May 2006 Pistons articles *Frequent Updates*

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  1. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Las Vegas Sun]


    Pistons' scout: Fazekas border line first round pick
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    RENO, Nev. (AP) - Nevada junior Nick Fazekas is doing the right thing by testing the waters in the 2006 NBA draft and probably is on the border of being a first-round pick, a scout for the Detroit Pistons says.

    Tony Ronzone, a former player for the Wolf Pack, agrees with those who expect the 6-foot-11 forward to be selected late in the first round or early in the second round.

    "I think he's on the border," Ronzone told the Reno Gazette-Journal.


    [Akron Beacon Journal]


    Team sales on streak
    Cleveland has winning year with tickets, merchandise
    by Mary Ethridge

    OK, so it wasn't the best week for Cleveland's professional sports teams. The Indians were hammered in Kansas City, and the Cavaliers were mowed down in the Motor City.

    Nevertheless, the teams' front offices are smiling these days. Ticket and merchandise sales have increased substantially since last year.
  2. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [SI.com]
    'A gift from God'
    by Marty Burns
    On Wednesday I placed a call to Vanessa. I had met her back in 2000 while writing a feature story about Larry for Sports Illustrated. I remembered how close she was to her son, then a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, and the special bond they had shared. It was a relationship unique even by NBA standards.

    Vanessa answered the phone and immediately agreed to an interview. She was proud of Larry and wanted the world to know it. But first she wanted to tell me about Justin, who had been experiencing complications with his heart since last June, and how he was handling his latest setback.

    [This isn't really a story about the Pistons, or even about an opposing player from the Cavs. It's just a story you should read if, like me, you never thought much about Larry Hughes except to label him another undeveloped talent who came to the league early and bounced around.]
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    That's beautiful LanierFan. Thank you.
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [The Oakland Press]


    Fast start is Pistons' goal again
    Detroit doesn't want to give Cleveland any hope in Game 3
    by PAULA PASCHE

    AUBURN HILLS - If Cleveland wants to get back in the series against the Pistons, there's no better time to do so than in Saturday's Game 3. Detroit, which is up 2-0, is well aware of this.

    "These guys are fighting for their lives and don't want to get down three, and we desperately want to get them down 3-0," Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter said.


    Pistons are sharing the wealth
    by PAULA PASCHE

    AUBURN HILLS - So, just how balanced are the Detroit Pistons? Ponder this: In the last four playoff games - all wins - a different leading scorer has stepped up in each game. Four games, four different hot hands.

    Rasheed Wallace had 29 points in Game 2 against Cleveland, while it was Tayshaun Prince who came up with a team-high 24 points in Game 1. In the series against Milwaukee, Richard Hamilton finished with 40 points in Game 5 and it was Chauncey Billups with 34 points in Game 4.


    Open Book: A sports blog by Pat Caputo
    by Pat Caputo

    Come on NBA, enough already It's tiring how the NBA continues to be so driven by television.


    [The Miami Herald]


    ON SPORTS MEDIA
    ABC seeking right mix
    by BARRY JACKSON

    News and views from the couch on the NBA's postseason TV coverage:

    At one time, CBS' NFL pregame was the poster child for studio show instability. No longer. Now ABC's NBA pregame earns that ignominious distinction.

    TNT sets the standard for in-studio frivolity and stability, while ABC repeatedly has altered its cast for four years, yet still grasps for the right mix. Sean Elliott (who regrettably referred to the Spurs as ''we''), Byron Scott, Tom ``put on a necktie, please'' Tolbert, George Karl, Ahmad ''Softball Question'' Rashad, Bill Walton and Steve Jones have all come and gone from ABC's studio. (Walton and Jones were wisely reassigned to games this season).


    [USA Today]


    Cavs' experience deficit bodes well for Pistons
    by Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Postseason experience is a valued commodity in the NBA playoffs. The teams that have it are usually the ones that do well.

    That doesn't bode well for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who trail the Detroit Pistons 2-0 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series, which resumes Saturday in Cleveland.



    [Booth Newspapers]


    Quick first-quarter starts have propelled Pistons
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- One of the Detroit Pistons' objectives in the NBA playoffs has been to make quick work of their opponents in each series.

    A key to that is getting off to a fast start, which is what the Pistons did in their first-round series against Milwaukee, and have continued to do in taking a 2-0 lead against Cleveland.

    "We've just been starting off (games) with a lot of energy, a lot of effort," said Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince.


    Pistons' balance on offense, defense makes it hard on opponents
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- Two weeks ago, the Detroit Pistons were blown out in Game 3 of their first-round NBA playoff series at Milwaukee. Two nights later, Chauncey Billups torched the Bucks for 34 points in a Pistons win.

    Two nights after that, Richard Hamilton scored a playoff career-high 40 points as the Pistons closed out the series.

    In Detroit's next game, against Cleveland, Tayshaun Prince caused the Cavaliers fits with a playoff career-high-tying 24 points in a 27-point win. Then on Tuesday, it was Rasheed Wallace who led the Pistons with 29 points in another victory.
  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]


    Byron Scott loves the Pistons

    Byron Scott, coach of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets was on Mike & Mike on ESPN radio this morning providing some commentary on the current NBA playoffs.1 When asked who was his bet to win the NBA finals, the Boys in Blue or the remaining field, Scott didn't hesitate to choose the Pistons to [...]


    [Milwaukee Bucks Diary]


    Milwaukee Bucks Final Report Card

    Thanks for a great inaugural season, Bucks Nation.

    Well, another year has come and gone. Unfortunately, its now 35 years and counting since our last World Championship, and its 31 years and counting since our last trip to the NBA Finals. To put that into perspective, it took the Packers 29 years to get back to the Super Bowl. Remember the eternity that seemed to be? Well, the Bucks have now kept us waiting longer. Think about that for a moment.


