Are the Pistons in trouble? On paper, this is not supposed to be happening, as we were told again and again by the ESPN crew Friday night. As a long observer of Flip Saunders, I'd say this current playoff underachieving is exactly what his teams have done, both in Minnesota and now in Detroit. We've seen this before.
Philly, on the other hand, plays offense a lot like our current Wolves. They had 21 assists last night, but much of their ball movement was negated by the desire of their younger players to attack the basket, whether they had a shot or not. Luckily, they played hustling, aggressive defense that created a lot of opportunities for easy buckets, forcing the Pistons into 23 turnovers, a remarkable number for a top-tier team, especially in the playoffs. Three Sixers players are making a huge difference: Andre Miller, Samuel Dalembert, and Reggie Evans off the bench. Evans in particular has brought an energy and incredibly, low post offense to his club. Whether they can sustain that style of play to actually close out the Motown crew is problematic, but if Detroit continues to play with the lack of intensity they displayed last night, anything can happen.
Detroit's arrog...er, confidence is again preventing them from taking a club seriously, much like last year's contest against Cleveland. How many times have we heard Chauncey Billups proclaim their elite status? Contrast that to Boston, who have put the pedal on the floor against the Hawks and have decimated that group in the first two games of their series. If Detroit is so eager to show Boston who's boss, they had better get busy, or Flip will be out of job and longing for the days that the Gopher job could have been his.