Currently viewing the tag: "Playoffs"

This stat line from last night’s 94-82 loss to the Cavs in game two pretty much sums up the series thus far for Pistons fan, the Cavaliers never trailed in the ball game and were up by 27 points after three quarters. Another lackluster game for Detroit, whoa are now on the ropes going into game three and four at the Palace.

Key Points:

  • Dyess says it all “They are the best team in the league and they are at home, but at the same time, we’ve got to play with some type of heart,” We’re just going through the motions, it seems like.” When asked why that was, McDyess said, “Your guess is better than mine.” Via The Detroit News
  • If you watched just five minutes (besides when the bench made their comeback) of the game you could see the flat performance Detroit put forth.  A carbon copy of Game One eerily like most of the season for Detroit.  Is it that they just don’t care or are they just outmatched?  Maybe 50/50.
  • 14 first quarter points, 18 second and third quarter points aren’t going to will you any ball game let alone a playoff game against the #1 seed.
  • The Cavs were up by 29 points in the fourth quarter until their bench blew most their lead against Detroit’s bench courtesy of Will Bynum.  James had to return to hold off the Pistons and secure the win.
  • Rasheed Wallace, who scored just 8 with 4 boards in 25 minutes on the floor scored zero points in the paint and quite honestly looked like he wanted nothing to do with what was going on Tuesday night. To me he looked like he checked out as soon as he stepped on the court. The fire is obviously gone. Wasn’t it Sheed who claimed they needed to Knuckle Up?  What happened?

Rasheed Wallace

Photo/Getty Images
  • Though I tried to watch the local broadcast in favor of TNT, High Def won out and I heard something that I hoped wasn’t the case but just might be form Doug Collins when he said “It looks like Detroit doesn’t’ want to come back to the Q for a game five.” It sure looks that way now doesn’t it?
  • At this point you can cry Fire Curry all you want, but he’s not the one on the court playing like he doesn’t give a damn.
  • Four Pistons in double figures and two of them are Afflalo and Bynum.
  • Amir Johnson on his Tech after shoving VareJOKE: “I wasn’t going to let him punk me. I did what I had to do.” Via The Detroit Free Press Good for you Amir, too bad you couldn’t slap that smirk off of that clowns face.
  • The opposite of small ball when Curry put a lineup of Tayshaun Prince,Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, Kwame Brown and Antonio McDyess. That didn’t work either.
  • Start Will Bynum at point is the chant I’m hearing from Pistons fans, and quite honestly they have nothing to lose at this point.  Bynum once again was the spark for Detroit sparking a 27-5 run in the fourth quarter. Sure it was without LeBron on the floor for the Cavs, but it put Detroit back in striking distance. Bynum finished with 13 points in 18 minutes adding 5 assists, 4 boards and 2 steals.

Will Bynum

Photo/Getty Images
  • Was it just me or did most of the game consist of either Rip taking a jumper or Stuckey trying to drive the lane or settling for a shot. Rip or Stuckey….I wanted to scream for them to move the ball and try something else because it clearly wasn’t working.
  • “Our bench played well,” McDyess said. “As far as the starters, we didn’t come out and do the job we were assigned to do. It’s like they were doing anything they wanted on offense. We weren’t giving no resistance to stop them or making it tough on them. Via NBA.com
  • Rally comes up short.
  • The Cavs held the Pistons to 39.5% shooting and outrebounded the Detroit 43-34.
  • I used to appreciate Mo Williams, but it seems as though he’s caught come cockiness now that he’s in Cleveland.
  • Rip Hamilton led the Pistons with 17 points on 7-for-16 shooting. But but that isn’t saying much either, he was a -30 for the game

Richard Hamilton

Photo/Getty Images
  • Tayshaun Prince, another less than stellar game (and that’s being kind). Prince went 1-for-5 for 2 points and three boards. Dana Gauruder of the Oakland Press “Prince is a more maddening case. He seems to be full of excuses every postseason. Before, he’d decline in the conference finals. This year, he’s gone into the tank from the start. He’s averaging 6 points in his last six postseason games.”
  • Aggressive in game 2….nope! Detroit was 13-for-16 for the line. Cleveland….32-for-43. LeBron once again went to the line more than the entire Detroit team going 13-for-17.
  • Huge Piston Roundtable over at Pistons Powered with all of your favorite Pistons Bloggers as well as Newspaper columnists.
  • The Cavs have now won six straight playoff games over The Pistons.
  • Highlights from NBA.com if you dare.

