team is tough. That team is very underrated the way they have played since the All-Star break," Billups said. "They have won a lot of games, and they are difficult (to play) because they are very athletic and like to get in the passing lanes. They're a transition basketball team, so they're a lot different than we are."

To say Philadelphia has been hot of late is a bit of an understatement. The 76ers were 18-30 on Feb. 4 and finished 40-42.

"You win a couple games and all the sudden you think you have it," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said about Philadelphia.

"After the All-Star break they created an identity for themselves (with) fast-break points and their defense playing aggressive and once they had an identity they could hang their hat on something."

Two of Philadelphia's last 22 victories came against Detroit, though it should be pointed out Detroit was without Hamilton for one of those games.

"Philadelphia is a team that is very athletic. A team that is very hungry. They are young, athletic and very good defensive team and a very good transition team," Saunders said. "They have some things they do extremely well."

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080417/SPORTS0102/804170375/1127

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Thanks for the great articles. Man, I can't wait until this weekend! I LOVE the first week of the playoffs, with multiple games on every night. Oh yeah, I'm getting pumped just thinking about it!!

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Perfectly said. And with the win last night, the Pistons would have HCA in the Finals. Boston is good but Detroit has been to the ECF 5 years in a row.

That experience, and a deep bench, could be the difference.

Not trying to suck the life out of this thread with negative comments, but the "experience" card has been trumpeted the last couple of years with this team (it was supposed to be the difference with Miami and especially Cleveland). Experience only counts when you learn from it - which these guys are chronically famous for not doing. (Which team will we allow back in a series after taking them to the brink of elimination THIS year?)

I agree with you on the bench, though. Thank god for this young crop of studs - they actually could be the difference this year.

Still, it's the Pistons we're talking about here - you just never know. Except for Dallas, no team has choked bigger in the playoffs the last couple of years...

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there is 2 things in sports I really HATE watching. Its when the Wings and Pistons put it in cruise control. You know its coming, you just cant tell exactly when. Usually once they have a few wins under their belt in a series they start throwing up bricks and letting easy layups go.

Heres to the Zoo Crew bringing some much needed ENERGY to this club for the 08 Playoffs. GO PEE STONES!!!!!!

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We Will Win! Says Philly's Hip-Hop

sixersmascot-tz-425.jpg

As we await the beginning of the NBA Playoffs on April 19, team mascots explain why their team will win. Next up: Hip-Hop, representing the Philadelphia 76ers.

WHOSE KID IS THIS?!? OHMYGOD THIS THING IS TOXIC! Cheeks, help me out man! Rescue me from the nuclear waste! <drops kid> Whew, close one. Almost as close as we were to the sixth seed ...

Can you believe that call?! Attention, league: Don't give LeBron James a post-game high-five, you might get called for a foul on it. I'm surprised 'Dala didn't get hit with a tech for helping "The King" up in the second quarter. I mean, really Stern? You can't hide it a little better than that? If that's going to happen in Game 81, I can't wait to see what you have in store for the Wizards. You might as well remove DeShawn Stevenson's limbs now.

We aren't here to talk about the Cavaliers, though. This is all about 76ERS BASKETBALL! Playoffs, man, playoffs. We're taking about ... the playoffs. We ain't talking about the regular season, we're talking about ... playoffs. (Get it? Get it? LOL) This team is a fine stew Billy King whipped up, and Ed Stefanski came in with one fine move as the garnish. Cap Space has played great for us down the stretch, he's been a solid option off the bench. Future Draft Pick has also been a spark; he's a great chemistry guy, too ... almost no ego. Brilliant master stroke, Stef!

Orlando, Detroit, the Mon*Stars -- we don't care. Bring it on, East. Philly's ready.

http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/tag/WeWillWin/

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Philadelphia Versus Detroit: The Feel-Good Killer Series

Pistons-Sixers.jpg

Over the next few days, Basket Bawful and Free Darko will be previewing each NBA Playoff series. Basket Bawful looks at the Eastern Conference today, continuing with the series between the Detroit Pistons and the Philadelphia 76ers, which begins Sunday.

This series doesn't seem quite as hopeless as Atlanta versus Boston. Instead of having only a snowball's chance in hell, I'd say the 76ers are more like a large, stubborn block of ice in hell. Still melting, but maybe a bit more slowly.

The season series: It was a 2-2 tie, with Detroit winning the first two games and Philadelphia winning the last two.

Good news for the Sixers: They're currently riding a two-game winning streak against the Pistons. And the two games they lost were pretty close: Detroit won 83-78 on November 23 and 86-78 on January 23. (So as long as they don't play on April 23, I guess they'll be okay? Uh oh.)

Bad news for the Sixers: This is Detroit we're talking about. So you can throw all that regular season stuff out the window. Just make sure nobody's standing on the street outside. We don't want anybody getting hurt. Unless it's Bill Laimbeer. In which case, please drop an anvil on him, Wile E. Coyote-style.

