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Rashid S. UmarNeed4Sheed Guest Writer:
Rashid S. Umar
After getting off to a great start early for the second straight night on the West Coast Trip, The Pistons eventually stumble and fall to the Clippers in LA 97-91, halting Detroit’s modest two-game winning streak.  Tayshaun Prince followed Tuesday night’s great performance with another gem of 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists.  Rip Hamilton led the team with 21 points on 8-21 shooting.

Detroit led by as many as 12 in the first half and eight at the break.  The second half saw Clipper-newcomer Drew Gooden and Chris Kaman continue to exploit the Pistons’ lack of size upfront as they combined for 41 points and 28 rebounds.  Los Angeles got a huge performance down the stretch from Rasual Butler, who nailed a couple of 3s off of good ball movement (or bad defensive rotation).  He also had a huge block on Rodney Stuckey late in the game.

Key points of the night:

  • Being that I live in LA, I decided to take this one in.  You’d be surprised at how many die-hard Clipper fans are here in “Lakerland”.
  • For the second straight game, Detroit was outscored by at least double digits in the fourth quarter.
  • Rip Hamilton missed six free throws (including 3 straight with seconds to go that would have brought the team within a point) snapping his streak of 51 consecutive makes. Although he nearly completed a four point opportunity on a silly foul again Eric Gordon.
Richard HamiltonPhoto/Getty Images
  • Clippers win the season series for the first time since 2000 and only the third time in over 20 years.
  • In 26 minutes, Ben Wallace didn’t score but had 10 rebounds.
  • Did Ben Gordon suit up tonight?  I’m just saying.
  • There were a lot of Detroit fans in the house but, that’s not unusual against the Clippers.
  • Another DNP-CD for Kwame Brown, this even during a game where the rebound war was lost 56-44.
  • Drew Gooden has put up All-Star numbers against the Pistons this season especially in rebounds.
  • If the Pistons had a legitimate low-post threat they’d be a playoff team.
  • Before Rasual Butler’s late go-ahead three-pointer, the loudest cheers of the night were for a Michael Jackson look-alike in the crowd.
  • Charlie Villaneuva might as well be wearing roller skates on defense. I’m sure no one would notice.
  • Highlights of the Game Via NBA.com

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  • If it wasn’t for the logo on the court, you wouldn’t realize you were at a Clippers game at Staple Center.  There is nothing but Lakers championship banner and L.A. Kings retired jerseys in the rafters.  Even the WNBA team has something up.
  • Kid Rock in the house.
  • The road trip continues in Denver on Friday night against former Pistons Chauncey Billups and Aaron Affalo.
  • I got a text from my Friend in LA who was also at the game that read “The are chanting Stukey’s – Suckey.” For real LA, that’s as original as you can get? (Natalie)

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Rashid S. UmarNeed4Sheed Guest Writer:
Rashid S. Umar

The Pistons began the four-game road trip Tuesday with a 101-89 win over the Kings in Sacramento. Rip Hamilton led the team with 30 points and Tayshaun Prince filled the statline with 24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block. The young Kings were led by future Rookie-of-the-year Tyreke Evans with 28 and 13 assists. Detroit jumped out to a 14 point lead in the first quarter before the Kings came back and closed it to three at quarters end. After relinquishing the lead early in the second, the Pistons stormed back to take back control and never trailed again. The team will head here to Los Angeles to face the Clippers Wednesday night. I may be there…

Key points of the night:

  • Thoughts and prayers go out to coach John Kuester following the death of his father over the weekend.
  • Detroit led by as many as 30 before the Kings rallied to within a dozen.
  • Rodney Stuckey tallied 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists – despite of 4 turnovers.
  • Looks like Tayshaun and Rip are healthy enough to have a meaningful impact for the stretch run.

Tayshaun Prince

  • Pistons shot a sizzling 58.4% for the game.
  • This is the Pistons’ first back-to-back wins since earlier this month versus the Nets and Bucks.
  • This is also the first time the team has scored 100 points or more in back-to-back games since mid-December versus Denver and Golden State, both wins
  • Jason Maxiell and Ben Wallace played limited minutes due to foul trouble, while Chris Wilcox saw action… although he couldn’t hit a free throw to save his life.
  • Rebound war tied at 34.
  • The Swede is a tough kid for real.
  • Highlights of the Game via NBA.com

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  • Another DNP-CD for Kwame Brown.
  • Tyreke Evans is going to be a great player in this league.
  • Did anyone know that Larry Hughes plays for the Kings?
  • For so reason, this is only Detroit’s 3rd win in the last 13 games in Sacramento.

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Need4Sheed Guest Writer:
Rashid S. Umar

Okay Pistons fans, I know it was tough to watch. I was there watching from the opening tip hoping for a more aggressive and passionate effort too. “There’s no way they will not bring it tonight” I thought. It’s the playoffs right?

Well again the game started off with more disjointed play and lack of passion. Rodney Stuckey seemingly was the only player interested in driving to the basket as everyone else settled for jumpers. The defense did nothing but allow Lebron to pad his stats for his MVP campaign.

With the Cavs now leading 2-0, what can we take from the current circumstance? I’d say that we should expect an entertaining game 3 as the series shifts to the “D” on Friday night.

Photo/Getty Images

Here’s what I think: as you all saw, the Cavs lead early in the fourth quarter 79-50 as they began resting their starters. The Pistons went with their bench players and suddenly like lightening the young and scrappy unit climbed back into contention cutting the once robust lead to seven, once the starters were reinstated the Cavs regained control.

So with the revelation that the starters, for whatever reason, can’t seem to compete for long stretches with these guys perhaps the second unit can provide the hustle and intensity needed to stay with this team?

It’s a bit obvious that the Cavs kinda put it on cruise in the fourth and I wonder if that is something that can be exploited.

Photo/Getty Images

Remember the 2006 series? Detroit was the league leading number one seed against the underdog Cavs. The Pistons won game one rather handily but, in game two Detroit lead by as much as 20 in the second half and the Cavs made a game of it. The Piston would hang on but the Cleveland team gained confidence and later went on to win the next three games before losing in seven.

It’s the playoffs and anything can happen. I’m just saying.

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!