Monday, April 23, 2007

Pistons Need To Make Quick Work Of Magic

When Muhammad Ali would box, sometimes he would stick his left arm out and place it directly on the forehead of his opponent. The other boxer would be helpless in that situation because he just couldn’t reach Ali, who was toying with him. You know, kind of the way a cat plays with a mouse before he goes for the kill. It’s the same feeling the Pistons present as they mess with the Orlando Magic during the opening round of the NBA playoffs. The Pistons get a lead, but never one so big the Magic feel like they are being blown out. Sometimes, Orlando cuts the lead down to single digits. It was even down to three points late in Game 1 on Saturday. Yet, there is never any feeling the Pistons are truly threatened. The Pistons are the ones in control. The Magic are only as good as the Pistons let them be. It could change on the road. If it does, and the Pistons lose a game or two to the Magic, it would not bode well for their future. The shorter work they make of the Magic, the better. Several of the Pistons’ key players - Rasheed Wallace, Lindsey Hunter, Antonio McDyess and Chris Webber - are older than 30. Even with an improved bench, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton play a lot of minutes. The more rest the Pistons get for the next round, the better because Miami and Chicago figure to beat on each other in a knockdown series. There is no reason the Pistons can’t win these next two games in Orlando and sweep the series. They would be wise to stop toying with the Magic and take care of business as soon as possible.

Ramdom Thoughts

- Thank you, Red Wings. Detroit needed that.
Now people can put the past behind them. This can become "Hockey
Town" again.
The Red Wings are still a long way from winning the Stanley Cup championship, but at least they won their creditably back Sunday by outlasting Calgary in six games. The early exits from the playoffs had become monotonous.
It was important, too, that the Red Wings won a close game on the road. There would not have been nearly the same degree of optimism about the next round if they advanced only because they could beat one of the worst road teams in the NHL at Joe Louis Arena. Calgary is a difficult place to play - and the Red Wings proved they were tough enough to win there.
What I still don’t understand about the series is why it was so difficult. The Red Wings outshot the Flames by 21 per game. The Flames Mikka Kiprusoff was beyond brilliant in goal. He was even better than in 2004. But it seems like every goalie that sees the Red Wings in the playoffs gets into an unbelievable trance. It got almost spooky Sunday. The good part is the Red Wings won despite this quirk. Also, I don’t think there is much question Dominik Hasek is an upgrade from Manny Legace and Curtis Joseph in Detroit’s goal. If Manny or CuJo were still playing goal for the Red Wings, I don’t believe they would be advancing. There is little question the Red Wings would be better off facing Dallas in the next round. San Jose is the big and physical type of team that is going to still give the Red Wings problems. Dallas is a conservative trapping team that is not particularly physical. San Jose has better scoring punch and is more playoff proven in goal.

- It probably wouldn’t mean that much ultimately if the Tigers were 8-10 instead of 10-8, but it is a good sign they are finding ways to win. It doesn’t get much more dramatic than Marcus Thames’ ninth-inning homer to tie it Sunday. They are doing it with Kenny Rogers out and Gary Sheffield slumping to an unimaginable degree. Fernando Rodney is a major concern, but his troubles have been off set by the work of Wilfredo Ledezma. Jim Leyland was right. He is a weapon out of the bullpen.

- Justin Verlander is an incredible talent. I just can’t see him getting lit up by any lineup this season.

- Johan Franzen for the Conn Smythe Trophy...Just kidding...But he has developed into quite a player.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat the Book, as the wise Yogi so aptly said, "It's deja vu all over again." Dem Pistons are acting like some big cats. I hope that the fellas are as cool in the Sunshine State. A sweep and some rest is what the 'Stons could use. But they're probably worried about too much down time waiting for the ghost of Scarface to determine a winner between his favorite haunts.

I'm curious to know if the NBA and NHL are even aware that the other league's playoffs is taking place? News flash: there are people that are fans of both sports! Related item, Red Wings and Pistons are both scheduled to play on Thursday evening then on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. As Charlie Brown would say, "Ughhhh".

I realize that the big markets such as New York, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia don't have this problem with scheduling. Mainly because these locales were lucky to have one team from their winter pro sports make the post season. One would think that at the very least, the games on Saturday could be scheduled so that there is no overlap. Perhaps the round ballers at 1 p.m. or in the evening? I am aware that the Tigers play that afternoon at the New Corner and of course NBC wants their infomercial on northern latitude winter activities on during a spring weekend afternoon.

Can the Fifth Estate come to the rescue of the beleaguered citizens of this once proud industrial metropolis? Stay tuned sports fans and have your clicker ready.

11:05 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
I couldn't agree with you more. You would think they would be smart enough to separate the teams and when they play. But it is all driven by what national television wants. Good point.
Caputo

6:06 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This first round of the NBA playoffs is a joke for the Pistons. Other team have it tougher.

6:33 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I agree I think the Pistons do need to make quick work of the Magic. Also in my mind I think Flip should be giving his bench a tad more time this series and preserving his starters like Rip and Billups who both had nagging injuries all year a little rest for the grind coming up. Either way I like our path to the championship.

On the other hand I would definately of preferred Dallas over San Jose, but it is what it is. If the Wings can play smart and keep it 5 on 5 or stay out of the penalty I like our shot there as well.

You know book. I was one of the zillions that had to eat his words last year aafter Todd jones put together a decent year. I know it is early and it is only 2 blown saves. But Even last year he and Rodney have just made me nervous as hell everytime they take the hill. I think the tigers back end of the bull pen isn't the strongest part as people say. Red Sox threw Paplebon into the Role early. If Zumya is going to be the closer why not let him take the reigns, and let Jones be the set up guy? Maybe promote Ledezma to that 7th inning guy/situational Lefy. (even though I think he should start cause he has been really good this year). Zumya has closer stuff. If he can't take that role now then why not put him as the 5th starter. I think he could fill a big whole for us.

Don't get me wrong I am not destroying jones cause he has been servicable. And today against the angels well that is just todd jones being todd jones.

7:30 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
That is true, but the Pistons can use that to their advantage to rest up for the long grind.
Caputo

8:01 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
Leyland is going to go with Jones ahead of Zumaya for a long, long time. The chances of their being a change are minimal. I have heard him talk about it a lot. He is not going to make a change unless Jones falls apart completely.
Caputo

8:02 AM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home