    [Les Bullez]

    Where Do We Go?
    by Gregg Kanner

    Okay, it’s been a week and I’ve made it through all of the Gilbert Arenas choking comments from my co-workers and I’ve made peace with it. I was at the Pistons/Cavaliers Game 2 the other night and watched a team that the Wizards should have beaten get dominated by Detroit. So that made me ponder what a Pistons/Wizards series would have looked like. I’d say it would have looked pretty much like this series has. One team is over matched and it didn’t matter whether it was the Wiz or Cavs. I guess the Wiz would have played a little better, but the Pistons are a team on a mission and they won’t lose 4 games to anyone.


    [NBA.com]


    Nets’ Clifford Robinson Suspended

    NEW YORK, May 12, 2006 – The NBA announced today that Clifford Robinson of the New Jersey Nets has been suspended without pay for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. Robinson’s suspension will begin with tonight’s game between the New Jersey Nets and the Miami Heat.


    [Rocky Mountain News]


    Warkentien to lead Nuggets in draft preparations
    by Chris Tomasson

    Others who might be looked at are Detroit director of player personnel Scott Perry, Spurs director of pro personnel Dell Demps and former Chicago front-office official B.J. Armstrong.
  6. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Hoopsworld]


    Motown Soundtrack: It takes two
    by Adriano Albuquerque

    Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers was probably the most important game of the series – for both teams. Tuesday night’s game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, won by Detroit 97-91, provided keys for the Cavaliers to finally get over the hump and beat the Pistons, while it gave Detroit a great glimpse at what Cleveland can do and what adjustments will need to be made for the team to win the series, maybe even without dropping a game.
  7. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]

    Chris McCosky's Game 3 preview
    "I am just going to see what they do (defensively) and how the game is going," Billups said. "If I feel like we're in a rut, usually I take that and use it to my advantage and I start being more assertive. That's pretty much how I will approach Game 3."

    Hughes is not likely to play in Game 3
    "We'd like to beat them -- a lot, except it's hard," Ilgauskas said. "It's not impossible. From all my years playing the Pistons, right now is probably the best I have seen them play basketball.

    "I don't know if it's the playoffs because I have never faced them before in the playoffs. Or if it's they are hitting their stride at the right time. They look very good -- especially when you're on the court."

    Rasheed starts dodgeball free-for-all
    While Maxiell was engaged in a fairly intense four-on-four scrimmage, Wallace was hurling basketballs at him. This went on for a few minutes before Maxiell and others decided to fire back. Chaos ensued.

    At one point, Wallace even had Ryan Hoover, the Pistons' director of player development, in a headlock, demanding that basketballs be thrown at him.

    The situation ended when Wallace left the floor, but he managed to have the last fling. He came back and hurled his shoes, one after the other, onto the court.
    ....
    Chauncey Billups , who was named to the NBA's All-Defensive second team, took some good-natured ribbing from his teammates Friday about the honor.

    Rasheed Wallace joked that if the statue for defensive player of the year was a man in the defensive stance, Billups' trophy would have a guy reaching around a ball handler who dribbled past him.

    Keeping Rip intact
    Team president Joe Dumars calls Kander "the best in the business," and Dumars will get few, if any, arguments from around the league.

    Just this week, Charlie Ward -- a former Heisman Trophy winner who is director of player development for the Houston Rockets -- visited the practice facility during a scouting trip.

    Only Ward wasn't scouting the Pistons. He was shadowing Kander, picking up a few tips about his training philosophy, which includes a healthy dose of ayurvedic medicine, a homeopathic and holistic approach that traces its roots to India nearly 5,000 years ago.

    Win Pistons tickets
    The News is giving away two tickets to the next three Pistons home playoff games. All you have to do is answer a Pistons trivia question:

    Which Pistons players were named the NBA rookie of the year?

    E-mail answers to sports@detnews.com by noon on Tuesday (April 16). Include your name and phone number.

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Pistons Corner: McDyess craving his own NBA title
    McDyess might be considered the team's sixth starter, but he differs from the first five in one big way: He wasn't a part of the championship team two seasons ago. He has no diamond-encrusted ring. Parade memories? None. Championship belt from Rasheed? Nope.

    So that might explain why McDyess has once again raised his game in the postseason, much like he did last year. His scoring average this season leapt from 7.8 points in the regular season to 11.5 before Game 2, when foul trouble limited him to two points.

    Cavs' Murray set to start if needed
    "I know Flip can make plays," James said. "He's one of the few players on our team that can break down a defense, like myself and Larry. He has to be focused and he has to know we need him to score also. I think he's prepared to do that."

    DREW SHARP: Watch the officials
    It wouldn't surprise anyone if Tayshaun Prince experienced early foul trouble today. Prince's perimeter touch on the offensive end was the biggest difference in the first two games, forcing LeBron to expend more energy on defense.

    "You can't worry about the officiating or what anybody might say," Prince said after Friday's practice. "But a lot of times the style of officiating is based on who delivers the first blow. If you come after them hard at the start, the officials will often favor the aggressor."

    Bring out LeBroom? Probably not
    "I know most Game 3s we haven't won," point guard Chauncey Billups said Friday. "But we get another opportunity tomorrow night to win another Game 3 situation. For us, we always like -- and need -- these kind of challenges."

    Playoff dunk
    BY THE NUMBERS
    1: Center in the NBA playoffs averaging at least 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and shooting 55% -- Phoenix's Boris Diaw, whose natural position is point guard.

    1: Lead changes in 96 minutes in the Miami-New Jersey series. The Heat took a 2-0 lead 11 seconds into Game 1, and the Nets took the lead for good 50 seconds later.
  8. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Akron Beacon]

    Cavaliers prepare minus Hughes
    The wake for Justin Hughes, who passed away early Thursday after battling a heart condition for his whole life, will be Monday evening in St. Louis at the same time as Game 4 in Cleveland. The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday morning, and Cavs coach Mike Brown said the team is considering flying to Missouri to show support.