  • You can will them to Win all you want, but if they don’t come to play how does that help? I will support the Pistons no matter what, but being confident in a team that hasnt even shown heart is another thing altogether. You may feel different, but this team hasn’t showed me much to beleive in. How do you feel after game two?

The Pistons are down 1-0 in their first round series against the Cavaliers. Things must change if Detroit plans on sneaking out The Q with an upset, and they know it.

Will Bynum:

“We got to be more together, It’s not going to take one person to stop LeBron. It’s going to take all five of us, and maybe the coaching staff — and the bench. We got to do what we got to do to stop the guy and try to make other players beat us.” Via MLive

Michael Curry:

“What we have to do is be more aggressive at whatever we try to take away. We got to be aggressive with it. If we trap him, we have to be more aggressive. If we try to contain him and make him shoot contested jumpers, we got to do exactly that.  We have to keep him out of the paint. He was 8-of-9 in the paint, hit the half-court shot and then was 4-of-10 outside of the paint. That’s where we got to try and keep him. We didn’t have LeBron’s (isolations) or post-ups good enough. We got to do a much better job of that, and get the ball out of his hands and makes some of those other players make plays.” Via MLive

Easier said than done when it comes to LeBron but as long as some adjustments are made Detroit has a chance to upset the Cavs in a building they just don’t lose in. Also important, Detroit has to stay in this game from start to finish and not let the Cavs build a daunting lead.

A little smile before tip:

Some old school history between the Cavaliers and the Pistons back in the 80′s you may not be aware of. Here is a little video history lesson courtesy of a Rick Mahorn elbow and a Bill Laimbeer, Brad Daugherty fight.  The good old days….

Tip off is at 8:00 PM and will be nationally broadcast on TNT. Good news for those of you missing the local flavor or George Blaha and Special K, Fox Sports will also be broadcasting the game on FSN Plus (download channel numbers). If you can’t catch either broadcast you can listen live over at 1130 AM WDFN or follow the game through your computer at NBA.com.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments of Chat Live at game time.

Before game two tips in Cleveland I was lucky enough to do a little back and fourth  Q&A with Todd Dery (the brother of Matt Dery) over at the Cleveland Blog Waiting For Next Year (where they are counting down to a title). Todd was nice enough to answer a few question for me on the series while I answered a few of his over at WFNY.

N4S: As a Cavs fan, before the DET/CLE matchup was decided who was your ideal team to face in the first round?

Todd Dery: To be quite honest, I was hoping for Philly. Yes, they beat the Cavs on the last game of the season, but they did it without Lebron, Z, Mo Williams, and Joe Smith. Delonte West and Anderson Varejao only played a half, yet the Sixers needed OT to beat the Cavs third unit. I was actually scared of the Pistons. Thought they would take too much out of the Cavs for a first round series.

N4S: Who needs to play well (other than LeBron) to make things difficult for Detroit?

Todd Dery: It’s simple – the outside shooters have to hit their shots when the defense collapses on Lebron. Mo WIlliams, Wally Szczerbiak, Daniel Gibson, and Delonte West must keep shooting the ball they way they have over the last month or so. Gibson’s re-emergence has been a major key. His early and mid-season slumps pushed him out of the rotation for a while, but he has played his way back in by simply hitting shots. Also, Joe Smith has got to hit his mid-range shots. That gives the Cavs an extra-dynamic off the bench they didnt have when they had J.J. Hickson and Anderson Varejao as the bigs off the bench.

