Game Notes: Boston at Detroit, Game 3

by May 26, 2008

By Tim Darga a.k.a. TADOne 

It is playoff game number 101 at The Palace. The fans are out in full force, wearing all white to create a “white-out” effect. I’ve never understood this gimmick . “You can do better!” I’m channeling my inner Mark Jackson right now.
“What up?! What it is? WE in the D!” Stuart Scott ebonics is in full swing.
Doc Rivers says ball pressure is important, comparing it to defenses getting pressure on Tom Brady or he basically does what he wants to other teams. Boston teams sure do live in an insular bubble.
Sam I Am is probable to get some burn tonight, with Doc realizing he needs contribution from his bench to have a chance.
As much as I dislike Bill Walton’s over-the-top broadcasting, Mike Wilbon and Jon Barry make me miss him dearly, adding nothing of substance to the pre-game analysis.
ESPN/ABC certainly are pimping out the Bill Russell/Kevin Garnett conversation. What are we in, part 15?
Luckily, Mike Breen, JVG, and Mark Jackson are broadcasting the game, saving me from muting the TV and listening to the Pistons radio broadcast online. However, I am missing Rick Mahorn’s antics.
Stu Scott reminds me how bad the NHL is marketed, with game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins going on at the same time as this game, and making metro Detroiter’s make a choice on which game they will be at tonight.
Why are Stuart Scott’s glasses always cocked crooked??
I get highly disappointed that Rip Hamilton doesn’t blurt out his signature “YESSIR!” after getting interviewed by Michelle Tafoya.
John Mason, who goes by the singular “Mason”, really is on another level when it comes to player introductions. Definitely one of the best in the biz.
“WE’RE BAAAAAACK!” Who else but Sheed would do that part in the video clip for the Pistons introductions? He has a future as a Bond villain.
The Palace apparently didn’t get the memo from David Stern, with flames shooting to the ceiling from the top of the backboards, burning eyebrows in the nose bleed sections.
The Pistons energy level looks sky high in the pre-game huddle, as Sheed dances and hypes everyone up. On the flip side, KG is looking locked in. I’m surprised that his intensity hasn’t caused a blood vessel to burst in his head.

1st Q:

The C’s score the first 4 points off dunks, with both assists coming from Garnett. This is pathetic effort from Detroit, allowing such easy baskets to start the game.
• Smart move. The Pistons call a 20-second time-out with 9:43 left after Boston goes up 8-0 to try and regroup. Did anyone mention this game is important?
• Sheed scores the Pistons first points with 8:55 left, stopping Boston’s 11-0 opening run. Detroit looks lost on defense, while the Celtic’s pick-and-roll game is top notch with Pierce and Garnett.
• The Pistons cannot make a basket, hitting just two of their first nine shot attempts. Boston has also grabbed six defensive boards, limiting second-chance opportunities for the Pistons.
• Garnett heads to the bench after picking up two early fouls with 5:56 left. Now would be a good time for the Pistons to make a run.
• Detroit is getting good fortune now, as Ray Allen picks two quick fouls and also heads to the bench.
• 50 Cent has checked into the game, and is fearlessly taking the ball to the basket. He sparks 13 straight points for the Pistons, giving them their first lead of the game, 17-15.
• The Pistons lead is short lived, as Boston rains down threes, including one from Cassell, and close the quarter on a 10-0 run, leading 25-17 after one.
2nd Q:
• Maxiell interrupts the C’s run, but Sam I Am is keeping them at arm’s length with timely baskets. He is giving Boston the help they need off the bench that they didn’t get in game two.

• Jason Maxiell rejects Garnett like my body rejects tequila! He then misses on the other end like he is drunk. The whole Detroit offense is in a stupor. Meanwhile, Boston is getting any shot they want.

• A loud fan is picked up by the ABC microphones yelling, “Wake up Detroit! You’re shooting 30%!” I find myself nodding in agreement.