    Meanwhile, at practice Friday, Flip Murray stepped into the starting lineup in Hughes' place. It is a familiar spot for everyone, considering Murray made 25 starts in Hughes' absence during the regular season.

    TERRY PLUTO: Defensive approach needs to be altered
    The approach: "It's so hard to get this message across to players,'' the coach said. "But everyone (needs to) just stay on their man. Their offense is designed to get open jumpers. These guys make open jumpers. As coaches, we drill it into our players to stop the drive, don't give up layups. But force them to drive, take them out of their comfort zone. Billups is not a strong finisher driving to the basket.''

    The approach: "This is what drives you crazy as a coach,'' the coach said. "The fact is: They are a veteran team, a winning team, they play smart, they get calls. They also get good defensive position. If you watch them in slow motion, they will guard you all the way to the hoop, then back off at the last second rather than foul you. Lots of guys miss layups against them worrying about getting their shots blocked or getting fouled. Just keep going strong to the basket on them.''

    [Very interesting article. Check it out.]

    [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

    BUD SHAW: A big brother faces loss with inestimable pain
    Larry Hughes got the tattoo his senior year in high school while his younger brother, Justin, faced a heart transplant. The choice might seem morbid but the intention was just the opposite.

    Hughes chose the Grim Reaper as a reminder that time with his brother was a gift, that life carried no guarantees.

    It's time to step up
    "We've had guys come in during stretches and play some really good basketball and that has carried us during the season," Damon Jones said. "Larry missed a chunk of the season and we were able to do some good things and continue to win games. We're going to call on that experience again and see if we can muster up enough to beat this team."

    Cavs seeking to continue Game 3 doom for Pistons
    Game 3 has not been the Pistons' lucky number. Last season, the Pistons lost three of their four Game 3s in the postseason, to Philadelphia (first round), Indiana (conference semifinals) and to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals.

    [Booth Newspapers]

    Third time's not the charm for Pistons in playoffs
    As well as the Pistons have played on the road in the playoffs, they have been woefully bad in Game 3s away from The Palace.

    Detroit has been to the playoffs every year since the 2001-2002 season. In that span, they have lost nine out of 10 Game 3s on the road, with the lone victory coming at Milwaukee during the Pistons' 2004 championship run.

    Death of Cavs player's brother puts series in perspective
    As the news of Larry Hughes' brother passing away quickly spread, several Pistons offered their condolences to Hughes and his family.

    Billups said he got a chance to spend some time with Hughes and his brother Justin, as well as their mother.

    "His brother has been through a lot," Billups said. "I really do feel bad for him, especially at a time like this when you trying to win a playoff game, make a playoff series competitive. You got something else on your mind."

    Full-Court Press: John Hammond a candidate for Nuggets' GM position?
    Pistons vice president of basketball John Hammond's name has been mentioned as a candidate for the general manager's position in Denver. But Hammond said Sunday that he had not talked to the Nuggets and was not a candidate. The Nuggets are looking to replace Kiki Vandeweghe, who was not retained.
  9. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [ESPN]

    PAGE 2: Rip Hamilton never walks alone
    These days, Kobe's bad side is not so treacherous. Although the Colorado thing is behind him, he can't flex his muscle like he once did. He's human now and everyone knows it. The only way he's getting back on top is to win people over. That's what any smart person in Kobe's position would be thinking and Kobe Bryant is a smart person. He needs friends in a way he never has before. He has at least one.

    The final buzzer sounds and Kobe wades through the flood of players, coaches, ballboys, and security personnel to find Rip Hamilton, coming toward him, unhitching the Velcro straps on his protective facemask. The two embrace for a long time, patting each other on the back, whispering congratulations and what's ups. They step back, exchanging toothy grins, Hamilton's left hand on Kobe's shoulder, Kobe's on the back of Hamilton's head. Never have I seen Kobe so at ease, so openly friendly with an opponent. More shocking still is to see someone else so relaxed around him.

    [This is a long book excerpt. Check it out.]

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Uncle Cliffy's watch is stuck on 4:20
    You had a sense back when current Nets forward Cliff Robinson (aka, Uncle Cliffy) was playing for the Pistons that he was a fan of, uh…recreational usage. It was fine, whatever; he did after all play a key role in the resurgence that eventually led to the team's present day success.

    But can you imagine how the current crop of Pistons would react if Robinson pulled that sh*t during the Eastern Conference Semis…and got caught? That's the dillemna the Nets now face, starting with tonight's Game 3 vs. the Heat.

    ALSO:
    Witness this
    Barry Bonds reads Detroit Bad Boys
    Top 10 PGs ever (and why Isiah should always be ranked above Stockton]
    Byron Scott loves the Pistons

    [Need4Sheed.com]

    Results of the Second Round Need4Sheed Poll
    40% say Pistons in 4, 45% say Pistons in 5.
  10. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Associated Press]

    James' triple-double sparks Cavaliers
    James scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and posted the second triple-double of his first visit to the NBA playoffs, leading Cleveland to an 86-77 win over Detroit on Saturday that cut the Pistons' lead to 2-1 in their second-round series.

    Getting his only rest at halftime, James finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals for the Cavaliers, who played with more confidence than in Games 1 and 2 and ensured they will play at least two more games this season.

    [Detroit News]

    Game 3 curse strikes Pistons again
    “Monday’s the last game here in this building for this season,” said Rasheed Wallace, who said the same thing after the Pistons lost Game 3 in Milwaukee in the first round.

    If he’s going to make good on his prediction this time, he’s going to have to step up his game, and the Pistons are going to have to clean up theirs.

