Whenever teams matchup that have faced off against each other in an NBA Finals, the commentators often say “tonight features a rematch of the ________ NBA Finals between the _________ and the __________”. Well people, those days are over.
Some prominent players remain from the 2004 Finals like Kobe Bryant, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace who has since completed a tour of duty among other Central Division teams from 2006-2009 before coming back to Detroit. The last few years have featured Detroit getting whooped either at the Forum or at the Palace (or both), but either way Detroit has been outmatched in recent years due to the Lakers acquisition of Pau Gasol. Let’s re-cap some of the more notable parts of the game last night, shall we?:
- Richard Hamilton was ejected 5 minutes into the game for what appeared to be doing next to nothing. The referees seem to be a little sensitive, and the technical foul calls are not consistent from ref to ref. Hamilton, however, does have a history of complaining to the refs.
- Kobe was Kobe: 33 points on 11-20 shooting with 9 rebounds. Kuester played Tayshaun, Hamilton, and Stuckey on him but it didn’t matter.
- Lamar Odom, who came in averaging nearly 15 points and 9 rebounds a night against the Pistons for his career – matched his career point per game total while also pulling down 14 rebounds.
- No surprise here – Pistons outrebounded 55-41.
- The ball movement was there for Detroit as they racked up 18 assists compared to only 5 turnovers.
- Rodney Stuckey lead all scorers for Detroit with 18 points on 7-17 from the field. Stuckey needs to go back to finishing strong at the rim.
- Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon shot a combined 5-22 from the field for a total of 16 points off the bench.
- Chris Won’t Wilcox made his first appearance of the season. He played 3 minutes and had 1 rebound.
- Thank goodness Andrew Bynum wasn’t playing, that’s all I have to say.
- Will Bynum was playing though, and whiffed badly on a breakaway dunk that officially sealed the night for the fans and the game’s outcome.
- Austin Daye had a flagrant foul against Pau Gasol which made me “LOL”.
- Laker rookie Derrick Caracter matched a career high with 6 points and 5 rebounds in 15 minutes.
- Tayshaun Prince had the worst +/- in the game: -24.
- Derek Fisher and Ron Artest tied for best +/- in the game: +26.
This was not the way the Pistons wanted to return home after the circus act they provided in Golden State at the end of the West Coast trip. The game was close for the first quarter and a half, and then the Lakers pulled away for good.
This team needs help, and they need it quick before this season gets away from them.