Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pistons 105, Bobcats 95

Even though we lost, I think this was our best effort all season. We had the lead in the fourth quarter and the mighty Pistons scrambling at home. Detroit clamped down though, and effectively ended things by mugging Emeka Okafor with about three minutes left, causing him to lose the ball out of bounds. A foul was shamefully NOT called, despite Coach Bickerstaff hopelessly pleading with officials and looking like a guy getting his apartment ransacked by cops with no warrant. The last minute collapse was somewhat foreseeable; when we were shooting nearly 60% at the half and still trailing, I had that feeling I used to get at high-school cross-country races when I would hit certain landmarks way ahead of schedule—I knew I’d be paying for it at the end.

So it was fitting that we would lose primarily to Rip Hamilton, who plays as if he won a few track meets in his day (question: if in fact he did run track, did he still wear the face protector?). Hamilton slashed us for 26-6-6, and left poor Adam Morrison with no alternative except blatantly stiff-arming him and taking the foul. Over the summer I interned with a U. of Michigan dude who was naturally a serious Piston fan, but who inexplicably despised Rip. He thought Rip was overrated, which is an odd to thing to think about a guy who’s only been selected to one All-Star game. He reminds me of this other friend I have who thinks the band Death Cab for Cutie is overrated, even though I don’t know anyone else who’s ever even heard of them. Anyway, overrated or not, Rip left us in the dust.

The game still had its pleasures though. Matt Carroll turned in his first bona fide coke binge performance of the year, complete with bangs of hair sweat-plastered to his forehead a la a mid-80s Mark Price. In fact he must have done two lines, once in the second quarter and once in the fourth—did someone give him an adrenalin shot in the heart at halftime? The little speedball was all over the place, driving relentlessly, collecting his own rebounds, even protesting calls—atta boy, Matt! 16 points off the bench! I only hope the withdrawal symptoms subside before tonight’s game with Miami.

The other pleasure: Adrian’s AB“C”s for success were finally somewhat substantive. They still weren’t earth-shattering—“play smart,” “play aggressive,” and “play as a team”—but at least they didn’t sound as if he’d scrawled them on a hot dog wrapper during a commercial break. Hey, I know AB can’t get too controversial with this, and I’m certainly not asking for tips like “poison the other team’s Gatorade” or something, but it’d be cool if they were at least a little edgier—something like “try to goad Rasheed Wallace into a technical foul” would have been cool.

Let’s see, I suppose at some point I should mention something about the actual game…foul shooting was good (81%); Okafor went for 23 and 12, that was nice…I also took personal delight in watching Gerald Wallace blow by Rasheed several times, who’s apparently too cool for defense—that’s got to be the kind of thing that causes Joe Dumars to spit out his coffee up in the press box. If Joe D. was actually coaching this team, he’d kick Sheed to the end of bench for that horrendous effort, all the way down next to Carlos Delfino. Instead, mealy old Flip Saunders just stands out there with his hands on his hips, looking like a sit-com dad trying to deal with two teenage daughters. I really have no idea why Pistons fans seem to adore Sheed so much…

We’ve got the Heat tonight, and I’m actually feeling pretty confident about this one—no, seriously. They’re just 4-9 and only have one more win than us. Plus they’re old and creaky and immobile—they look like U2 out there.


theSHEEDabides said...

A little love for Sheed...Saunders might be soft but Sheed isn't. He was just one rebound shy of his fifth straight double-double. A guard ought to blow past the big man at least once in a game...if he's an NBA player. As for the officiating, there may have been contact on Okefor but how about that blatant charge by that little dude from Notre Dame (Carroll?)--you'd think he was a football player the way he tucked that ball and put his head down. Good luck tonight with the Heat

Ryan said...

Sheed has helped carry the Pistons to a 5 game winning streak. To say he's lazy and deserves to be sitting on the bench is just retarded.