    Cleveland uses aggressiveness, defense to take Game 3
    The Pistons only shot 39.4 percent from the floor, the best defensive performance from the Cavaliers during the entire playoffs.

    “I think our focus was different,” said Cavaliers reserve guard Damon Jones, whose only points came on a three-pointer in the last minute to put the game out of reach. “I think we were kind of emotionally drained from that first-round series (against the Wizards), and that affected us in the first two games."

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Cleveland 86, Detroit 77: Return of the King
    CLEVELAND -- Midway through the third quarter Saturday, the series seemed as done as burned toast. LeBron James had scored just six points. The Pistons held a 10-point lead in their favorite kind of game, a grind-it-out defensive fest on the road. The towel-waving masses at Quicken Loans Arena could only groan and chirp at the officials.

    Then the Pistons' hold over the Cavaliers disintegrated with a stretch of foul calls, turnovers and James' second playoff triple-double that left them in an all-too-familiar place.

    Losers of a Game 3.

    DREW SHARP: The 'King James' version shows up
    No reports as of yet if the blind suddenly regained their sight after Cleveland rocked the Pistons, 86-77, and trimmed their series lead to 2-1. Or whether there were sightings of people walking across Lake Erie, although considering its once polluted, sludgy past, such an occurrence wouldn't necessarily raise many eyebrows.

    But Rasheed Wallace issued some cautionary advice to those risking that leap of faith that the Cavs can still make this Eastern Conference semifinal a series when it resumes Monday with Game 4.

    "We're going to bust their ass," he said. "I'll tell you that now. That's a given. We're going to bust their ass."

    Pistons Corner: Saunders right at home in Cleveland
    CLEVELAND -- Every nook and cranny of Cleveland holds the potential for nostalgia for Pistons coach Flip Saunders.

    This is, after all, the city where he grew up, won state championships as a basketball player at Cuyahoga Heights High School, and the place where his 85-year-old parents, Kay and Walter, still call home.

    [DetroitPistons.com]

    Postgame quotes
    Lindsey Hunter: “We pretty much had the tempo the way we wanted it throughout the game. Costly turnovers allowing LeBron (James) to get some really easy baskets in crucial situations I think hurt us. They did an excellent job throughout the game staying in front of him. LeBron handles the ball 99% of the time. A couple of times we let him get those feel good baskets. We did not execute down the stretch like we normally are accustomed to doing.”

    “The difference with LeBron and some of the other guys is he is so unselfish. No matter what he trusts his teammates. Tonight guys responded. Guys hit shots and guys made plays. He gives them opportunities to do that. Still being able to take over games and make big shots. Something we have to deal with.”

    [Fox Sports]

    Playoffs are Varejao's coming out party
    With 16 points against Detroit on Saturday, the wild-haired Varejao looked less like famed Australian yuksmith Yahoo Serious, and more like a serious threat to separate himself from the rest of the James Gang as the team's premier option inside.

    During the Pistons series, the Brazilian big-man is averaging 12.3 points, a nice jump from the 4.6 points he dropped in the regular season. If Anderson Varejao can carry his play from the past month and a half into the 2006-07 season, the Cavaliers may not be known as "LeBron & The James Gang" much longer, but rather "King James & the A.V. Club."
  11. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Booth Newspapers]

    Third time's not the charm for the Pistons in playoffs
    As well as the Pistons have played on the road in the playoffs, they have been woefully bad in Game 3s away from The Palace.

    Detroit has been to the playoffs every year since the 2001-2002 season. In that span, they have lost nine out of 10 Game 3s on the road, with the lone victory coming at Milwaukee during the Pistons' 2004 championship run.

    DAVID MAYO: James shows up when Cavs need him most
    It might not anyway, but at least LeBron James showed up. It took until the fourth quarter of a game in which he was so maddeningly selfless that he looked less like himself than Jason Kidd -- complete with a similar statistical style to his weird triple-double -- before he finally realized that Anderson Varejao wasn't going to beat the Pistons, no matter how many easy shots he fed to Cleveland's backup center.

    [Akron Beacon]

    Cavs jolt new life into fans, playoffs
    Who could ever imagine that the Cavs would win a game where James had only six points after three quarters? Or a game where they were behind by 10 points in the middle of the third quarter? Or a game where they were playing without starting guard Larry Hughes, who was with his family after his brother died this week of heart failure?

    Or how about this...

    It was a game where an experienced Pistons team knew it could take control of the series with just a decent fourth quarter. Instead, the Cavs outscored the Pistons 33-21 in that final 12 minutes.

    Varejao, James lead emotional Game 3 win
    With James drawing massive attention, Varejao had space to work with and turned in perhaps the best offensive game of his career with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting. He was also a key part of a strong overall defensive effort, especially on Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace down the stretch.

    "I thought he was the difference-maker, how hard he played,'' Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. ``He played what I consider a perfect game.''

    Varejao helps Cavs fashion victory
    The one Cavalier not hesitant to play in the high traffic areas against the Pistons, Varejao is LeBron James' only teammate to score in double figures in all three games. How's that for a bizarre stat?

    It's what Cavs fans love about their caffeinated Brazilian Jumping Being. He either can't be intimidated, or is completely oblivious to the Pistons' ability to strike fear into opponents.

    [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

    LeBron saves the series
    How do you like your LeBron?

    Do you like him driving hard to the basket? He did that. How about making an improbable shot out of the post? He did that. Or maybe you’re a fan of a dagger of a three-pointer. There was some of that too.

    LeBron James overcame a poor shooting start, a stale offense and, most important, an experienced Pistons defense to pull the Cavaliers out of a 3-0 deficit into a 2-1 series.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    The Game 3 curse lives on
    Anderson Vaejao was second on the team with 16 points in 22 minutes, getting most of his points against a nervous interior defense that popped into the air at the slightest hint of a pumpfake. Congrats to Sideshow, I'm sure he took great joy in outplaying Detroit's entire frontcourt.

