Detroit Sports

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Brief Draft Recap

The Detroit Pistons had the 26th pick in the NBA Draft and they selected Jason Maxiell from the University of Cincinnati. Maxiell is a 6'7, 250 pound power foward. In his senior year he averaged 15.7 points a game, 2.7 blocks a game, and 7.7 rebounds a game. He works hard and some people have even compared him to a mini Ben Wallace. Maxiell should hopefully be able to help out the Pistons thin bench this upcoming season.

Although I think Maxiell potentially could be a good player in the NBA, I think the Pistons should have went after a shooter. They have a lot of good big men already and they need a three point shooter. Maybe the Pistons should have went after a big time three point shooter like Salim Stoudamire. Remember, the Pistons could not hit any three pointers during the Finals and that might have cost them the championship.

The Pistons also selected power foward Amir Johnson with their second pick. The Pistons final pick was Alex Acker.

Click here to get thoughts from the Pistons on these draft picks.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Tigers preparing to make a run?

The Detroit Tigers record sits at 36-36, exactly 500. They have not been 500 this late in the season for a long time. The Tigers are seventh in the AL Wild Card Standings but they are just 4.5 games behind the Wild Card leading Baltimore Orioles.

The Tigers could be preparing to make a run at that Wild Card spot. The Tigers open series against the division leading White Sox and Yankees this week. If the Tigers could both of those series, it would give Detroit even more confidence as the All-Star break comes closer. The Tigers have kept in the Wild Card race this long with a lot of injuries to some of their best players. However, the injury bug appears to be leaving them as they might get Carlos Guillen back into the lineup soon. The Tigers also should be getting Magglio Ordonez back into the lineup sometime soon. Ordonez has been injured for almost the entire season with a hernia. The Tigers paid big money for Ordonez and it will nice to finally see his bat in the lineup.

Besides the Tigers injuries leaving them, I think they have a shot at the Wild Card spot because of their pitching staff. Their pitching staff has been solid this year. Jason Johnson, Mike Maroth, Jeremy Bonderman, and Nate Robertson, four of their starters, all have an ERA below 4.30. Their bull-pen is now stronger as well because Troy Percival finally appears to be healthy. He has a 3.98 ERA along with 16 stikeouts in just 20 innings of work. He only has seven saves on the season but he will get more saves as the season progresses. The Tigers staff really needs to keep up their solid play if the Tigers want a shot at the Wild Card.

The Tigers recently made a trade that has made them better. The Tigers traded reliever Ugueth Urbina for infielder Placido Polanco. Since coming to Detroit, Polanco has been hitting .383 with 9 RBIs in just 15 games with Detroit. His awesome play has really helped out the Tigers.

Now that the Pistons season is over, the Tigers are the central focus in Detroit Sports. The All-Star game is in Detroit this year and that should put even more attention on the Tigers play. It would very exciting if the Tigers could make a run for the Wild Card. They have not even been close to the playoffs in such a long time, and the city of Detroit is just crazing for their baseball team to be good once again. The Tigers should be fun to watch for the rest of the season as they try to make a run at the playoffs.

Another note: My site was in the Detroit Free Press. Click here to read the short article.

Friday, June 24, 2005

That's It and That's All

The Detroit Pistons are no longer the Champions of the NBA as the San Antonio Spurs beat Detroit in game seven 81-74. Tim Duncan finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds and was named the MVP of the series.

You could analyze this game over and over but it really came down to the fourth quarter. The game was tied 57-57 going into the fourth quarter when the Pistons fell apart. Rasheed Wallace was pretty much the Pistons only source of offense down the stretch. The Pistons just simply did not show up in the fourth quarter like they should have. Throughout these playoffs they have played their best when their backs were against the wall but they could just not get it done tonight.

Although it was very disappointing to watch the Pistons lose; we still have to give a lot of credit to the Spurs. The Spurs played great when it ultimately mattered the most. San Antonio turned up their defense and shutdown Detroit. The Spurs played together as a team and did not play like individuals like the Pistons did tonight.

The Pistons now have to look to next season. The biggest question this off-season will be if whether Larry Brown will return to coach the Pistons. He has not yet said yet if he will return to Detroit or not. Something else to the Pistons have to address is their bench. They have an awesome starting five but their bench is too thin. Antonio McDyess was the one bench player on the Pistons who played good in almost every game during the playoffs and that is just not good enough.

