Monday, June 13, 2005

Pistons' Discovery In Texas: Looking Into The Mirror Can Be Extremely Uncomfy

The Pistons have met the enemy and it is them. Problem is, it's them in San Antonio Spurs uniforms.

The Spurs have done a wonderful job, so far, of playing Pistons Basketball better than the Pistons. Of course, those Texans will say it's "Spurs Basketball", but why quibble when I'm trying to make a point?

Whatever you choose to call it, the Spurs are moving the ball, playing active defense, making hustle plays, and draining three-pointers like a basketball storm from hell. They're also getting the calls, but I hate to go there because the Detroit media are villifying the Pistons for whining, when in fact they have a case; the Spurs are getting the whistles to blow their way, and I think even an objective observer would concur.

From the "glass is half full" seat, where I sit, the Spurs did nothing more than hold serve on their home court. The next three games are in Detroit, and I think the Pistons will spank the Spurs in Game 3, giving them something to think about and putting a chink or two in their armor. I think even Manu Ginobili, who has been anointed the next best thing since sliced bread -- and Michael Jordan -- will come down to earth. Watching Ginobili sink three-pointers like he was pitching pennies into the ocean was a tad discouraging, but home cooking has always agreed with the Spurs. Hey, if you listen to Bill Walton, which I am loathe to do, the Spurs don't have much of a chance in the "wildest, most difficult place to win in all of sports" -- the Palace of Auburn Hills. He really did say that, or something very close to it. It must be true, because Bill Walton never uses hyperbole, does he? Oh, and Walton, no fan of Larry Brown, tried to insinuate the Pistons don't believe in their coach any longer by saying, "You have to wonder if the Pistons still believe in their coach." Okay, so he more than insinuated it -- he damn well said it. Still, it was a cheap shot and a clueless analysis. Typical of Walton, anyway.

By the way, what did you think of ABC's love-in with the Spurs? Their pregame and halftime shows have been so full of Spurs features and fawning, you would think you were watching Fox Sports Southwest. It's been disgusting, the slant toward the Spurs, and you can only hope it gets better when the series shifts to Detroit. Like, how about a pregame interview with, say, Rick Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer, so they can diss the Spurs and predict a Pistons victory? That would even out Ahmad Rashad's ridiculously softballish "interview" with former Spurs stars David Robinson and George Gervin. Robinson said the Pistons had to "step it up" and they both picked the Spurs to win. Wow -- what a scoop, Ahmad!

Maybe I'll turn down the sound and listen to George Blaha tomorrow night. Of course, the radio feed is about three seconds ahead of the TV feed, so that makes for a strange experience. Still, it might be worth it to not listen to anymore pro-Spur drivel. Of course, it's been like this throughout the playoffs with the Pistons and their opponents. In Round 1, the announcers gave their love to Allen Iverson. In Round 2, it was the Reggie Miller Swan Song Farewell Tour, and in Round 3, it was The Dwyane Wade Mini-Series on TNT. The Pistons have been treated about as shabbily on the tube as any defending champ I've seen.

Of course, maybe ABC was on to something last night; they treated their coverage as if the Pistons weren't even there. Then the Pistons decided to justify the slant by not showing up.

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