    Rasheed Wallace had an awkward game, shooting 3-11 from the field while scoring 11 points with six rebounds in 36 minutes. He finished with five fouls, but three of those came late — don't look at the box score and just think that he was simply saddled with foul trouble for most of the game.

    Considering the job he did on LeBron James for most of the game, I don't want to single out Tayshaun Prince too much, but he too struggled, shooting just 4-10 and finishing with 10 points, four boards and four assists. He had a chance to put Detroit within five with 30 seconds left, but he was tentative going to the hole and missed a driving layup. In hindsight, it likely would have been too little, too late regardless, but in the heat of the moment it was basically his entire night in a nutshell.

    ALSO:
    The Knicks may buy out Larry Brown
    Arnie Kander's alternative medicine
    YouTube: Chauncey then and now

    [Need4Sheed.com]

    Guaransheed
    The Cavaliers got their game in this series beating the Pistons 86-77. No worries Pistons Fans, the next two games are GUARANSHEED! (VIDEO)
  12. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    [the Oakland Press]

    Game 3 blues
    Pistons' woes continue in third games

    By DANA GAURUDER
    Of The Oakland Press

    CLEVELAND - No one should have been surprised to see the Pistons lose Game 3. What was bizarre is how they got beat at their own game. When a playoff game turns into a battle of wills, toughness and late-game execution, the Pistons are usually a lock to win. On the verge of taking complete control of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Saturday, the Pistons instead saw their offense lock up.

    Saunders gets to spend day with mom
    By DANA GAURUDEROf The Oakland Press

    CLEVELAND - This Mother's Day will be a treat for Flip Saunders. He'll actually get to visit his mother today near the home where he grew up.
  13. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]


    YouTube: Chauncey then and now

    I could waste hours of my life in the vast video wasteland that is YouTube (if I haven't already). But occasionally you stumble across a gem, and in this case it's a video mix of Chauncey's high school, college, and pre-Pistons highlights. The vid is only 3 minutes long, but it gives you [...]

    A day in the life of Rip Hamilton

    ESPN's Page 2 has an interesting excerpt from Chris Palmer's The Sixth Man: A Season Inside the NBA's Playground in which Palmer spends a couple of days trailing Rip Hamilton and his Coatesville crew. I'm impressed, and I'm now considering actually picking up the book. (Thanks for the heads up, Derek)

    Arnie Kander?s alternative medicine

    John Niyo wrote an interesting article in Saturday's Detroit News on Arnie Kander, the Pistons strength and conditioning coach. What was one of the remedies Kander used to keep Rip on the court after spraining his ankle in the first round? The answer lies in your refrigerator's crisper drawer, not your medicine cabinet:
    Cucumbers, carrots, [...]

    The Knicks may buy out Larry Brown

    That didn't take long, but I guess 23-59 will do it. From the New York Daily News:
    Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan apparently has started the process of ending Larry Brown's dream job after one season.
    According to sources, Dolan, upset over Brown's record and the coach's public criticism of his players, is considering buying out [...]

    CavsWorld pics from Game 3

    If you can stomach it, Alan from CavsWorld attended Game 3 and took nearly 200 photos, including this shot of LBJ's highlight reel dunk from the first quarter. Here's one of Drew Gooden trying oh-so-hard to get the ball over the rim, and here's Hooper (he travels?) going up for a dunk. And don't [...]

    Ben Wallace hires an agent

    A break from our second-round discussion for a moment:
    Remember back in January when Ben Wallace fired his agent? Remember all that "he doesn't need an agent; he's a straight shooter [no pun intended]" talk? Well forget it. Ben has hired NBA power agent Arn Tellem to rep him come free agency-time this [...]

    [Need4Sheed]


    Defense Still The Cornerstone Of The Pistons

    We all know that the Pistons franchise success was built on a solid defense. Ben Wallace was once again named Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time, tying Dikembe Mutombo, the only other player that won the award that many times. He was also named to the 2005-06 NBA All-Defensive First Team. Ben was the only player this season to rank in the top 10 in rebounds, steals and blocks. Some people (video) didn't even have him in their top 3, but he still pulled it out.


    [20 Second Timeout]


    Put Away the Brooms, Detroit

    LeBron James had the second triple double of his brief playoff career (21 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 86-67 victory over the Detroit Pistons in game three of their playoff series. The fourth straight sellout crowd for a playoff game at Quicken Loans Arena cheered wildly as James and Anderson Varejao (16 points on 6-7 shooting from the field) propelled the Cavs to the win despite the absence of starting shooting guard Larry Hughes, who is away from the team to attend the funeral of his brother. Rip Hamilton had 22 points and five assists for Detroit and Chauncey Billups scored 20 points with five assists.
  14. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Associated Press]

    Wallace predicts Game 4 win over Cavs
    One day after an 86-77 loss to the Cavaliers cut Detroit's series lead in half, forward Rasheed Wallace, the irrepressible motor mouth from the Motor City, boldly declared the Pistons would win Game 4.

    On top of that, Wallace proclaimed the best-of-seven series over.

    "I know we're going to win it," Wallace said sitting on the scorer's table following Sunday practice at Quicken Loans Arena. "We're going to bust their (butt). Tomorrow night is the last game here in this building for this year."

    [Detroit News]

    Rasheed gives Pistons his word
    CLEVELAND -- At this point, it's not about words -- it's about deeds.

    The Pistons understand that, as do the Cavaliers. By the time Game 4 tips off tonight, Rasheed Wallace's guarantee and all the subsequent banter will be mostly dust in the wind.

    ROB PARKER: After Game 3 loss, Pistons are obliged to back up Sheed
    CLEVELAND -- The Pistons stunk Saturday night. That's the best way to put it.