N4S: What do you make of the Tayshaun Prince/LeBron matchup, in that Prince is considered one of the premier defenders in the league? Do you think he does a good job on LeBron or does he need help like everyone else when it comes to stopping him?

Todd Dery: I honestly think Tayshaun is hurt. He has always done a nice job defending Lebron, but nobody can stop him one on one. Its the help defense that is the key. You must double Lebron and make everyone else beat you. The thing about Tayshaun is that Lebron has gotten stronger and quicker, while Tayshaun is starting to show signs of slowing down.

N4S: Who do you see as the biggest threat on the Pistons?

Todd Dery: Rip Hamilton is the biggest threat. No doubt about it. But Sheed always kills us. Time and time again he hits big threes late in games against the Cavaliers. He also seems to lose his cool the most against the Cavs as well.

N4S: Going into the series everyone (media and fans) seemed to look right past Detroit, do you think the team themselves are?

Todd Dery: Not a chance. This is a completely focused Cavaliers team. Lebron is on a mission. Look at the final regular season game. They had a chance to tie for the all-time best home record at 40-1 but had clinched the home court advantage already. Realistically, the game meant nothing, so the Cavs regulars all sat. When asked about why they did it, Lebron and coach Mike Brown echoed the same sentiment – the real goal is the NBA Title and everything else is meaningless.

N4S: Lastly, do you see LeBron staying in Cleveland once his contract is up and does the decision hinge on whether he wins a Championship or not?

Todd Dery: I’m from Cleveland, born and raised, so my initial response has always been to say he is gone win or lose in two years. But Lebron is a different cat. While he wants to be a “global icon,” which he already is, the thing he wants most is to win. If Cleveland is the place that gives him the best shot come next summer, then he will stay here. My gut tells me they will get a ring in the next two years and he will stay here, but on another three to four-year deal, which would give him another chance to go elsewhere at a relatively young age. When he signs his next deal, Lebron will be 25. Keep that in mind.

Thanks again go out to Todd and Waiting For Next Year for taking the time out to answer a few quiestions as well as getting a little Pistons point of view for Cavs fans.

I can’t help but agree with a lot of what Chris McCosky said today:

“It was the utter lack of urgency Detroit showed toward moving out of the eighth spot and avoiding a 66-victory Cleveland team that has come back to doom this team. Two giveaway losses to Chicago, the late meltdowns in Indiana and Philadelphia and the no-show in New Jersey — all in the final month — when they could have easily slid up to No. 7 and played Boston without Kevin Garnett, or even up to No. 6 and played Orlando, a team it has dominated.

Instead, the Pistons are a big underdog tonight in Game 2 against the superior Cavaliers. For whatever reason, avoiding the Cavaliers wasn’t a motivating factor for this team. Talking to the veterans, it was if they had long since resigned themselves to the bottom of the bracket and an early exit.

It was fitting that a coach — probably Michael Curry — wrote “Do we believe?” on the message board inside the Pistons locker room before Game 1. It’s a fair question. And, in truth, the answer would be no. They haven’t believed in a long time. But that’s probably for the best, because now there’s no doubt about charting a new course.” Via The Detroit News

You know as homers we all think the Pistons have a fighting chance, hell the Pistons beat the Lakers and shocked the world in ’04. Sadly this isn’t that team and we all know it. It can happen, but it’s a longshot. We can be the biggest cheerleaders in the world, but when the guys that step on the court aren’t on the same mission as the one the fans are on, then what?

Before the Playoffs began Tayshaun Prince was confident that Detroit’s experience would help them in the Cavs series. I wonder how he feels after game one?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-9Xydes7IY

Curry on Stopping LeBron:

“Our initial pressure on the ball wasn’t good enough, so we got to do a better job of that,” Curry said. “Who’s ever on Delonte or LeBron, they got to get up the court so we don’t allow them to flow easy into their offense. Whatever we are trying to take away, we have to be more aggressive taking it away,” Curry said of James. “When we trap him, we got to aggressively trap him. When we contain him and try to make him shoot contested jumpers, we got to do that.” Via The Detroit Free Press

Sounds simple right, tell that to the guys trying to guard LeBron.