• Billups is playing like his hamstring is bothering him, so Flip goes back to Stuckey with 5:42 left in the half. They clearly need someone to step up and slow Boston’s roll.

• A 41-28 Boston lead forces Saunders to call a timeout, and the Pistons get deservedly booed walking back to the bench.

• McDyess scores his first points on a jumper, but the loud fan is clearly not impressed, still yelling “WAKE UP!”

• The shocked Palace crowd, quiet for much of the first half, finally erupts in cheers. I’m confused, but then realize they are cheering the scoreboard showing the Red Wings up 1-0 in their game. This is a sad day for Detroit basketball.

• The Pistons are playing like the road team, and Boston is capitalizing on the “switched-off” play of Detroit. Fans are steadily booing the home team as they walk to the locker room down 50-32.
• They show some of the “Fave Five” Pistons of all time, which included Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson, Zeke, and Bob Lanier. This Pistons team sure could use these players right now.

• I fix a drink and ignore the halftime analysis, choosing instead to mute the TV and engage my friend who came over in some conversation. I proceed to blame her for jinxing my team.
3rd Q:
• Garnett comes out from halftime still hot, starting the 3rd quarter with a jumper. The Pistons answer with baskets from Sheed and Hamilton, and the crowd begins to get back into the game. Or it could be the fact the Red Wings are now up 2-0.

• OK, Boston is simply embarrassing Detroit as the crowd rains down more boos. The lifeless Pistons are down 20, getting owned by the Celtics in every facet of the game. I would explain it a little more, but I seemed to have blacked out from boredom.

• The only enjoyment I’m getting from this game at the moment is the drunk guy still yelling from the stands. “You’re all scrubs!” he screams. He is obviously getting his money worth’s in.

• Chuck Daly is shown on camera looking quite perplexed. At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him run over to the Pistons bench and snatch the clipboard right out of Saunders hands. He would bench every last one his players for this kind of performance.

• The Pistons register a blip on the EKG machine with slight signs of life, getting a Stuckey layup to end the quarter, but still down 18.
4th Q:
• I hate the comparison, but a Stuckey steal and layup and another tough shot off glass is Wade-esque. Both plays result in and-1’s and Detroit is within 13. The fans are finally on their feet and urging on the defense.

• A Pierce 3-pointer quiets them down. By the way, Detroit has yet to hit a 3-pointer in the game.

• Boston still has no answer for Stuckey, but it makes little difference. The Celtics are simply toying with the Pistons at this point.

• Another loud cheer from the crowd as the Red Wings final 4-0 score is shown on the scoreboard. Apparently, the Tigers won too. The fans have started heading for the exits.

• Rodney Stuckey re-enters the game with 4:48 left and the Pistons down 13. It is now or never for Detroit to make a run. A few fans still have faith.

• Prince strips Pierce, but Stuckey misses a lay-up. The Pistons get a rare second-chance bucket by Rip to cut the Celtics lead to 11.

• James Posey makes a lay-up, pushing the lead back to 14. More fans are calling it a night. Billups finally hits a 3 for Detroit.

• The Pistons are finally giving effort, but it is not making much difference on the scoreboard. Sheed get’s a reprieve from the rest of this debacle, fouling out with 2:17 left in the game. A Garnett free throw pushes the lead back to double-digits.

• Billups gets a steal, but misses. The Detroit defense forces a 24-second violation. Where was this effort in the first half?

• Garnett scores again, putting the finishing touches on a dominant performance. Allen rubs it in by hitting a shot with one second left on the clock. The Celtics are celebrating their first road playoff win in the 2008 postseason.

• The Pistons do not look as defeated as they should look after such a despicable performance. I guess they are back in their familiar place with their backs against the wall.

Other than Rip and Stuckey, everyone on Detroit played a horrible game. Billups scored 6 points and Prince scored 4. Effort and execution were non-existent. However, the Celtics came out focused and snatched back home court with solid contributions from their bench and role players. The Pistons now have a must-win game 4 coming up on Memorial Day. There will be no rest this holiday weekend for the Pistons.