    They played sloppy, uninspired basketball and let the Cleveland Cavaliers think they have a chance to make this a series. The Pistons have only themselves to blame for making Game 4 tonight more important than it should be. Truth be told, the Pistons, who lead the best-of-seven series 2-1, should be closing the Cavs out and looking forward to facing the Heat or the Nets in the Eastern Conference finals.

    Game 4 preview
    Antonio McDyess on Sunday was showing off the teeth marks that were still visible on his left elbow, courtesy of Anderson Varejao.

    "He bit me, man," McDyess said.

    Well, sort of. McDyess caught Varejao in the teeth with the elbow after he pulled down a rebound. Both players were shaken up but kept playing.

    Ben Wallace hires agent
    Ben Wallace, who will be a free agent this summer, has hired an agent -- Arn Tellem. Tellem has a reputation of being a tough negotiator, though Wallace said that doesn't mean he expects any complications in hammering out a deal with the Pistons.

    "Nah, that's not the case at all," Wallace said. "Sometimes you just need somebody else to talk for you and help take your heart and emotions out of things."

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Her need is for Sheed
    Oh, and in case you couldn't tell by the name of her blog, www.need4sheed.com, Natalie Sitto, 35, really loves Rasheed Wallace, whose solid games in the playoffs so far have her psyched.

    Sheed Open Wide
    CLEVELAND -- The Pistons never lack for confidence, and in sticky situations, they never lack the mouthpiece to announce that confidence to the rest of the world.

    When it comes to guaranteeing victories and forcing your team to live up to your word, few can top Rasheed Wallace.

    DREW SHARP: Loose lips keep Pistons loose, too
    CLEVELAND -- All of sudden, it rained Nikes at the end of a Pistons practice last week. And, as usual, the ringleader was Rasheed Wallace.

    He would pop out of the training room and lob some leather at Dale Davis and Maurice Evans, interrupting their customary post-practice five-on-five pickup game.

    Pistons Corner: Tonight's game plan: limit the turnovers
    CLEVELAND -- The Pistons' film session must have been as ugly as the rainy, gray weather Sunday afternoon, a visual reminder of all the turnovers, the offensive miscues and the defensive breakdowns that let the Cavaliers win Game 3 on Saturday.

    That leaves plenty of room for improvement in Game 4 at 7 tonight in Quicken Loans Arena.

    Cavs Corner: There's no slowing LeBron Jr., either
    Dressed in a tailored suit, James had one final mission as his son, LeBron Jr., raced down a hallway. "This way, man, we gotta go this way," he yelled to the 20-month-old.

    [Akron Beacon]

    Cavs can play with the big boys
    The Cavs didn't need Wallace to challenge them. They challenged themselves -- and it's why they are back in the series.

    A week after qualifying for the postseason's second round, LeBron James and teammates proved they belong in it. While they probably won't beat the Pistons in the series, they certainly can compete with them based on efforts like the one Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.

    Gym teacher guards hoop that LeBron made famous
    As James continues his first NBA playoff run -- the Cavs host the Detroit Pistons today at Quicken Loans Arena -- memories of the dunk and the student-teacher game remain fresh at Riedinger.

    The teachers have lost only one game in school history. Guess who beat them?

    Pistons' Wallace says Cavs are done
    Now cue the bombastic mouthpiece, Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace, chippy from having been beaten and lashing out at the mere suggestion that anyone can come close to challenging his mighty team.

    Wallace trotted out his usual verbiage to set up Game 4. He belittled the Cavs, just as he's done with the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers and others in the past. He issued the always tasty "guarantee'' that his Pistons would win tonight in Game 4 and in Game 5 Wednesday in Detroit.

    [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

    Irritating Rash
    "In my opinion, there's only one team out there, two teams tops, that can really give us that good challenge that it's like, 'All right, we know we can't make [any] mistakes against those teams,' " Wallace said.

    Are the Cavs one of those teams?

    "No," he said.

    Murray expected to start again
    Flip Murray's first playoff career start in Game 3 against the Detroit Pistons was a success.

    Murray scored 13 points and had a career-high seven rebounds to help the Cavs earn their first victory of the series.

    Making a stand
    The predictions are called "guaran-Sheeds." Wallace has made three similar statements during previous postseasons, and the Pistons are 3-0 in backing him up. Damon Jones was not impressed.

    "We'll see you on Monday night," Jones said.

    Cavs silence Pistons' rowdy fans
    The army of Detroit fans who made the short trip to Cleveland - some stay ing to see the Indians take on the Tigers - do not seem a bit ruffled by the loss.

    Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, sitting in the lower bowl, was not worried about the series.

    "In the next couple of years, this is going to be a rivalry to watch," he said. "But not this year."
  15. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Booth Newspapers]


    Rasheed sticks to latest guarantee
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    CLEVELAND -- Following a loss, players occasionally say something that, in hindsight, they wish they hadn't uttered.

    Rasheed Wallace is not that kind of player.

    When he told the media following Detroit's 86-77 loss to Cleveland on Saturday that the Pistons would win Game 4 of their NBA playoff series tonight, he meant it.


    Varejao having solid series against Pistons
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    CLEVELAND -- Anderson Varejao and his moppy head of hair are hard to miss on the basketball court.

    Against the Detroit Pistons, he's turning heads with his play, not his mane.

    The 6-foot-10 Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center has had a solid playoff series against the Pistons, including a career-high 16 points in the Cavs' 86-77 win on Saturday. In the series' three games, he is Cleveland's second-leading scorer, averaging 12.3 points per game, while shooting an impressive 70 percent from the field.



    [Toledo Blade]


    Pistons need Rasheed to do more than talk
    by John Harris

    Rasheed must lead.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers fan holding the Rasheed Must Bleed sign got it all wrong after power forward Rasheed Wallace of the Detroit Pistons cut Zydrunas Ilgauskas' head open with a vicious blow in a regular-season game.

