We've been going pretty easy on Peter May 'round these parts recently... part of this is because the Celtics' ever-increasing relevance appears to have shamed him into doing a moderately more competent job of covering the team, and part of it's just because there's been a lot more fun stuff to talk about recently than the still-woefully-inadequate state of local basketball journalism.
But this morning... well, this morning I just can't resist. Mr. May's column this morning is adorned with the borderline-nonsensical title "One Regular Season Loss Won't Defeat Them" (granted, sportswriters often aren't responsible for their own headlines, but seriously--huh?), and it would be downright comical if it didn't come on the heels of the best game of the season, which makes it feel more like a slap in the face. In inimitable May style, this column shows little indication that he even watched the game--I mean, you could churn this shit out simply by checking the final score on your cell phone--and essentially reads like one long, tortuous string of cliches.
The basic thrust of the piece, as you might imagine, is that last night's win has not single-handedly vanquished the Pistons from the Eastern Conference playoff picture. It absolutely amazes me that sportswriters continue to write these columns, because they seem to operate on the presumption that somebody out there thinks otherwise and is in need of correction: Peter May is the voice of reason among the throngs of insane Celtics fans like yours truly who were previously under the impression that last night's game was in fact Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, that we've magically skipped March, April, and most of May, that Barack Obama has won the Pennsylvania primary in a landslide and secured the Democratic nomination, that Jacoby Ellsbury is batting .800 with 90 home runs through the first forty games, that the new Indiana Jones movie has come out and is soooooooooooo awesome. Thank you for bringing me back to reality.
Furthermore, the "Detroit only views the regular season as a long exhibition before the playoffs" angle has been taken so many times that it's not even an angle anymore, overused to the literal point of parody. Anyone who thinks the Pistons didn't give a shit about last night's game clearly didn't watch it (and again, there's no indication from this column that Mr. May did), and contrary to Flip Saunders' banal pronouncement about not really caring about home-court advantage, I'm pretty certain it's crossed his mind a few times, and if it hasn't then he's a worse coach than previously thought. In short, this column basically contains negative insight, and is most notable for a bizarre reference to the movie "Hook," which actually made me check to see if that was on television at the same time as last night's game, therefore explaining both the esoteric reference and the mind-numbing vapidity of May's column (it wasn't, from what I could tell). The fact that this is what we get from the Globe's lead basketball writer in the aftermath of both the best and most momentous game of the season thus far is depressing and disgraceful.
As a final point, considering that the Pistons have only won one title since the early 1990s and haven't made the Finals the past two seasons despite widespread expectations to the contrary, when is someone going to step up and write the column suggesting that maybe, just maybe, the Pistons' famously laissez-faire approach to the regular season hasn't been working out as well as some hope? The media always construes this as some sort of sign of maturity, but that'd be a lot easier to swallow if they had more to show for it at the end of the year... I mean, the same argument gets used for the Spurs, but the Spurs actually win titles; why do I feel like no one brings this up? Consider it on the table.