Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday's Things

(on most Thursdays at OOB, I rant in list fashion. Last week it was Things Dominik Hasek Does Now That He's The Backup Goalie)

Things I Remember Most About The Pistons-Celtics Playoff Rivalry Of The Late-1980s, Early-1990s
(in honor of a likely matchup with the Celts in '08; in no particular order)

1. Bill Laimbeer bringing a sickle in a satchel into the Silverdome in 1988, symbolizing the need to "cut the snake's head off", in reference to the Pistons' 3-2 lead in the conference finals. The Pistons won.

The Pass. Of course, I'm talking about Isiah Thomas's errant inbounds pass in '87 that Larry Bird picked off and turned into a Celtics victory. And GM Jack McCloskey saying, "On my deathbed, I'll probably say, 'We shouldn't have made that pass.'"

3. Game 6 of the conference semis in 1991. It doesn't get much notoriety, but it was one of the best games in the rivalry's history. The Pistons won an overtime thriller; I remember watching it at a watering hole near the Detroit River.

4. Kevin McHale's pseudo-three. It came late in Game 2 of the 1991 conference semis, in Boston. The Pistons were looking for a 2-0 series lead. McHale's toe was clearly on the line, but the refs gave him a three anyway; a crucial call that enabled the Celtics to win.

5. Dennis Rodman's mouth. After the Pistons were eliminated in '87, Rodman said that Bird gets the praise he does because he's white.

6. The Pistons winning Game 5 in Boston in 1988 -- their first win in Boston in years. It enabled them to advance to the Finals.

7. Celtics announcer Johnny Most screaming into his microphone about the Bad Boys: "OH, THE WAY THEY DO THINGS HERE!!"

8. Vinnie Johnson lighting up Joe Louis Arena in the 1985 conference semis, earning the nickname The Microwave from Danny Ainge.

9. Robert Parish slugging Laimbeer across the head and face in the lane in Boston.

10. Adrian Dantley and Johnson crashing to the floor and butting heads, chasing a loose ball, knocking both players silly, in Game 7 in 1987. The Garden Leprechaun at work once again.

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