So much for the Boston Celtics not being able to win on the road.
The Celtics forced the Pistons into a horrendous shooting night (38 percent from the field. Sexy. . . not); Kevin Garnett played above average for once, leading the C’s in points, rebounds and assists. Chauncey Billups was outplayed by co-point guard Rodney Stuckey. And let it be no mistake on here — Billups played less minutes than Stuckey and only shot 1-for-6 from the field. That tells me that there’s something wrong with Billups, and I’m not sure if it’s the hamstring or what, because from all I know, that’s yet to be disclosed. And if it has been disclosed, well, then, gee, I guess I haven’t heard about it yet.
But let me throw out a few more thoughts: I’m waiting for a bunch of ignorant fans to come on here and leave a comment or send an email telling me that I’m crazy for saying Doc Rivers is an awful coach. Like I said, that would be a bunch of ignorant fans to do that. Most level-minded fans know the perils of having Rivers at the helm. Even most casual fans do, or at least I hope (and if an argument is made that Rivers isn’t an awful coach, then I’d hope it was made by a casual fan instead of an avid watcher).
Look, the Pistons aren’t going to have a 38 percent shooting night often. Yes, they avidly play down to their opponents, and yes, the Celtics had statistically the best defense in the league this past year (not to mention the best road record, too, and look: only 1-6 away), but the Pistons’ experience and history of having been in [now] six straight Eastern Conference Finals give them a lot to reminisce on and think about to use as a tactic. The Celtics better grasp on and hold tight for this next game in the Palace because, if they do, the series could be imminently there’s.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the past two seasons the Pistons lead the Heat (2006) and the Cavaliers (2007) by two games, before they ended up letting go of the series by losing four straight to both. I’m positive that’s what happened with the Cavs, but not so sure with the Heat (I don’t feel like looking it up, either). That’s an interesting facet. And since the Pistons have strolled their way to six straight Eastern Conference Finals in six years and have only won the series two of those six times, I’m ready to dub them as an NBA version of the 2001-2004 Philadelphia Eagles (y’know, four consecutive NFC Championship game appearances). You have your differences, but the similarities are inordinate.