    Retribution was demanded, and Ilgauskas complied by taking down Wallace the next time the teams played.

    To re-establish dominance tonight in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Quicken Loans Arena, Detroit needs Wallace to back up his bold proclamation following Cleveland's 86-77 victory on Saturday with action.
  16. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Guaran-sheed, indeed!

    For those disappointed that Sheed didn't actually guarantee wins in the next two games in his Game 3 postgame comments, I give you a collection of Sheed's comments after Sunday's practice, courtesy of the AP:

    "I know we're going to win it," Wallace said sitting on the scorer's table following Sunday practice at Quicken Loans Arena. [...]


    [PISTONS BULLETIN]


    'Sheed's guarantee simply states the obvious

    Rasheed Wallace is no stranger to guaranteeing a Pistons playoff win, so the fact that he's already proclaimed Game 4...


    [Need4Sheed]


    Back Page, Front Page, It's A Sheedtastic Guaransheed

    As you may probably know by now Rasheed Wallace made a GuaranSheed Saturday night. He did it again on Sunday and sounds very confident as do his teammates. I like it when Sheed has that fire lit under him, I expect a huge game from him today.
  17. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Rasheed says ...
    'I know were going to win'
    By Dana Gauruder

    Pistons playoff series never seem complete without a Rasheed Wallace guarantee. What Wallace has to say about Game 4 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against Cleveland gives this series a sense of fulfillment, as well as making tonight's game a whole lot more interesting.

    Cleveland won Game 3 to cut Detroit's lead to 2-1, but Wallace promises that the series will end by Game 5. That would allow the Pistons to avoid a return trip for a potential Game 6.

    McDyess, Detroit feeling Varejao's bite
    By Dana Gauruder

    Anderson Varejao pestered the Pistons like a wild dog in Game 3.

    When Antonio McDyess inadvertently elbowed Varejao in the mouth during the second quarter Saturday night, Cleveland's reserve center treated the Pistons' sixth man like a chew rag.

    "He bit my elbow," McDyess said. "I had a big old bite print on my arm."

    Varejao bit even harder into Detroit's defense, scoring 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field. The unheralded, mopped-haired Varejao has blindsided the Pistons by averaging 12.3 points in the series.
  18. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Associated Press]

    Wallace eats words as Cavs beat Pistons
    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Rasheed Wallace's right ankle was heavily taped. Maybe his mouth should have been, too.

    Wallace's perfect record of predicting Detroit playoff victories was snapped Monday when LeBron James scored 22 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers dug deep on defense to beat the Pistons 74-72, evening their second-round series at 2-2.

    [NBA.com]

    Cavaliers Silence Wallace, Even Series with Pistons
    With LeBron James enduring a rough second half, Anderson Varejao and the Cavaliers locked down defensively, smothering the Detroit Pistons in a critical 74-72 victory to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.

    James scored just seven of his 22 points in the second half, finishing 8-of-23 from the field and 5-of-10 from the line with a game-high eight turnovers.

    "I know I didn't play extremely well offensively, but on the defensive end we got it done," said James, who did contribute nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a pair of blocks. "One thing that is helping us right now is that we don't feel any pressure - the Pistons feel all the pressure."

    [Detroit News]

    Cavs rally to win Game 4, tie series at 2
    CLEVELAND -- Here’s the latest playoff guarantee: The Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers will play a Game 6.

    And, who knows? Maybe even a 7.

    [Fox Sports]

    MIKE KAHN: Cavs win Game 4, continue to impress
    The upstart Cleveland Cavaliers shocked the basketball world again Monday night with a stunning 74-72 win over the two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons.

    On Saturday, they did it with LeBron James being spectacular down the stretch. Monday, they did it with defensive toughness, guile and James clearly out of sync to tie the series at 2-2. Now all the Miami Heat and Shaquille O'Neal have to do is to eliminate the fading New Jersey Nets Tuesday, and they can sit back and enjoy watching the Cavs wear down the Pistons.

    [SI.com]

    Outclassed? Don't tell Cavs
    This series now becomes a best of three with the Pistons holding the valuable home court advantage. But there are warning flags popping up all around the Motor City. Rasheed Wallace -- his Guaransheed coming up short -- was severely hobbled by the ankle injury and will probably be limited when the series resumes on Friday (unless Pistons recovery guru Arnie Kander can work some of his magic). Wallace's potential absence effectively nullifies any home court advantage the Pistons might have. Should Wallace be limited or unable to go, the calcified Dale Davis would likely be pressed into action.

    MARTY BURNS: Fast breaks
    Dud of the Night: Rasheed Wallace, Pistons
    If you're going to talk smack, you gotta back it up. After guaran'sheeding a victory, the fiery forward went out and produced just seven points and six rebounds in Game 4 as the Pistons lost again in Cleveland to fall into a 2-2 series tie. Hobbled by a sprained ankle suffered in the opening minutes, Wallace missed 10 of 13 shots, including both from 3-point range, while committing three turnovers. It was part of a dismal offensive showing for Detroit, which hit just 25-of-75 shots (33.3 percent) from the floor overall, 4-of-15 from downtown. Needless to say, 'Sheed heard about it from the fired-up crowd at the Q.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Game 4=Stomach punch
    Folks, this is the benefit of home court advantage. Let them win all their games at the Q. It isn’t ideal, but it could happen without much consequence. Take heart, folks. We could be the defending champs.

    Anderson Varejao is not a little bit crazy
    I can't stand Sideshow Varejao, but I think that's the point. The NBA needs more players like him — characters whom opposing fans love to hate, but deep down inside admit that maybe, just maybe they'd appreciate having him on their team. Whether it's getting physical with the other team or just standing there looking silly with all that hair, the game is just that much more interesting when he's on the court.