“Knuckling up,” the Piston center said. “Bottom line. There are no tricks we’re going to add. Just straighten on up.” Via The Detroit Free Press

Easily.

That’s not the kind of game Detroit or it’s fans wanted. They came out playing solid in the first quarter and kept the game in striking distance, but any of the fight that Detroit had seemed to get knocked right out with LeBron’s half court buzzer beater to finish the half. The Pistons got within eight with the help of Will Bynum, but the Cavs quickly went back to work to stomp out any hope of a Pistons comeback. The Pistons will have a chance to tie the series up on Tuesday night after the 84-102 loss in game one.

Key Points:

  • You can’t win without solid defense. And The Pistons defense was shaky at best. Gone are the days of Detroit used being able to make a an important stop. And from what I saw they couldn’t even get the fundamentals down against Cleveland.
  • “Defensively, we just weren’t in sync with each other,” Antonio McDyess said. “When we would go to rotate, somebody wasn’t helping and we’d give up a layup. We just aren’t as sharp defensively as we have been in past years.” Via The Detroit News
  • The biggest thing Detroit needed to do to get the win, they didn’t. You can’t take down this team when LeBron scores 38 and get to the line more times than the entire Pistons team. You absolutely can’t deny his game, but it doesn’t make me enjoy it at all, especially his grin after his 40+ foot buzzer beater putting his Cavaliers up 57-45 at the break.
  • Counting on Tayshaun Prince to stop LeBron? It didn’t work Saturday afternoon for Tayshaun, Rip or Afflalo. He just made it look easy.
  • “We go over things before the game on what we are going to do, but when the game starts it’s not going to play out the same way,” said Prince. “Guys tend to change how they read certain plays and that’s why you saw us communicating out there. It’s not always going to go the way you talk about it beforehand.” Via The Detroit News
  • Detroit kept it close in the first half thanks to the play of Rodney Stuckey, who led Detroit with 20 points. He drove the lane in the first half and was quite successful, but he got somewhat cold in the second as did the rest of the team. He was just 7-for-21 shooting with 4 assists and 2 boards.

Photo/Getty Images
  • Do you realize that The Pistons are the only team in the Post Season with a losing regular season record.
  • Tayshaun scored jut 4 with 2 assists a board and a steal in 37 minutes, but apparently he’s been bothered with lower back pain.
  • Another solid game from Kwame who dropped in 5 with 9 boards in 15 minutes.
  • Nothing pretty about this one and I couldn’t even pull a good video highlight on the Detroit side. If you missed it, you can watch the Cavalier highlights of the game from NBA.com

  • The Pistons turned the ball over just 7 times, but the Cavs even beat them in that department by giving up the ball just 4 times.
  • Spark from Bynum in the fourth who scored 6 points with 2 assists in 14 minutes.
  • Richard Hamilton chipped in 15 on 6-for-14 shooing with 4 assists. A not so productive Rip, combined with the game Tayshaun had usually spells disaster.

Photo/Getty Images
  • “We have to know where LeBron is at all times,” Richard Hamilton said. “When you score 38 against us, we can’t have that and have a chance. We have to figure out a way to stop him.” Via NBA.com
  • At one point in the first quarter the Pistons were shooting a whopping 65% from the floor.
  • Conspiracy on the LeBron’s Half Court Make? C-Quense makes a point in the comments.“Lebron needs just 1.95 seconds ffor 8 meters. But Carl Lewis wasn’t catching a ball, turning, starts dribbling, jumping and shooting. He was just running. Watch the clock, when he was making that buzzer beater. The NBA is nothing but fake! Catching the ball: 2.00 Seconds leftTurning with the ball: 2.00 seconds left After catching the ball, turning, starting dribbling and running 2 meters. 1.9 seconds left…
  • Rasheed Wallace, 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting with 9 boards and 2 assists. Tell me why we didn’t try to go to Sheed a little more?
  • 16% from downtown for Detroit.
  • Dyess had 10 points and 5 board, but boy does that guy put his heart on the line every game. If you saw his face while sitting on the bench when the starters left the game in the fourth quarter you know what I mean. Ice4dyess
  • Michael Curry’s post game presser.

