Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Friday, March 04, 2005 at 10:02 AM

You say potato, I say potatoe, you say #1 seed, I say #2 seed.

People, people, people, let us just relax and breathe a little. There seems to be a discussion thread out there, well maybe more of an argument, about the Pistons getting the #1 or #2 seed, beating Miami either way and returning to the finals. I know, I know, I said I was going to talk about something besides the Pistons for a change, but my Tigers post was too long for that today (I am in meetings all day), so that will have to be put off until next week. So, on to the Pistons, who by the way lost last night to the Phoenix Suns 100-97. Very respectable score, I figured they would lose one or two on this trip, but as long as they are not getting blown out then I think it is a positive sign, one of those stupid “moral victories”. Anyway, on to the rest of the post.

Look, do I think the Pistons have a chance to catch Miami and claim that #1 seed? Yes, I think it is possible, they are playing the best basketball in the league right now. Do I think it will happen? No, unfortunately I don’t. I think the garbage ball the Pistons were playing at the beginning of the year (the fat and happy, poor me because of the brawl, head up their ass style) was just enough to spot Miami a head start, one which I do not think they will overcome. However, I think the Pistons will make it more interesting than any of us originally thought, I could see it coming down to the last week of the season and being a difference of 2 or 3 games. However, for the record here, I would like to add one of two things. First, the Pistons were not the #1 seed last year either, that was Indiana. Second, the Pistons beat the shit out of Shaq last year in the Finals with a better supporting cast. I don’t buy that “imploding” garbage, it is junk, so why should beating Shaq be any different this year? It shouldn’t, his supporting cast in Miami is weaker and the Pistons roster this year is stronger, deeper and has another year together under their belts. Let’s take a look at the Lakers roster from last year, shall we, the team the Pistons turned into a bunch of school girls in the Finals? It looked a little something like this:

Starters –
Kobe Bryant
Gary Payton
Shaq
Karl Malone
Rick Fox

Bench Players –
Derek Fisher
Deveon George
Horace Grant
Brian Cook
Kareem Rush
Bryon Russell
Luke Walton
Stanislav Medvedenko

That is a starting line up that contains four future Hall of Famers and a bench that can go, with quality, five deep with Fisher, George, Grant, Cook and Rush. Done.

Now, let us look at this years Miami Heat and the key players on that team – here we go:

Starters –
Eddie Jones
Udonis Haslem (whom?!?!)
Shaq
Damon Jones
Dwayne Wade

Bench Players –
Steve Smith
Alonzo Mourning
Christian Laettner
Michael Doleac
Shandon Anderson
Kenyon Dooling
Rasual Butler

Wow, what a power house team! You basically have a starting line up that consists of two stars (if I have to identify them then you have no right calling yourself a basketball fan) and three dudes that you could remove from the line up and replace with anyone on the bench and you would not be able to tell the difference. Except, of course, by reading the different name on the back of the jersey. The Lakers team, however, had one such guy in their starting line up, Rick Fox, that was a “plug and play” type player. The point of all that is simple – I said it before and I will say it again, the Pistons beat Shaq with much better players in LA than he has in Miami. I can look at that roster and go “Kobe, The Glove, Mailman, The Diesel, Derek Fisher, Deveon George, Horace Grant, shit even Bryon Russell!”. However, I look at the Heat roster and I laugh, it is really just (here are those two in case you could not figure it out) Shaq, Wade and a bunch of role players (notice “role”, not “roll”). There is no one there that even makes me nervous, and I am a skinny, 6-1 white dude!!!! Give me a break.


Furthermore, let us actually break down the match ups in the starting line up real quick. Let us assume that the Eastern Conference Finals comes down to what it appears it is going to be, the Heat versus the Pistons. I am going to take two guys out of the equation for both teams, one from each, Ben Wallace and Shaq. The Pistons will do what they did in the Finals last year, we all know Shaq is going to get his, that is why I am taking those guys out. Ben will get the primary task of banging with Shaq, Rasheed will see some time and (god willing here) Elden Campbell will help out off the bench. The remaining match ups, if I were Larry Brown, would have Rasheed on Haslem (whom?), Tayshaun on Dwayne Wade (he always gets the opposing teams biggest guard/forward threat), Chauncey on Eddie Jones (for the size) and Rip against Damon Jones. Then, off the bench, the Pistons bring McDyess, Arroyo, Hunter, Campbell, even Dupree and Ham. There is no one on that Miami bench (remember, Alonzo is not even close to the ‘Zo of old) for the Heat to even come close to that. The Pistons have the match ups, the Pistons have the depth and home court or not there is no way I see it making a difference. To me, the only way the Pistons lose the East is if they beat themselves. Period, point blank, end of story and end of argument. Having home court would be nice, but really in this case it would only be nicer for the fans so they could see the Pistons at the Palace for an extra game against the Heat. Bottom line, Pistons in six and bring on some Western Conference team for the Pistons to beat up on again.

Well, that ended up being longer than I thought, but it really has become a sore spot with me. I am tired of “Shaq this, Shaq that”, it is getting old already. I am going to close with my old line here once again – the road to the Finals still goes through Auburn Hills, Michigan – more specifically right through Four Championship Drive. Later and have a safe weekend – the sports dude.

Blogger Dan Joseph said...

Wow! Nice break down! I love that! Yes, I too think the Pistons can stand up against the Heat in a series. Especially with their man Elden headed back to slow Shaq down. Bring 'em on.  

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Blogger Dan Joseph said...

Wow! Nice break down! I love that! Yes, I too think the Pistons can stand up against the Heat in a series. Especially with their man Elden headed back to slow Shaq down. Bring 'em on.  

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