Even though it ended on a very disappointing note, the Pistons still had a great 2004-2005 season. They won 54 games in the regular season to finish with the second seed in the Eastern Conference. They played the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers in the first round of the playoffs and beat them in 5 games. They then played their rivals the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the playoffs. The Pistons beat the Pacers in 6 games after being down 2-1 in the series. After beating the Pacers the Pistons went on to play the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pistons had to battle Shaq and a very good Dwyane Wade. After being down 3-2 the Pistons won game six at home to tie the series at 3-3. The Pistons went on the road in game seven and beat the Heat to clinch the conference title. After beating the Heat they played the series that they just lost in. They played the Spurs in the NBA Finals but fell short of a second straight championship losing in game seven.

I think the Pistons season will be remembered for a long time. It will be remembered for the good and the bad. It will be remembered for the horrible brawl earlier in the regular season but this season will also be remembered for a team that played great most of the time and came just one good quarter shy of a second straight NBA Championship.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Game seven is on!

For the first time since 1994 the NBA Finals will have a game seven. The Detroit Pistons forced a game seven by beating the Spurs 95-86 in game six of the NBA Finals.

After Rasheed Wallace made that bone-headed defensive play on Horry in game six it looked like the Pistons were down and out. Rasheed came back in game seven and was one of the main reasons why the Pistons won game six. Rasheed had 5 fouls on him in the fourth quarter. He came back later in the fourth quarter and scored 7 huge points for the Pistons. Without his huge game, the Pistons would probably have lost game six.

Chauncey Billups had another huge game for the Pistons. He scored 21 points and had 6 assists. He hit 5 three pointers and hit two big free throws at the end of the game to help seal the victory for the Pistons. He has played good all series, and if the Pistons win the championship he will no doubt win Finals MVP again.

Before this game, Rip Hamilton had only played one good game all series. In game six he showed up with a game high 23 points on 9-19 shooting. Rip also had 3 assists and 5 rebounds.

This victory was just another example of how good the Pistons are. No one was giving them much of a chance to win this game after blowing game five, but they play their best when it matters the most. They now need to win just one more game, on the road, to become back to back champs.

We now look to game seven. I don't think there is any way the Pistons are going to lose. They have come too far this season to fall short on the final game of the season. The Pistons have clearly been the better team in the last 4 games of this series and that trend should continue in game seven. You could analyze the game for hours but it comes down to the teams playing the game on Thursday night. Game seven should be another great game.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

One Play

In one of the best playoff games I have ever seen the Detroit Pistons lost to the San Antonio Spurs 96-95 in overtime in game five of the NBA Finals. The Pistons are now down 3-2 going back to San Antonio for game six and seven.

In my mind this game came down to just one play. At the end of overtime the Pistons were up by two with just seconds left, but the Spurs had the ball. Ginobili dribbled to the corner with a man on him. Rasheed Wallace left his man, Robert Horry, and went to double team Ginobili. Horry was left wide open behind the three point line. Ginobili then passed the ball to Horry and he hit the game winning three pointer. The Pistons had five seconds to score but they could not get it done. It was one of the dumbest things Rasheed could have possibley done. Rasheed left open one of the best clutch three point shooters of all time. That play cost them the game, plain and simple. It was not a game where the Pistons played bad and were just lucky to have a chance to win the game at the end. The Pistons played a good game. They kept the game close and they kept answering the Spurs scoring. If the Pistons lose this series, this stupid defensive play by Rasheed will be talked about for a long time.

Although it was a tough to watch the Pistons lose so close, there were still a few Pistons who played good games. Chauncey Billups was amazing again as he scored 34 points along with 7 assists and 5 rebounds. Ben Wallace scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. I think Tayshaun Prince had one of his best games of the playoffs. He did awesome in the fourth quarter. He scored a number of key baskets and he grabbed a few important rebounds in the fourth quarter.

Robert Horry was amazing for the Spurs. Along with the game winning shot, he scored 21 points. Of those 21 points, 18 of them were in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Despite what you may have heard on ESPN, Tim Duncan had a horrible game. Sure he scored 26 points and 19 rebounds but when it mattered the most he folded. He missed 7 straight free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime. I don't think he even scored at all during the overtime period. He also missed an easy tip-in as time expired in regulation that would have given the win to the Spurs.