    [Need4Sheed.com]

    Cavs Tie It Up 2-2
    Still no worries from this Pistons fan, although I would have liked win on Monday, I still have no doubts about this series. Take a look at any 7 game stretch of the Pistons season, they have not lost 4 out of 7 all year long.

    The Guaransheed just didn't do it this time.
    Chauncey was 3-10
    Rip 11-25
    Tayshaun 6-15
    Antonio McDyess seems absent and afraid to take his signature turn around jumper.
    Sheed 3-13
    Why did Evans finished the game?
    Sheed turned his ankle and the Cavaliers fans stood and cheered.
    YaySports and CavsWorld are celebrating.

    [YAYsports!]

    Screw it, we're going Philly on Rasheed Wallace
    We have to question a few things, and we'll have a lot to say in the next 15 hours or so, as you can imagine. The main query - what was LeBron thinking with that jumper from the top of the key with 10 seconds left? The other - will Detroit claim they "just didn't feel like it" again, or does Cleveland get credit for their tough defense?

    [Sports Inferno]

    TERRY FOSTER: The Mouth and Pistons Fizzle
    Wallace was both the biggest mouth and the biggest culprit in Cleveland. He finished with 7 points on 3-for-13 shooting. He could not shoot the ball. He could not pass the ball and he could not shut his mouth. To top matters Wallace made rookie mental blunders.

    And the Pistons tried to make the man a hero. They kept dumping in to him on the post and he flicked jumpers off the rim.

    This loss is embarrassing because the Cavaliers are not even in the Pistons’ class. The Pistons reminded me of the Red Wings in first-round playoff series. They choked. They missed open shots, played like they did not care and allowed a mediocre team to beat them.
  19. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Pistons can't shoot straight in 2nd straight loss to cav's
    By Dana Gauruder

    Guarantee this: Rasheed Wallace needs to get out of the prediction business.

    The mouth that always roars was silenced - sort of - as his latest pledge of a Pistons playoff victory disintegrated. Cleveland once again outplayed the Pistons in the fourth quarter and evened the Eastern Conference semifinal series at 2-2 with a 74-72 win Monday night.

    After Game 3 and after practice Sunday, Wallace promised this would be the last game at Quicken Loans Arena this season. But unless the building gets condemned before the end of the week, that won't be the case.

    Bench production now and next to nothing
    By Dana Gauruder

    When given the chance, the Pistons reserves have driven home the point that they can fill up when they fill in. Lately, their minutes have dried up - and so has their production. After averaging 31.7 points through the Milwaukee series and Game 1 against Cleveland, the bench has delivered only 22 points in the last three games combined.

    Outside of Antonio McDyess, the bench players once again rarely stripped off their warmup jerseys in Game 3. McDyess played 22 minutes while Lindsey Hunter, Maurice Evans and Tony Delk played a total of 19.

    It was much the same in Game 4, as the bench received only 41 minutes and scored seven points. McDyess was held scoreless. Maurice Evans made some hustle plays, but was the only bench player who made a positive contribution.

    This one hurts
    This loss was as ugly as Rasheed's bum ankle
    By Keith Langlois

    The Pistons always considered it possible that one day Rasheed Wallace would stick his foot in his mouth. They just never imagined it would be attached to a sprained ankle at the time.

    Wallace made another of his bold playoff guarantees in the hours between Saturday's Game 3 loss and Monday night's Game 4. The four previous occasions he'd done it through the 2004 and '05 playoffs, the Pistons had bailed him out by winning every time.

    The streak ended with a thud on another soggy night in Cleveland, the Cavs taking advantage of the twisted ankle Wallace suffered early in the second quarter to beat the Pistons in a basketball game as ugly as a swollen ankle, 74-72.
    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Pistons come up short of Rasheed's guarantee
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    It was a low-scoring game, decided in the final minute of play -- the kind of game the Detroit Pistons have won all season.

    They were in that position for the second consecutive game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. But in the end, the Pistons couldn't back up Rasheed Wallace's weekend guarantee of a Detroit win.

    The Cavs, given little chance of making this series competitive, made all the big plays at both ends of the floor to hold on for a 74-72 win to tie the NBA playoff series at two victories apiece.

    Rasheed credits Cavs (sort of), vows to win series
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    To Rasheed Wallace's credit, he gave the Cleveland Cavaliers some credit for making him eat his words after he guaranteed a Pistons win on Monday.

    However, the way the Detroit Pistons forward sees this playoff series -- even after the Cavaliers tied it at two wins apiece following Monday's 74-72 win -- hasn't changed.

    "They won tonight. Can't take nothing away from them," said Wallace, who left the game briefly in the second quarter with a right ankle sprain.

    "Even the sun shines on a dog's ass.

    "Ain't no way in hell they're going to beat us in no damn series. Like I said, they (won) tonight, which is good for them. That's something they needed to do. They took care of home. But nah, they're not going to beat us in no series."

    Playoff primer
  20. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]


    This is LBJ's 1989

    Still reeling from last night's loss? Check this out:


    Ouch. Why would I do that? Why would I remind you of a game in which Jordan carved up the old school Bad Boys for 46 points?
    Because the Pistons lost that game. By two points. But won the series. In six games.
    The Pistons [...]


    [Hoopsworld]


    Cavs Standing Ground Against Detroit
    by Dan Valerino

    ... shift focus to the playoffs.


    [SI.com]


    Quit talking the talk
    This playoff guarantee thing has gotten out of hand
    by Ethan Trex

    Much like the first 80-degree day of March, Rasheed Wallace's first playoff-related guarantee seems to come earlier each year. On Monday, he made the bold prediction that not only would the Pistons win Game 4 of their series against the Cavaliers, but they would win the entire series without returning to Cleveland. When a non-clinching game in the second round is the subject of a stern promise, this whole playoff-guarantee thing may be getting a little out of hand.
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