Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Pistons Need to Stop This Bull[excrement] Tonight

As natural as the impulse might be, I usually try to avoid comparisons between this current Pistons team and the championship teams of the "Bad Boys" era. Different players, different era, different style of play in the league, etc. But as I've watched these Detroit Pistons fall into a familiar (arrogant) trap of getting bored and losing focus until the situation requires them to sharpen their resolve, I can't help but think of the team that originally showed us how to put away an opponent and efficiently (ruthlessly) progress toward the NBA Finals.

There's no way in hell Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer would've allowed the Chicago Bulls to come back and make this series competitive. If their team knew an opponent was beaten, they wasted no time in finishing the job. They had no time for folly or irrelevance. They never let up.

Even if you say the Bulls would've kept Games 1 and 2 close had they made more shots, I'd find it hard to believe that you didn't think that was an absolutely defeated and dejected team. Especially after suffering a completely demoralizing loss in Game 3. And this Pistons team should've made sure things stayed that way. Don't assume the enemy is finished. Check for a body. Don't even allow for the possibility of a comeback. Unfortunately, that flatline now has some beats to it, and there's no reason for the Bulls to think they can't push this thing to a seventh game. And once that happens... well, you know all the cliches.

Of course, the Pistons could stop this charade and conserve needed energy by ending this series tonight (at least two games after it should've been). And it helps that their likely Eastern Conference Finals opponent, the Cleveland LeBrons, is also currently having trouble sealing their own deal. (If you're truly optimistic - and you had every right to be so before last Sunday - you could say that their potential NBA Finals opponent is locked in a fight to the finish, as well.) I realize the Bulls deserve credit for not checking out for their off-season plans after facing a seemingly insurmountable 0-3 deficit. But there is no excuse for the Pistons not to have matched their passion and intensity.

As much as I admire this current Detroit team, one of its most infuriating traits is its arrogance. The Bulls are playing like a team fighting for its playoff life, fueled by the "sometimes, you just gotta say, 'What the #@$%'" abandon that comes with nothing more to lose. Meanwhile, the Pistons look like they're checking their watch or fingernails, as if they're a boyfriend waiting for his girlfriend to finish trying on another outfit, but really looking forward to going to the bar or a movie afterwards. Deep down, they know that better things are likely to come, but it might be more enjoyable (and productive) for everyone involved if they just concentrate on the matter at hand and give their full attention.

Quit messing around. Finish this off. Do what you should've done almost a week ago. At the very least, you'll give yourself a weekend of rest and relaxation. Isn't that what we all want?



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