Pistons Down 2-1
Game three was a horrible display by the Pistons. The Pistons played half-way decent in the first half and the third quarter to keep themselves in the game. In the middle of the fourth the Pistons took a five point lead due to the great defensive play of their bench players. Once they put back in their starters the trouble began. They played "hack a Shaq" and Shaq made the Pistons pay by hitting six straight free throws to give Miami back the lead. The Pistons could not recover and the Heat finished the game with a 113-104 victory.
The Pistons' defense again struggled in this game. They allowed 113 points, a number you almost never see an opposing team score against the Pistons. Detroit only had one block and that was by Lindsey Hunter. The highest rebound total for a single player was Rasheed Wallace (eight rebounds). I think one of the main reasons the Pistons' defense is struggling is because of Ben Wallace. He has not played well on the defense end. All of his defensive numbers are done from the previous series. He must provide a much higher defensive output if Detroit expects to come back and win this series.
Rip Hamilton finally had a good game scoring 33 points but it was not enough. Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups each scored 18 points a piece to give a boost to the Pistons' offense.
Game four is on tonight at 8:00 p.m. I still believe the Pistons are the best team in the league. They will have to prove that they are the best team by winning this game. However, even if they win they will still have a long way to go to winning this series. The next two out of three games will be in Miami where the Heat are even better. They need to put aside the Larry Brown issue and just play the game. Tonight's game should be a great one as we watch the desperate Pistons trying not to fall into a 3-1 hole.