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Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The Pistons' late rally in Game 2 against Cleveland reminded me of the Cavs-Pistons 2006 conference semifinals series. The Pistons won the first two games at home but eased up during a blowout in Game 2 and gave the Cavs confidence with a late rally. That series went seven exhausting games before the Cavs finally succumbed.
Could the same thing happen in this series? Nah.
While that group of Cavs was up and coming, the Pistons are in sharp decline. Their starters have been alarmingly unfocused and listless. That's especially true of Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince.
I remember watching Ben Wallace in his final year with the Pistons, thinking 'He's lost it. He doesn't have the same explosion anymore.'
Same thing this year with Sheed, though Sheed's at an age where you expect that. He just doesn't have the mobility to be a special defensive player anymore, as he was during his first 3 or 4 seasons in Detroit.
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.
I have to believe Joe D. is thinking the same thing. To somehow challenge the Cavs and LeBron in future years, he needs someone who's at least willing to stand up to LeBron and also make him work at the defensive end. Prince appears mentally defeated against Cleveland before the game starts.
Don't be surprised if one of the moves that Joe makes this offseason is a change at small forward. The restructuring of this team is going to take more than an inside scoring option and a shooter off the bench.


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