  • Best part of this one, all the coaches wearing the CD pin in support of Chuck Daly and his fight with cancer.
  • Team Need4Sheed Guest writer Rashid S. Umar over at Hoopsvibe: Going through the motions in Cleveland.
  • Next one on Tuesday again in Cleveland. Detroit is going to have to come in with a totally different game plan to try to stop LeBron and the Cavs.
  • Don’t give up on this team, they just might surprise you.

The Pistons are in Cleveland to start the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs against the #1 seed Cavaliers. With things not going per usual with our familiar Detroit team, Pistons fans are still showing plenty of support.

We all know the odds are stacked up against the Pistons, but it doesn’t mean they have no chance at all like some people think. It may be a long shot, but nothing is impossible.

As you probably already know, I’m not a fan of anything Cleveland or the Cavs. In fact I have been known to poke a little fun here and there, but team Need4Sheed member Daniel Pantalleresco has a little more than hatred on his mind when it comes to the LeBron/Tayshaun match up. And like it or not, a lot of Detroit’s success in this series will hinge on Tayshaun stopping Burger King James.

I’m sure you have read a ton of playoff previews, most of which give the Pistons a little more than a snowball’s chance in hell, but that all means nothing when the Pistons play the way they are capable of playing. And that’s a scary thing for any team about to go into a seven game series with them.

As for my playoff preview, I did it a little different this season over at Dime.

So we Rise Up Pistons fans. It’s easy to get behind a team that dominates, but it’s even more special when fans stand behind a team that is struggling. Red, White and Blue forever!

Tip off is at 3:00 PM and will be nationally broadcast on ABC.  If you can’t watch, follow live through your computer over at NBA.com.

As for Pistons fans..

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments or Chat Live with fellow fans during the game.

Before the Pistons start their playoff run we are in for a little treat here at Need4Sheed. I was lucky enough to do a Q&A with one of my favorite Pistons personalities, insider Matt Dery.

Matt Dery is the afternoon sports anchor at 97.1 FM The Ticket.  He recently left WDFN Radio after 12 years there.  Dery has been the Pre-Game, Half-Time, and Post-Game host on the Pistons radio network the past eight seasons.  Matt is also the radio play-by-play voice of the University of Detroit Mercy mens basketball team.

Need4Sheed: You had a chance to get quite close to Michael Curry last season when he was an assistant coach, were you surprised that Dumars put him in charge of the team?

Matt Dery: First off, thank you Natalie for the opportunity to be featured on thee best Pistons fan site in Detroit.

I did get close to Michael last season when he was an assistant and I knew it was only a matter of time before he got the job. I think he has been put in a difficult spot this season, and has had to deal with a lot of changes and obvious problems with this club. He is not blameless though. No way. Mike did not handle a few situations very well and at times seemed to lose the team during the regular season. End of game execution was flawed in big spots at home, and that is on both him and the players. He demands more from the guys in terms of accountability than Flip did, and I like that. He was told the team was being handed over to Rodney Stuckey, yet, he still coached to win and if that meant playing Will Bynum more, than so be it. I respected that.

Need4Sheed: Its been a season of mostly downs for Detroit, being someone who’s close to the team what did you expect once the Iverson/Billups trade was made? From the inside, could you see a difference in Chemistry once the dynamic changed when Iverson arrived?

Matt Dery: I understood the Iverson trade when it happened and I love the fact that Joe has cleared a ton of space this summer.  With that being said, the chemistry and identity of the team changed and it changed for the worse.  Gone was a defensive mindset (because the dude couldn’t guard Hooper) and a team concept offensively.  Swinging the ball became non-existent, but to Iverson’s credit, he did try hard and got to the rim, he just could not finish.  Check the stats, his missed layups cost the team a ton of games.  He’s under the basket, and his teammates were flat footed trying to get back on defense.  Forget about it.

