Earlier this week, I wrote a blog entry about how badly the Pistons played in the NBA FINALS. Just a few days later....I’m now writing one about the Spurs.
Believe me...this isn’t because the series is tied 2-2. This isn’t because you’ve lost 2 in a row. Hey, those games were in Detroit where last year the Pistons became the first team to ever win all of the middle 3 games at home. In fact, the Pistons are 8-1 all time in Finals games held at the Palace [the lone loss was in 1990 to Portland], matching the Bulls Finals record in the United Center.
But, dude, you got knocked the [bleep] out!!!
This is the third Spurs trip to the Finals. In the 11 games of their first two trips and the first two games of this series....they NEVER allowed an opponent to score 90 points. The Pistons have done it twice. In a row. And convincingly. They put up 96 in Game 3....then a whopping 102 in Game 4! And this game really wasn’t close. In the first 3 games of this series....the game had their moments of intrigue late. The Pistons won every quarter of Game 4...building a 17-pt lead heading into the fourth quarter....and blitzed the Spurs in the end. It really was epic.
The Pistons committed just FOUR turnovers...the lowest in NBA Finals history. And this was against the Spurs who are noted as one of the best defensive teams. Heck, the Pistons "out stole" the Spurs 13 to 1. ONE FREAKING STEAL!!! The Spurs 71 points were fifth lowest in Finals history [the Pistons scored a mere 69 in Game 1]. Shooting 33% didn’t help....especially when Detroit had 20 more shots. San Antonio had 16 turnovers....and only 15 assists.
For the second straight game....the duo of Ginobili and Duncan were silent. Sure, Duncan had 16 points and 16 rebounds [plus 3 blocks and 2 steals] but he shot a woeful 5-for-17 from the field....making his two-game Palace total of 10-for-32. Ugh. Ginobili has scored just 19 points in the last two games...after averaging 26.5 ppg in Texas. Bruce Bowen didn’t even get off a 3-pointer.
This has officially become a series...and may be the best series we’ve seen in the NBA Finals since the Bulls and Jazz met up in 1998. But you just can’t figure any of this out. How have the Spurs become so horrible after looking so great?? How have the Pistons become so great after looking so horrible?? These have been four blowouts by a combined total of 84 points. Only the Lakers dominate sweep of the Spurs in 2001 had a higher total after 4 games [89 points]. But that was ONE team dominating the other. In this series....each team has done the dominating.
The tough part for the Spurs is [a] the momentum is the Pistons; [b] the tiebreaking Game 5 will be held in Detroit; [c] the fact that there are two gut wrenching off days until they get a chance to avenge this defeat; [d] people whispering "Derek Fisher" in their ears; and [e] these Pistons are most likely the best team in the NBA at facing adversity (in their last six best-of-seven series in which they trailed 2-1....the won five of those series).
The problem that they can only address is [a]. The Momentum. They can get back the momentum by winning Game 5. How?? Well, Coach Pop needs to figure that out. Whatever they ate or drank in San Antonio...they need to bring up north. If you are the Spurs...does doubt creep in? I mean, you were dominating...then, it seems, that Detroit figured you out. And, really, all they have done was up the defensive intensity. That defense has sprung open their offense....and the Pistons have rolled.
So getting some scores is key. Taking care of the ball and getting good shots will most assuredly narrow the gap of this series. Of course, I am sitting two states away and don’t have to stare Ben Wallace in the grill to do any of this.
CHECK OUT THESE TAKES:
George Coztanza: The NBA Finals and Other Observations
YCSJ: Are you ready to rumbbbbbbbblllllllllleeeeeeeeee???
Yanniis K: Yannis' Sports Journal
RaisinBrn on Phil Jackson: I've Had My Phil
Cleveland Rox: The Formula for an NBA Championship Team