Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Metro Detroit 2, South Beach 0

Tell me you didn't have a bad feeling in the first half of last night's Heat-Pistons game. It usually doesn't end well when the Pistons miss that many jump shots. And they missed a lot of them. Think of any jokes about laying bricks and building walls, and they'd fit.

Detroit shot 35% from the field. Chauncey Billups was 5-for-16 (but made up for it big-time by going 11-for-12 at the free throw line). 'Sheed was 3-for-12 (and only went to the line twice).

And I know it does no good to complain about this, but I will never be comfortable with 'Sheed shooting that many three-pointers. Call me "old school" - I don't believe a big man should be taking shots that far from the basket. That belief is affirmed when those shots don't go in. Rasheed Wallace, you are not Dirk Nowitzki.

He could go 4-for-4 from three-point range, and my teeth would still grind. I hate it. Last night, the Pistons needed a low-post threat, and the one guy on the team who can provide it chose to stay away from the paint. And that was with Shaquille O'Neal looking like he was wearing cement shoes and Alonzo Mourning out of the game with a pulled calf.

(Photo by Julian H. Gonzalez/ Detroit Free Press)

Of course, the Pistons did win the game, 82-73, so maybe I'm fretting over nothing. (Greg Eno says I am.) To have played that badly, yet still win a game over their closest competitor in the Eastern Conference is an impressive feat. I've heard a lot of jabber on sports talk radio today from people scared over how the Pistons are playing. But Miami should be freaking out, if you ask me. Detroit was just asking to be beaten last night, and the Heat couldn't get it done.

Teams shouldn't be able to win games by suddenly "turning it on," but the Pistons seemed to do exactly that. When they decided to crack down on defense, Miami was shut down. Big gold stars to Rip Hamilton and Lindsey Hunter, who did a good job holding Dwyane Wade to 13 points on 3-for-15 shooting. Pistons killer? Soooo last month, Dwayne.

Meanwhile in Ann Arbor, Michigan made it a doubleheader sweep for metro Detroit. The Wolverines and the Maize Rage are apparently off to the NIT semi-finals in New York after beating Miami's other basketball team, 71-65. I say "apparently," because I didn't see it. But this time, it's because I couldn't see the game. Raise your hand if you have ESPNU? Where does that channel come in? On campus? In the dorms?

It's not like I'm mad about it; I would've watched the Pistons game, anyway. But it would've been nice to watch the NIT during commercial breaks.

Is it silly if I feel a bit excited about Michigan going this far in the postseason step-tournament? Probably. It's like winning the "Toilet Bowl" in Gus Macker 3-on-3. You only got that chance because you lost when it really counted. But I'll still enjoy watching them play for a trophy. Unless ESPN sticks the games on ESPNU again.

(Photo by Kirt Dozier/
Detroit Free Press)

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