Need4Sheed: Do you think Detroit’s 39-43 record is an indication of what they can actually do on court?

Matt Dery: This team underachieved.  39 wins is unacceptable and Joe and Scott Perry will tell you the same thing.  Michael Curry said before the season that he thought Tayshaun would have an All-Star season and he didn’t.  Rasheed Wallace aged and when they needed him toward the end of the season, he got hurt, and then served a one game suspension for picking up a silly over-the-number-limit technical.  The front office thought that Amir and Jason Maxiell would both come into their own and that didn’t happen.  Very disappointing.  To me, the two best players this season have been Antonio McDyess and Bynum.  Rip can still ball and I think will have a huge year if he is back next season.

Need4Sheed: A lot has been said about Detroit’s young talent, especially Rodney Stuckey. His talent is obvious, but did he take a step back this season by asking him to run this team so early in his career, especially with the shoes he had to fill?

Matt Dery: I saw a change in Rodney Stuckey in the first pre-season game in Miami and I thought he was ready to take off to a new level.  He had a confidence and cockiness and looked ready to run the team, even as the third guard.  I don’t know what happened to him during the regular season, but the team needs to determine if he’s a legit point guard or just a scoring guard or combo guard who may be best suited as a Vinnie Johnson or Ricky Pierce type player.  He needs to stop dribbling so much in the half court.

Need4Sheed: Biggest surprise of the year?

Matt Dery: Will Bynum.  The guy did it all the last few weeks and solidified a spot on the roster next season.

Need4Sheed: Biggest let down of the year?

Matt Dery: The home record.  21-20.  The Pistons have had amazing crowds and amazing support and yet for some reason the team laid some bad eggs on their home floor.

Need4Sheed: With all the cap room Dumars has going into next season, do you see him trying to change things with a free agent after the season or does he wait until the mother load in 2010?

Matt Dery: Joe hates to lose.  He’s beyond upset over what has transpired.  No way he waits until 2010.  No way.  This team has GOT to go get a low post threat and somebody who can change the game in the paint on both ends of the floor.  Opposing teams drive the ball to the basket with ease now, why?  Because they know they can.

Playoffs:

Need4Sheed: We know you’re from Cleveland and we don’t hold that against you (I don’t think), so who are you rooting for as a fan?

Matt Dery: I really wasn’t too pleased that the Pistons drew the Cavs.  I think this is thee best Cavaliers team I have ever seen and I was there for 91-92 when they made it to the East Finals and I loved that team.  I am dodging your question because I still root for the Pistons and I have too many friends in the organization to cheer against them.  But C-town needs a title so bad and my Indians are off to a lousy start.

Need4Sheed: What does Detroit have to do to win their first round matchup with Cleveland?

Matt Dery: Pistons need to play together if they want to beat Cleveland.  Thats what the Cavs do, they have an amazing togetherness right now.  Plus, if Sheed gets fired up to play against Z and Andy, he can be a difference maker.

Need4Sheed: Who will take the series?

Matt Dery: I say Cavs in Five.  Cleveland is on a mission.  Pistons have been through too much this season to overcome the Cavs.  It is just not clicking right now.

Need4Sheed: Matt, you’ve been painfully absent during Pistons broadcasts lately, tell us what you’re up to.

Matt Dery: What have I been up to?  A lot of nothing.  I had a crazy schedule for a long time at WDFN and a ton of responsibilities.  To be honest, it has been nice to come home and just hang out with my girlfriend or get some extra days with my kids.  My life schedule has revolved around the Pistons and work and U of D for a long time, I’ve just sort of been catching my breath.  To be honest, I do miss the Palace and the games and a lot of amazing people up at 5 Championship Drive.  I’ll hopefully be back in my seat on press row (5th from the left) next season when Deeetroit Basketball heads to 97-1 The Ticket!

Need4Sheed: Lastly, what is you’re most memorable (good or bad) Pistons memory?

