Monday, May 21, 2007

Billups and Hamilton Drive The Pistons

It doesn’t matter, honestly, whether the venue is sports or something else, but we always seem to be fascinated by great duos. Around here, it’s been Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell. Nationally, it was Joe Montana to Jerry Rice. In entertainment, there have been a million and one great duos.
Guess that makes it perplexing why it isn’t widely proclaimed that the Pistons’ Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton are the best backcourt in the NBA. They are, you know, and have been for a long period. They just got done outplaying a really good backcourt in Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon during the Eastern Conference semifinals. And while the Pistons do seem to have the edge in the forecourt, too, it figures to be Hamilton and Billups that will give the Cleveland Cavaliers the most problems during the Eastern Conference finals. I am not so sure if Billups isn’t the best point guard in the league. The luster does seem to have come off Steve Nash this spring. What was his - and the Suns’ - excuse this time? Did the big, bad Spurs play too rough? That tactic wouldn’t work with Billups. It was a joke Billups was just a third-team All-NBA pick. He rated better than that. And Hamilton is his perfect compliment.
I can see where Billups and Hamilton will play close to a decade together. I can see where they might bring home another title or two. I can see where the future will ultimately judge them as one of the NBA’s great backcourts of all time.

Random thoughts

- I have a feeling the Red Wings are going to still win their series with the Ducks. They have carried play to a wide degree in three straight games. I would expect the results to even out the rest of the series.

- The Tigers sweeping the Cardinals this weekend was bittersweet. It was nice, but hardly makes up for the World Series collapse. The fact the Tigers have swept the Cardinals in interleague play the last two years only makes the shellacking in the World Series that much more difficult to swallow.

- Yeah, I thought Andrew Miller was terrific Friday. If he doesn’t get injured, his future is extremely bright.

10 Comments:

Blogger Fred C. Brill said...

Book,

I may be showing my ignorance here – but I don’t think there’s a duo thing happening with the Pistons. To say it’s a Billups – Hamilton thing completely negates the Tayshaun Prince factor.

Hamilton is great.
Billups is great.

Tayshaun makes both those guys great.

Prince goes about his biz every game, playing smart, playing 100% heart, and playing 100% in control. In the stands it may appear that Billups is the leader, but I will bet you dollars to donuts that Prince is the leader in the clubhouse.

I say the Pistons in 5 over the Cavs. If and only if the “lets get to work” Pistons show up.

As far as yesterdays Wings game, I caught the 3rd period and the overtime after we left Comerica Park.

Hot goalie? Yup.

What the *&%*#@ was that nonsense? Giving up the puck on a fanned pass 3 yards from the crease?

Sometimes it like the Wings and the Pistons share each others karma.

If the Wings get there, I’m a wings man. But it feels more like a coin flip. If the Ducks get there – I got to go with the Sens? In either case I pick the Senators to win The Cup this year. They really want it.

Yesterday we took the tunnel from Windsor to Comerica Park. It took 2 ½ hours. We missed the first 2 ½ innings of the game. But it was a great game.

Sheff in right field. Mag’s DHing. I could go for more of that.

Sheff was sliding all over making catch after catch. Up close you could tell he was having fun. A lot of fun. I like this guy having fun. Perhaps he and Mags could platoon? Or he could rotate across the outfield?

Verlander got the win in a so-so start. And Inge’s homer seemed to take 5 minutes to clear the fence. Jim Price on my mini radio called it before I was sure - watching it with my own eyes.

But on our way home – heading to the tunnel, we passed a hoe-down. Not a play on the word “hoe” either. A bunch of guys in Stetsons, boots and trying to look bow-legged, crossing Woodward Ave.

I’m sure I only had two beers at the stadium.

11:44 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

fred c brill,
I agree with you about Prince. Too often he flys under the radar in discussions like this. He was brilliant in Game 6 in Chicago.
Caputo

11:56 AM 
Anonymous Brian said...

Pat,

I missed Miller's start on Friday and forgot to Tivo the game. For a guy who's supposed to be an extreme groundball pitcher, his groundball to flyball ratio was out of whack in the boxscore (seven groundballs, nine flyballs). Was he not getting his pitches down and getting some breaks, or were those flyballs just weak marshmellows?

12:12 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Brian,
I don't know if he is a ground ball pitcher. I think, ultimately, he is going to be a strikeout pitcher. He doesn't throw a sinking fastball. It more only sweeps across the plate. It looks very difficult for a hitter to center.
Caputo

1:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Wings have shot themselves in the foot. There is no way they are coming back.

1:48 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
There are two ways of looking at it. One is that the Red Wings have blown a golden opportunity and are doomed to get beaten in this series. Another is they have been a little unlucky. I think they have been.
Caputo

2:07 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think whatever way the wings series plays out, they have done themselves proud. Things look good for the future as long as the goalie situation is stable.

Ottawa looks to be a team of destiny though. They can choke the life out of a game, and man are they driven! I'm afraid whoever they face is going to get waxed.

Allan

7:41 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Allan,
The Red Wings have gotten the monkey off their back as far as the playoffs go. They have been anything but soft during these playoffs. As far as the goaltending, it seems like Hasek has another year in him. Then it depends on how well Jimmy Howard does.
Caputo

10:30 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

book,

tonights red wing game is on cbc,
according to the paper thursday
night's game 7 is not.(provided
the red wings win)this does not
leave a good taste in the mouth
of a long time red wing fan who
can not get versus. what is the nhl thinking?

4:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,

The NHL's television package stinks. I haven't felt it as much as others because I get the center ice package, but to try to draw others it's horrible. They cut away from the Eastern Conference cliching goal Saturday for pre-Preakness coverage on NBC. The rest of the game was on Versus, but they couldn't get out of the coverage into a backpacking show fast enough. That's if people can get Versus. CBC does a great job, and so does TSN. But in this country, the hockey national coverage is poor. And it's a shame. Thing is, I don't think the league cares because they got a little from Versus where they would have gotten next to nothing from ESPN.
Caputo

4:54 PM 

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