Thursday, June 16, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Egg on face

I had some very lively discussions last week about the Pistons’ and the Heat’s final game. I allowed that the Heat would definitely prefer to have the last game bounced back to Miami. One had to believe that Shaq and his cohorts wanted to win that series in front of the hometown fans. And they almost did it.

The final score showed just a six-point difference (88-82). Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the game in its entirety, but I can’t believe the Heat played with the dedication they had shown in some earlier games in the series.

It is to the Heat’s credit that there were no endless string of recriminations. They simply lost the series. With the talent which they possess, one would have to believe that this team will be in the season-ending series – as long as Shaq decides to play.

My prediction didn’t go exactly as it had been planned, but the championship series between the Spurs and the Pistons is proving to be enjoyable for the fans and trying for the coaches. Of course, those fans who have subscribed to Rasheed Wallace’s mandate for a repeat, naturally, are suffering some frustration.

However, before we get into the heat of the battle for the two games which have already been played, let’s talk about the opening ceremony for game one. For a minute yours truly thought he was watching a Super Bowl halftime instead of the start of an NBA series. Will Smith and a bevy of beauties took the court and performed his latest hit, “Switch” (I guess that was the title).

Anyway, one of the Spurs thought it was Robert Horry, the transfer from the Lakers. The teammate stated that he was going to be too tired for any contributions to the team!

The Spurs took full advantage of the Pistons’ jet lag and recent war with the Heat and coasted to a game one easy victory. Game two on Sunday started as a blowout but the Pistons started firing in the third quarter and gave the Spurs a scare.

It didn’t last long because Detroit still didn’t have the formula to stop Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. They waved off the threat and did what they had been playing for – going into Auburn Hills with a 2-0 lead.

Message to Rasheed Wallace – you had better get the Pistons clicking or you are going to have as much egg on your face as a certain sportswriter in these here parts.

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