Matt Dery: June 15th (and 16th) 2004.  Being able to be court side for the Championship and going until 6 AM the next day on the air with the post-game show was incredible!

I would like to thank Matt again for taking the time out to talk to me, he’s one of those staples at Pistons home games that makes my trips to the Palace that much more special.

And by the way, you got to love Matt for the simple fact that in the picture he sent me to put up for this peice he’s wearing an Indians t-shirt. Just click it to supersize.

Need4Sheed Guest Writer:
Rashid S. Umar

As the 2009 playoffs get underway, it seems as if no one is giving the Pistons any chance of competing with the mighty (at least record wise) Cleveland Cavaliers. Whether the series plays out to be as predicted, or if the boys from the “D” pull off the monumental upset, we need to show passionate support.

The one thing that I’ve enjoyed as a sports fan is proudly proclaiming that I am Pistons Fan. No matter how great the team has performed or how terrible, being a Pistons fan has been a joy and privilege for the last 25 years and counting.

It’s more than just being a fan of the team, for me it’s being a fan of the HOME team. Growing up in the inner city of Detroit, a place that has never had a great reputation for as long as I was there, team championships helped put us on the map. When the Pistons made their first finals appearance in 1988, the city felt electric. I neglect to mention, that years earlier that the Tigers won the ’84 World Series, but this was different—at least for me. The summer of ’88 felt like uncharted waters, with a team that had never been to the mountaintop. Seeing CBS Sports trucks and nationwide coverage in our city was exciting. Winning the title in 1989 and again in 1990 made me feel proud to not just be a fan of the red, white, and blue; but also a proud Detroiter. I also learned that sports could unite a community a lot better than tragedy.

Even through the lean years, the erosion of the post- bad boy era, the dreaded Sean Elliot 62-loss season, and the mediocre “horse-head teal” days, I held my head up high despite what seemed like everyone else jumped ship to root for the Bulls (I’m still bitter about that) I was proud to have MY team.

My point is that although the team posted its worse season in eight years, I’m not jumping ship. Even if the series goes as predicted, I’ll still be here with my Pistons jersey rooting for the good guys. I’ll still be hardcore with mine because that’s what we do!

I’ve read message boards sites (and I hate reading message boards) of opposing fans that are extremely joyful about this Pistons season, even some of our so-called fans who’d rather complain than rally. I know it’s not what we’re used to but come on gang!

It’s the playoffs! Let’s get behind these guys for support! If not to beat Cleveland, than to celebrate eight straight playoff appearances or that they are one of only two teams in American professional sports to win at least one title in each of the last three decades — bet you didn’t realize that huh? Well that’s why I’m here.

Let’s go Pistons Nation! I implore you join me in showing the world we can be the best fans under any circumstance!

The Detroit Pistons first round schedule was released today with the fist game on Saturday afternoon. As you can see I have already decorated the site with the usual countdown to keep track of Detroit’s run in the playoffs.

And yes….I see it too, Game 4 is a Sunday home game at 3:30.

Game 1 Sat., April 18 Detroit at Cleveland 3:00 p.m. ABC
Game 2 Tue., April 21 Detroit at Cleveland 8:00 p.m. TNT
Game 3 Fri., April 24 Cleveland at Detroit 7:00 p.m. ESPN
Game 4 Sun., April 26 Cleveland at Detroit 3:30 p.m. ABC
If Necessary
Game 5* Wed., April 29 Detroit at Cleveland TBD
Game 6* Fri., May 1 Cleveland at Detroit TBD
Game 7* Sun., May 3 Detroit at Cleveland TBD

This should serve as motivation for the series from Cleveland.com

“This time around, the once almighty Pistons are merely an opening band in a rock show that will go on long after their set is done. It’s like, “Uh, dudes, can’t we just move on to the next series?”

Don’t get cocky Cleveland, it won’t be that easy. Any team can take a series no matter what their record states. Detroit has a chance. Cockiness aside, Cleveland and it’s fans still would rather not see the Pistons in the first round, no matter what comes out of their mouths.