Reality check: The Pistons finished the regular season on fire, winning their final four games by an average of 14 points per despite giving their starters plenty of nappy time. Two of those wins — versus Washington and Toronto — came against teams fighting for playoff position. On the other end of the spectrum, Philly limped to the finish, losing its final four games ... including two losses to non-playoff teams (Indiana and Charlotte). Oh, and let's not forget that screw-job against Cleveland.

Basically, the Pistons get to go into this series with confidence, experience and momentum. The Sixers, on the other hand, get to go into it with ... a four-game losing streak. Hey, Sixers fans! What's that over there?! Why, it's Donovan McNabb, and he looks totally healthy! (Are they looking away yet? Good.)

Pistons player(s) to watch: Um, all of them? Detroit's starters can hang with any other starting five in the league, and it seems like someone different dominates on any given night. Oh, and their bench is suddenly capable of beating playoff teams on their own. I don't see any of these games coming down to a final shot, but if they do, I wouldn't bet against Chauncey Billups taking (and making) one. There's also 'Sheed. You've always got to watch 'Sheed.

Sixers player(s) to keep an eye on: In the two games Philly won, Andre Iguodala scored 22 and 25 points, and Samuel Dalembert grabbed a total of 28 rebounds. Iggy's got to score and Sammy's got to rebound for the Sixers to stay competitive. Oh, and Andre Miller has to keep the offense running. Yep. Those three guys have to play at their highest level just to make this a series. And don't think the Pistons don't know that. Also, you should really take a peek at Philly's dance team. Especially Vi.

Key(s) to the series: The Pistons' bench. Detroit's starters have shown a surprising lack of killer instinct in the playoffs over the last couple years. In 2006, they went up 2-0 against Cleveland before dropping three straight. In 2007, they had the Bulls down 3-0 before losing two in a row, then they built a 2-0 lead on Cleveland (again) before getting shut out in the next four games. That's not likely to happen this year, because the Pistons' Zoo Crew brings energy and some big, honking huevos off the bench when the starters begin to relent. Plus, I'm sure Flip Saunders would like to save the "old guys" and their legs for the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston.

Prediction: My brain tells me that this series is going to end in a 4-0 Pistons sweep, but my heart says the Basketball Gods owe the Sixers one for that fiasco against the Cavs. So I'm going to give Philadelphia one inspiring win — probably in Game 4, because the Pistons tend to let up a little when they have an opponent on the ropes — before their playoff dreams are crushed into paste. Detroit wins 4-1.

http://deadspin.com/380971/philadelphia-versus-detroit-the-feel+good-killer-series

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Not trying to suck the life out of this thread with negative comments, but the "experience" card has been trumpeted the last couple of years with this team (it was supposed to be the difference with Miami and especially Cleveland). Experience only counts when you learn from it - which these guys are chronically famous for not doing. (Which team will we allow back in a series after taking them to the brink of elimination THIS year?)

I agree with you on the bench, though. Thank god for this young crop of studs - they actually could be the difference this year.

Still, it's the Pistons we're talking about here - you just never know. Except for Dallas, no team has choked bigger in the playoffs the last couple of years...

Experience worked so well for the lakers in 04.....:cheeky:

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Experience worked so well for the lakers in 04.....:cheeky:

Yep. Like DetroitFan said, experience is overrated.

Take the dinosaurs. From the Triassic to the Cretaceous, they were around for, what - 185 million years total? That's experience.

Are they still around today? I rest my case.

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The difference is, that championship team had been to and lost the ECF's the year before. All of them had a few years of playoff experience. Outside of Max and Theo (Hunter too, if he plays much) nobody really does on our bench.

They knew how to deal with the media, prepare for games, handle ticket requests, etc. I will take talent over experience every day, but lets not just blow off the experience factor like it means nothing.

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The difference is, that championship team had been to and lost the ECF's the year before. All of them had a few years of playoff experience. Outside of Max and Theo (Hunter too, if he plays much) nobody really does on our bench.

They knew how to deal with the media, prepare for games, handle ticket requests, etc. I will take talent over experience every day, but lets not just blow off the experience factor like it means nothing.

Unfortunately, on our bench you can only have one or the other- you can play the talented guys, or you can play the experienced ones. Quite frankly, I would have absolutely no problem with our young players getting the exact same minutes in the first two rounds of the playoffs as they've been getting in the regular season.

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The difference is, that championship team had been to and lost the ECF's the year before. All of them had a few years of playoff experience. Outside of Max and Theo (Hunter too, if he plays much) nobody really does on our bench.

They knew how to deal with the media, prepare for games, handle ticket requests, etc. I will take talent over experience every day, but lets not just blow off the experience factor like it means nothing.

I certainly understand your point, but mine was is it actually *hasn't* meant anything. (Where exactly has the 'experience factor' gotten us the last couple of years?). All that championship pedigree on the floor in last year's game 6 of the ECF still couldn't stop some inexperienced rookie kid named "Boobie" from bombing 3s all over the place and pretty much beating the Pistons singlehandedly.