The Pistons are now in a deep deep hole. They must go to San Antonio and win two games. We all remember how awful the Pistons looked in San Antonio during the first two games of this series. The Pistons have been through a lot this season and this is just another hurdle they will have to cross. No one is really expecting them to win two games in San Antonio, but the Pistons are the defending champs. They are still the best team in the league until they are beaten. I am not sure if the Pistons will win both games, but I know they are capable. The Pistons play their best when their backs are fully against the wall. Game six is tonight and it should be another great game.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Manu's Injury

In the first two games of the NBA Finals Manu Ginobili was unstoppable for the Spurs. Ginobili scored 26 points in game one and 27 points in game two as the Spurs went up 2-0 on the Pistons. In game three Ginobili was injured early in the game. He banged up his knee and was a non-factor scoring only 7 points on just 2-6 shooting. The Pistons went on to win 96-79 allowing them to get back in the series. In game four Ginobili was again a non-factor scoring only 12 points as the Pistons destroyed the Spurs 102-71 to tie the series at 2-2.

The Spurs have said that Ginobili is not injured instead saying that his lack of scoring has been attributed to the Pistons great defense. Although the Spurs are saying he is not injured, we all know that his knee is bothering him. He could not go from 26.5 points per-game, in the first two games, to just 9.5 points per-game in the last two games. Ginobili's near absence on offense has greatly affected the Spurs as we have seen them getting blown out the last two games.

Although Ginobili is most likely injured, I do think that his injury has affected the Pistons getting back into this series. If the Pistons win the championship again people will say it was only because Ginobili was injured. If the Pistons win the championship it will not be because of Ginobili's injury. The Pistons have completely dominated the last two games on offense and defense. They have shut down the lanes that the Spurs were getting through during the first two games of this series. The Pistons have also been a lot more effective passing the ball and not turning it over so much. The bottom line is that whether Ginobili is injured or not, the Pistons have outplayed the Spurs in the last two games and have been the far superior team.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Pistons tie the Series

The Detroit Pistons are now tied with the San Antonio Spurs at two games apiece in the NBA Finals after beating the Spurs in game four. The Pistons played probably their best game of the season destroying the Spurs 102-71. Game five will be in Detroit and after that the series moves to San Antonio for game six and seven.

The Pistons played an awesome game on the defensive end. The Pistons took the Spurs away from their offensive game the entire night. The Spurs could not drive into the lane or score inside. The Pistons lead for almost the entire game, and the Spurs never made a run and could not catch up to the Pistons. Detroit held the Spurs to just 71 points on 26-70 shooting. The Pistons had 13 steals and 6 blocks. Detroit also had 47 rebounds. The Pistons held Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to just 28 points combined.

The Pistons were equally amazing on the offensive end of the court. Seven Pistons scored 11 or more points. The Pistons put up 90 shots and made 41 of them. They also had 23 assists. They scored 102 points, the most the Spurs have ever allowed in a finals game. Another amazing number the Pistons had was only 4 turnovers. That was the fewest amount of turnovers a team has ever had in a NBA Finals game.

The Pistons bench played great. Lindsey Hunter had one of the best games of his playoff career scoring 17 points in just 22 minutes. He also had 2 steals and 5 assists. Antonio McDyess also had a huge game scoring 13 points in just 19 minutes of work. McDyess also had seven rebounds. Even Darko Milicic pitched in with 2 rebounds and 2 points off the bench at the end of the game.

After dominating game four, the Pistons now have all the momentum in this series. Even with the dominating win they still need to win game five. I think they will be able to take one out of two in San Antonio (if they win game five). If they don't win game five, it will be very tough to win both games in San Antonio.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Pistons back in the series?

The Detroit Pistons finally played a good game in the NBA Finals and are now down 2-1 in this best of seven series. The Pistons played by far their best game of the Finals beating the Spurs 96-79 in game three. The game was close until late in third quarter when the Pistons went on a 21-6 run and did not look back.

The Pistons dominated this game statistically. Detroit lead in fast break points 20-4. The Pistons also recorded 6 more assists and had 7 fewer turnovers. The Pistons started the second, third, and fourth quarter with large runs. The Spurs did not have an answer for Detroit in fourth quarter and they looked much like the Pistons did in game one and two.

I think the main reason the Pistons won this game was because of Ben Wallace's performance. He had played dismal in the first two games of the Finals but he played awesome in game three. He scored 15 points, collected 11 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists. He also had five blocks, all in the first quarter. Wallace set the tone early for the Pistons by getting a steal and then dunking the ball on the first play of the game.

The guard play for Detroit was very good. Chauncey Billups had a big game scoring 20 points and dishing out 7 assists. He also only had one turnover. Rip Hamilton had his first good game of the Finals. He scored 24 points on 11-23 shooting. This was the first game in which Hamilton was able to get score effectively on Bruce Bowen.

