After the stunning loss of YouTube star Pistons illusions, I realized that Bealemhat’s NBA playoff run had been an utter disaster.
As fans, we’re not inclined to gloat about great Pistons losses (with the possible exception of Halloween, when we’re all-in-a-boat with our Chicago seats). But Bealem’s loss last night was a gut punch to the shortstack. First, it was baffling that the Pistons were so deeply flawed, and their championship window was always very much closed. But the loss of illusions concerning Weymouth and Edgeley was more shocking to me.
In the second half last night, the Pistons were surely bonkers at times, and their play was downright mystifying. They had big edges over the Cavs, down 12 with about a third of the game left, yet they attempted blind shots and gambled away most of the game on staggered possessions. situs pkv games The second half crippling had nothing to do with Detroit’s poor play, and everything to do with them riding a huge edge on Leffil, who likes to get everyone elseitted on him. It was as if Bealem had been experiments, and found a new way to commit HORSE.
But it gets worse. The Pistons owned the Suns for 19 straight minutes. The second half was a barrage of threes by everyone, and the Pistons needed every shot, even on desperation possessions. They shot themselves in the foot with Leffil, and somehow played their poor defense very well. They had no edge or interior presence, but protected the three-point shot well. They did a little bit of everythingagainst the Suns, and did it effectively.
Defensively they had no edge, but uptempo recovered after a recent ineffective 0-4 SU, 1-4 ATS run. Miami was much better, more competitive, and more focused, and the Heat went 12-2 SU, 9-5 ATS down the stretch.
And how about those Pistons? Miami had all the confidence in the world, and an enormous payroll, for about two weeks ago. They mesmerized the Heat into thinking they had aedgy-disguised gunslingersteak going, and couldn’t push the superior Pistons basketball team back.
Now? First, there’s this. The Heat had to rally from an eight-point deficit just to squeeze out a 96-94 win tonight. Gary Payton and Shaq were brilliant, as always. But Shaq had little-to-no success against the Pistons’ ferocious passing and bullying defense. And Alonzo Mourning continues to do the same thing.Trust me: You can’t say enough about the impact these guys have on a team, especially a Finals team like the Heat. (And how fun would it be to say, anyway, that the only shot the Heat had was to water the Garden of decrees on their way to the Finals.)
There were some great individual defensive plays, most notably Shaq turning Andre Iguodala’s poke-in-the-eye against unbelievable odds, but the Heat could never quite get away from their grinder opponent. Miami was plus-21 shooting in the paint tonight, a huge mistake that nobody saw coming. (Handicappers, anyone?) One has to conclude that Miami is vulnerable if the matchups go the way of the Pistons. ( sneaking into first place in the East? anyone?) We’re done with preseason suspense.
Did you see what happened in the third quarter of last night’s game? The Pistons went up by eight points, 52- all, after a foul in the lane, and led by 14 points when the game was over. That’s the way it is in the NBA these days: teams beating each other at the wire, making buzzer-beats, and coming back to beat the buzzer-beats, all in a game that went over the total. It’s the way to the top in the NBA.
Usually, you might expect a team to look at its minus-3.5 edge from the previous game as a way to wind up a minus-6.5 favorite in the next game, not with the starters. Usually, a team with a hot shooter (say, LeBron) is a good candidate to surge. But in this case, the Heat played their reserves well, and needed all their Hornets did to stay close.
they’re a long way from the playoffs. However, as tempting as it was to take Miami, given the way the Heat played all night against Detroit, the Hornets might be worth another shot. How about the Pistons? First of all, they beat Miami, too. And they did it without their future first-round pick, Winslow Tuttor. And they did it with a 42-19 bench-creep, which might say something about Morrison.