Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hate to Say I Told You So

“Dee-troit Basketball” is undoubtedly the ugliest recipe for roundball in the NBA:

1. Start with a gallon of defensive tenacity.
2. A cup of attitude.
3. Add several cups – players that excel in a half-court set.
4. A tablespoon of toughness.
5. For extra flavor, add flopping and complaining at your discretion to produce desired result.

And there you go. Give Joe Dumars credit. This team of guys who couldn’t play anywhere else has eclipsed 50 wins the past six seasons. With little care for cultivating the beauty of fundamental basketball, the Pistons plow their way to victory.

Sporting a record of 17-8, they came into the TD Banknorth Garden tonight to impose their ugliness on a Celtics team that had previously faced little resistance. The Celtics’ mission: to outgun the plodding Pistons and keep their perfect home record intact.

And guess what? The Pistons beat the Celtics senseless. The score was 87-85 – I understand that. But they literally beat the C’s senseless. The team was unable to gather their wits on the offensive end all night and the Pistons baited them into playing bad basketball. A Boston team that had previously been unflappable looked panicked and was reduced to complaining to referees, angrily trash talking, and going to the basket half-looking for contact and blowing layups. Even the two possessions at the end of the game, where the C’s hit two miracle threes, were terribly organized, with lots of dribbling and standing around until House and Shuttlesworth were able to spring for huge swishes.

Hey, the Celts are 20-3. And let’s be thankful for the gift of a good Eastern Conference rivalry – born tonight on December 19th and hopefully seeing future installments in the 2008 playoffs. But the Pistons, along with the oodles of other great teams that the Celtics haven’t seen yet, will undoubtedly have plenty to say about who is the most dominant squad in the NBA. And until the Celtics can learn composure, run an effective offense against a top defensive club, and figure out how to impose their will on a worthy challenger, there are going to be lots of potholes this winter. Better put it in four-wheel drive.


Anonymous said...

I thought rebounding was the difference. And did KG look a little out of sorts to you? Took two three's, and had the behind the back dribble move. Don't remember seeing that before. He played a great game, but I felt he pressed a little bit.

We were lucky to tie it up, but once we did, Paul went too early on his move...

Ben Guest

WVCelticsFan said...

Being a transplanted Massachusetts native, I was super-excited to watch this game since my cable package in West Virgina doesn't offer NBA League Pass and this is one of the few games I've gotten to see this year. Detroit just out-hustled us on the boards tonight. They killed the C's on the offensive glass. That and the poor free throw shooting in the second half was the difference in my mind.

Tim said...

I still feel good, Fox, I still feel good.

derek said...

i wouldn't say that they were "unable to gather their wits on the offensive end all night". just the 2nd half really. it might say something about their ability to stay organized under pressure, when they're not mowing over lousy atlantic division teams.

such bad offensive decisions in the last five minutes. can someone explain to me why we keep going to pierce for an out-of-control jumper with 6 seconds on the clock? at least drive and get a trip to the line.

The Fox said...

Good point Derek. I was satisfied with the first half. Rondo had a great 1st quarter. But the Pistons just unraveled the Celtic game plan.

I still feel good, too. The Celts will roll the Bulls tomorrow night - then it's time to hit the road.

Dunleavy's Lone Testicle said...

Is it just me, or does anyone else really prefer that Pierce not be the option in a game-ending situation? It wasn't that the shot he took was awful, just a very poor decision to catch and shoot with over 4 (close to 5) seconds left...leaving Detroit with enough time to win at the end. The game should have gone into overtime. Also, truly brutal officiating (for both sides), how Rondo getting run over by Billups can be a no-call is beyond me.

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