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Thursday, June 01, 2006

5/31/06 - Pistons 91-78 Heat - Heat lead 3-2

Technical note: whenever I edited yesterday's liveblog it slapped a new post up, and since they all had identical timestamps they were in random order. Thus it appeared that updating stopped sometime in the second quarter. I've deleted all the duplicates, so if you would like to review my ravings -- these things always descend into slight madness -- they can be found a post down. Or just click here. The comments thread from the first is here, if you care to review it for some reason.

That was more like it. There were passes and (some) open shots and (some) easy points off turnovers and defense and one spectacular moment when Ben Wallace impossibly obliterated what looked like a sure Shaq dunk, reminding the viewer why, exactly, the Palace is filled with whiteboys in afros and the only player in town with anywhere approaching his stature is Steve Yzerman, who's been playing in Detroit since packs of dinosaurs roamed Pangea.

Game five felt vastly different than the previous limp performances. Even though it was touch and go most of the way, this prone-to-night-terrors fan could not conceive of a loss in this situation after the Pistons settled in, grimly determined to take the series back to Miami. Along the way some enjoyment was had.

No doubt Pistons fans, myself included, wondered who kidnapped them and replaced them with slightly-functional android imposters after the first two games of the Cleveland series. The team shuddered and clattered about, intermittently resembling the regular-season juggernaut that stormed to the best record in the league but generally pissing away the advantages they had. I don't know the reasons for the Pistons' extended funk -- the statistic bandied about on the teevee was 3-6 in their last nine games -- but at least that thing they do when backed into a corner is still there.

If -- and I want to stress "if," as the chances the Pistons win the next two are certainly below 50 percent -- the Pistons manage to win this series, then no matter what happens in the Finals they'll have cemented their reputation as best Rasputins in the history of the NBA*. Shot, stabbed, drowned, maimed, assaulted with hamburgers, attacked by leering gangs of bicyclists, thrown from a balloon, shot across the Channel in a V2 rocket, beaten, locked in a room with Stephen A. Smith on speed, run over by extremely determined ant skateboarders, abducted, or stuffed into the overhead compartment on a flight to hell: it matters not. What yesterday seemed like an insurmountable challenge is now just one slightly improbable road win followed by game seven in the Palace. It could happen. Maybe. Probably not. But maybe.

As Terry Foster might say in his indelibly melodramatic fashion, hope flows through the veins of southeastern Michigan again. Now do it again, you bastards!

*(Probably. I would not describe my NBA knowledge as encyclopedic.)