Antonio McDyess practically saved the Pistons' season in game three. The game was very close late in the third until McDyess started hitting shots. He lead the Pistons on a 21-6 run to secure the victory for the Pistons. He finished the game with 12 points and 9 rebounds in just 19 minutes.

Game three was obviously a huge win for the Pistons but they are still in a deep hole. They must win game four or the Spurs will take a 3-1 series lead with the final two games back in San Antonio. I expect the winner of game four to take the series. Hopefully the Pistons will be celebrating another victory on Thursday night.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Pistons Down 1-0

The Detroit Pistons are down 1-0 in the NBA Finals after losing game one to the San Antonio Spurs. The Pistons lost 84-69. Game two is on tonight.

The Pistons are basically playing with four guys on offense because Ben Wallace is playing horrible. He is not doing anything on the offensive end to help out the Pistons. Even his defense is much weaker than usual. Even his rebounds and blocks have been down from the regular season. Maybe Larry Brown should think of benching Wallace and starting Antonio McDyess. McDyess is a fairly good defensive player and he is a much better offensive player than Wallace. Before McDyess was injured for these last few season he averaged over 20 points a game with the Nuggets.

The guard play for Detroit was not very good in game one. Chauncey Billups had a good offensive game for Detroit scoring 25 points but he needs to distribute the ball more. Billups needs to get other players involved in the scoring. The Pistons' other guard, Richard Hamilton, had a very bad game. He scored only 14 points on 7-21 shooting. He also only had one assist. Hamilton is the Pistons' best offensive player and he must shoot much better if Detroit expects to win this series.

Another player who needs to step up his offensive game is Rasheed Wallace. Wallace scored only 6 points in game one. The Pistons need Rasheed to score a lot more than just 6 points. Whenever Rasheed has scored 20 or more points in a game in these playoffs the Pistons are nearly unbeaten. Although he was horrible on the offensive end, Wallace had a good defensive game. He had 6 blocks and 8 rebounds.

Overall the Pistons simply played a bad game, and the Spurs played a good game. The Pistons could not hit any shots in the fourth quarter, while the Spurs did hit their shots in the fourth quarter. San Antonio got big offensive games from Ginobili and Duncan while the Pistons only got a big offensive game from Billups.

The Pistons' inconsistent play again cost them a important victory. Detroit faded in the fourth quarter and that is simply not good enough against a great team like the Spurs.

Game two is on tonight, and I expect the Pistons too win. They played horrible in game one but they were just coming off a long series with the Heat. The Pistons should be well rested and more prepared in game two. Throughout these entire playoffs the Pistons have played their best when their backs have been against the wall. This game should be no different.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

6/8 Notes

Here is some other Detroit Sports news to look over before the NBA Finals start on Thursday.

The Detroit Tigers traded closer Ugueth Urbina for infielder Placido Polanco. There had been a lot of speculation lately on if the Tigers would trade Urbina or not. Urbina was the Tigers' closer last season. During the offseason the Tigers signed Troy Percival to become the Tigers' closer. Percival has been injured this season and Urbina has been the Tigers' closer.

Urbina recorded 21 saves last season for the Tigers. This season he has 9 saves. His career high for saves was 41 back in 1999.

Polanco is hitting .316 this season along with twenty RBIs. Polanco's best season was last year when he hit .298 with a career-high 17 homers and 55 RBIs in 126 games.

Brian over at Tiger Blog has some great coverage on why this was a bad deal for the Tigers.

The NHL is closer to a deal for a salary cap than expected. Click here to get a full report on this news. The NHL needs to get a deal done for the upcoming season or the future of the NHL will be destroyed even more than it already has been destroyed.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Eastern Conference Champs!

The Detroit Pistons are headed to play in the NBA Finals for the second straight season after beating the Miami Heat in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Pistons were awesome in game seven. They were down by as much as seven in the fourth quarter but they kept coming back for more. Rasheed Wallace scored a huge basket late in the game to give the Pistons a three point lead. Chauncey Billups hit four free throws late in the game to secure the win for the Pistons.

The Pistons showed why they are they are the defending champs. They had to come back in the fourth quarter, on the road, in a game seven against a very good Miami team. They showed a lot of poise and they played together as a team.

We have to all give the Heat credit for giving the Pistons such a great battle in this series. The Heat played great against the Pistons despite all their injuries. If Wade was healthy along with the rest of Miami, this series might have been a different story.

