Sixers-Pistons first round preview

by April 18, 2008

By Sam Rubenstein

I am not covering the Philly-Detroit series. It is my job to oversee every series and make sure they are all spoken for. This series will be spoken for by the three-headed monster of Khalid/Emry/Michael Tillery.

But it’s getting late on Friday, it’s 75 degrees outside, and there is no preview waiting for me to post. So here I go…

Chauncey, Sheed, Rip, Tayshaun, you know. The worst you can say about them is sometimes they don’t play their best until their backs are against the wall, and they’ve even relaxed so much with 2-0 series leads that they couldn’t get it up again. That’s what she said.

Antonio McDyess has replaced the former heart of the team/city Big Ben in the starting lineup, and though they don’t flash the same suffocating D from the peak of Big Ben’s best days, they can still lock down and defend when they want to, but they can also play fast tempo and run and gun you to death.

Jason Maxiell eats babies!

The last time the Pistons didn’t get past the first round was when they were being coached by George Irvine. Jerry Stackhouse scored nearly 30 ppg for them. The number of players from that team currently on the Pistons roster: 0

(Unless Mateen Cleaves is still on the team. He might be. You never know.)

Through Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown, and Flip Saunders, the Pistons have never gone out in the first round. They are going to win this series.

No matter what happens to the Sixers, they’ve had a great season. People for the most part looked at their roster and said that Iguodala is talented but not really a guy you build around. Dalembert is too pricey for what he brings to the table. The young guys, Thad and Louis Williams were a wait and see with low expectations. Andre Miller was just a place holder. Kyle Korver was traded for Gordon Giricek, who ended up with Phoenix. Mo Cheeks was seen as a good guy who may be overmatched as a coach.

Billy King’s reign of terror came to an end, in stepped Ed Stefanski, and all of a sudden The Sixers started winning. They became the second half version of the Blazers, the stunning feel-good story of the season.

Now they are in the playoffs, and have a chance to catch the Pistons napping for a game or two. Sure, it would have been nice to have more lottery balls in a loaded draft, but the experience of being the playoffs will make this young Sixers team stronger in the future. KG and Ray Allen will start to fall off at some point, the Raptors should be good but they are hardly a lock to run away with the divison, the Nets have some youth but mostly dead weight as far a long term future goes. And that is it for the Atlantic, yup, I have mentioned every single team. This year’s run to the playoffs has started the Sixers down the path to division dominance down the road.

But they’re getting swept in round 1. Just like the Phillies!