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Here are some comments about the series that Badboys.com culled from various sources

Bunches of playoff previews

Published by Matt Watson on April 18, 2008 in 2008 Playoffs and Around the Internets.

I’ve yet to do any playoff previewing here at DBB, but I got warmed up with this little nugget over on Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie:

So what can we expect now that the games actually matter? For starters, forget what you saw in the regular season. Yes, the Sixers managed to win two of four against the Pistons, but that included one game in which not a single starter for the Pistons cracked 30 minutes. Flip Saunders did an admirable job resting his starters this year, sacrificing a handful of wins in exchange for letting young guys like Jason Maxiell and Rodney Stuckey sink or swim in the fourth quarter. But in the playoffs, Saunders will coach to win, not develop the future.

Hard-hitting, I know. Give me a break, I’m talking to the masses over there, not hard-core fans like yourself. Hit up the newspapers for the mainstream previews (I’ll trust you’ve seen that Pistons Newswire tab at the top of the page by now, or better yet, the MCB Pistons section), but here are some other series previews from around the internet:

B. Shoals at Sporting News:

Key matchup:

Detroit’s experience vs. Philly’s youth vs. Detroit’s youth. Yes, that’s a trick answer. On the off chance that the Sixers’ frenetic style pans out in the post-season, the Pistons can still matchup by bringing Jason Maxiell, Rodney Stuckey and Amir Johnson off the bench.

Hardwood Paroxysm:

Everyone thought the Sixers were hot as sh*t about a month ago. I never bought it. This squad is out-talented, out-matched, out-witted and out-housed. They’re one of those “We have a balanced attack” teams. Yeah, balanced attack this. The Pistons are going to shut them down at every angle. Even if one of their Little LeBowski Achievers manage to pop off for 25 points or more, the rest of them are going to bomb like they never existed. The Pistons will put the lock down, the shut down, and the smack down on the little surprise Sixers. They might be able to sucker the Pistons into a low shooting night, but they’re not going to average over 85 points for the series. Say goodnight, kiddies. It’s time for the big boys to go to work.

Basketbawful @ Deadspin:

This series doesn’t seem quite as hopeless as Atlanta versus Boston. Instead of having only a snowball’s chance in hell, I’d say the 76ers are more like a large, stubborn block of ice in hell. Still melting, but maybe a bit more slowly.

Last but not least, a few random links worth your perusal:

* Jason from BallHype took a look at blogosphere’s preseason previews and compared them with the final standings. Of the four Pistons blogs that participated, each one underestimated this year’s win total by 7-9 wins. Consider that a reminder that 59 wins is just nuts. It’s easy to take this team for granted sometime, but that’s the third-best record in team history.

* Also from BallHype, don’t forget about their Playoffs Pick’em Contest. It’s like filling out a March Madness bracket, except it takes skill and you actually know who all the teams and players are.

* Whoa, I did not expect to see this: the Free Press is pimping our Free Amir t-shirts. Seems like a good time to mention that you can get free shipping if you use the promo code SPRINGFREE (if you’re in Canada, use CADSPRINGFREE) when ordering any DBB shirt this weekend.

bilde?Site=C4&Date=20080418&Category=SPORTS03&ArtNo=804180404&Ref=AR&Profile=1217&MaxW=180&Border=0

* Depressed Fan ponders whether ESPN’s experts are showing a lack of respect. I think they are — not one is predicting a sweep? Outrage!

http://www.detroitbadboys.com/archives/2008-04-18/bunches-of-playoff-previews/#comment-130509

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I certainly understand your point, but mine was is it actually *hasn't* meant anything. (Where exactly has the 'experience factor' gotten us the last couple of years?). All that championship pedigree on the floor in last year's game 6 of the ECF still couldn't stop some inexperienced rookie kid named "Boobie" from bombing 3s all over the place and pretty much beating the Pistons singlehandedly.

Its all part of the equation. Coaching and fatigue cost us that series.

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The difference is, that championship team had been to and lost the ECF's the year before. All of them had a few years of playoff experience. Outside of Max and Theo (Hunter too, if he plays much) nobody really does on our bench.

They knew how to deal with the media, prepare for games, handle ticket requests, etc. I will take talent over experience every day, but lets not just blow off the experience factor like it means nothing.

Still. How much does your bench really play outside of round one, maybe two? Not much. Outside of round one, I see Max, Hunter, Theo, and very little Rodney Stucky in spot minutes. Nothing more.

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Still. How much does your bench really play outside of round one, maybe two? Not much. Outside of round one, I see Max, Hunter, Theo, and very little Rodney Stucky in spot minutes. Nothing more.

I agree, the bench wont see much time at all. But a lot of people around here seem to think they will be seeing big minutes still.

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Not sure what "big minutes" are, but the Pistons averaged 70+ minutes per game off the bench last playoffs. That's means about 4 guys with substantial minutes in every game. That's a lot of minutes, so it really does matter who plays and if they can contribute.

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