The Pistons now move unto to play the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. The Spurs are the only team that is ranked ahead of the Pistons in defense. These were the two best teams in the NBA and this should be a great series to watch. The Pistons can not play inconsistant like they did in the Miami series. Detroit played good when they had too but I do not think that will be enough against the Spurs. If Detroit plays good in every game, I think they will win this series. If Detroit plays inconsistant, then I think the Spurs will walk away with the title.

Monday, June 06, 2005

It all comes down to this

Game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals is tonight between the Detroit Pistons and the Miami Heat.

The Pistons were down 3-2 in this series before winning game six at home to tie the series. The Pistons dominated in game six and won 91-66. Dwyane Wade did not even play for the Heat and they struggled in his absence. The Pistons were in control of the game the entire way. They played a great defensive game and they were very consistent on offense. Even though Wade was on the bench for the Heat, I still think game six was Detroit's best game of the series.

However, game six is far in the past as we look forward to game seven tonight. The game is in Miami. I saw a stat that 82% of the time the home team wins game seven. The Pistons have whined all playoffs about the calls and they have played very inconsistent but they still have a chance to win the title. They need to shutup about the calls and start playing Pistons' basketball. Their defense won the championship last year and they need to start playing the tough defense like they did last year. Despite the inconsistent play by the Pistons, I still think they will win this game. They played their best games in these playoffs when their backs have been against the wall and this game should be no exception.

There is a lot of speculation on if Wade will play in tonight's game due to his rib injury. I hope Wade plays tonight for the Heat. If the Pistons beat Miami without Wade, everyone will say that the Pistons could only beat Miami without Wade. He is their best player and the Pistons will need to beat the Heat with him playing to prove that they are the better team.

The winner of this series moves unto the NBA Finals to play the San Antonio Spurs. Game seven tonight should a great game.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

One loss away....

The Detroit Pistons are just one loss away from being eliminated from the playoffs. The Pistons played a horrible game five on the road in Miami and lost. They were never really in the game and they were down by a large number for most of the game. Rip Hamilton scored twenty-one points but he was the only player who had a good offensive game.

I barely even watched this game. That is how bad it was. Game six is tonight in Detroit. Even if the Pistons win, they will have to go back and win game seven in Miami. We will see if the Pistons can rise to the occasion.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Quick Notes

We are just a little bit away from the start of game five of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Detroit Pistons and the Miami Heat. The series is tied at 2-2 and this game is huge. I think the Pistons will play strong on the road and get the victory.

The Detroit Tigers won again today. They beat the Rangers 6-5 in ten innings. The Tigers are now just one game below 500 two monthes after opening day.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Twenty-seven Assists

That stat was the main reason why the Detroit Pistons beat the Miami Heat in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Detroit turned the ball over just six times for the entire game. They also had twenty-seven assists on thirty-seven baskets made. The final score was 106-96. With the win they tied this best of seven series at two games apiece.

The Pistons played one of their best games of the playoffs. They played a complete game. They lead for almost the entire game and they held the lead whenever Miami got close. They held Miami to seventeen fewer points than in game three. The Pistons shot forty-eight percent from the field. They also shot seventy-one percent from the free throw line. They did not turn the ball over once in the first half and they had seventeen assists in the first half.

Every player on the Pistons played a good game. Rip Hamilton was their top scorer with twenty-eight points and eight assists. Rasheed Wallace scored twenty points for Detroit. Ben Wallace, although he had a horrible offensive game, grabbed a game high fifteen rebounds. Chauncey Billups scored seventeen points as he hit three of four from the three point line.

I think the unsung hero for this game was Lindsey Hunter. Hunter played seventeen quality minutes and scored six points. However, the biggest thing he brought to this game was his defense on Dwyane Wade. He frustrated Wade whenever he guarded him and helped keep Wade in check. Wade's frustration showed when he picked up a few stupid fouls. Wade still scored twenty-eight points but he was not nearly as effective as he was in the previous two games.

Detroit also played good defense on Shaq. Shaq got into early foul trouble and scored just twelve points for the entire game. I think his injury is more serious than it appears because he has not been nearly as strong as he once was.

After this great win for Detroit we now need to look on to game five. This will be a huge game for both teams. If Detroit wins they will go back to Detroit for the potential series ending game. If Miami wins they will go back to Detroit with the momentum. The Pistons need to play like they did in game four. If they don't make any stupid turnovers and they play good defense they will win the game. It should be another great game in this already great series.