You thought the Pistons missed the playoffs? Not at PistonPowered.
We’re honoring the 10th anniversary of the 2004 NBA championship team by examining each postseason game on the corresponding 2014 date. We’ll look back at Detroit’s performances, detail our memories of that time and provide insight from the players and coaches who were Goin’ to Work every single night.
So, stick with us this “offseason.” I have a hunch these Pistons will be playing into June.
|Chauncey Billups, PG 37 MIN | 6-13 FG | 5-6 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTSBillups shot well, but the assist:turnover ratio was brutal and his defense was not all one could hope for.|
|Richard Hamilton, SG 45 MIN | 10-20 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTSRip needs to get to the line a bit more. Otherwise, a good outing. Reggie Miller is a tough assignment for anyone, but Hamilton held him to just 6 points. That’s unlikely to happen again in this series so it’s very unfortunate that the Pistons couldn’t capitalize and get a win.|| |
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 25 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTSPrince put together something of a bounce back game. His stats were modest, but very solid considering his minutes. And he could have taught the reigning defensive player of the year a thing or two. Ron Artest shot 4-17 with Prince covering him.|| |
|Rasheed Wallace, PF 36 MIN | 1-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTSRasheed is matched up against a far inferior player in Jeff Foster. He has to be dominating that matchup. He lost it in this one.|| |
|Ben Wallace, C 39 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 22 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 5 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTSBen Wallace led all player in blocks, rebounds, and assists. He couldn’t stop 20-10 machine Jermaine O’Neal from hitting those benchmarks, but he made the three-time all-star work for it.|
|Corliss Williamson, PF 22 MIN | 2-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTSWilliamson shot poorly and couldn’t duplicate Prince’s defensive success on Artest. But holding him to 2-6 shooting isn’t shabby. And the Pistons were only outscored 42-39 with Corliss on the floor. That dropoff in performance when playing him is notably smaller than normal.|| |
|Lindsey Hunter, PG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTSI don’t know what Hunter did to complete lose his role on the team, but he appears to have become their 9th man at best.|
|Mehmet Okur, C 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTSOkur wasn’t making major contributions on the offensive end, but it was on the other side where he really stank it up. In the nine minutes, Mehmet was manning the middle with Ben out, Jermaine hit all four shot attempts, salvaging an otherwise pathetic 3-16 shooting night.|
|Mike James, PG 10 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTSYou wouldn’t know it from his box score, but with James in the game, no Pacer guard scored and the Pistons had a 14-6 edge overall.|
|Darvin Ham, SF 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS|
|Larry Brown, Head Coach |
That was a painful loss, but it’s not like the Pistons didn’t have the opportunity to win it. After Reggie Miller hit a trademark three with 30 seconds remaining, the Pistons proceeded to brink three attempts to tie it. On the road, against a team that had won its last 13 home contests, a tossup game is a better than expected result.
From the frontlines
"They will not win Game 2, and you heard that from me," ‘Sheed announced Saturday night after watching Foster share the hero mantle with Reggie Miller in the Pacers’ 78-74 triumph.
"Put it front page, back page, middle of the page," ‘Sheed continued, making you wonder what he plans to say if the Pacers do win.
"They will not win Game 2."
‘Sheed then receded into Both Teams Played Hard mode, repeating the same answer to the next few questions he allowed, no matter what the questions were: "They will not win Game 2."
And, as a signoff: "They will not win Game 2."
He even reiterated the statement a day later (warning: first video has Game 2 spoilers).
Dave Hanners, then an assistant to Larry Brown, recalls how the Pistons head coach handled the Guaransheed.
“Larry basically called him out in front of the whole group,” Hanners said. “‘Well, now that the guy has said it, we’ve got to get behind him. We can’t let him look like an idiot. … We’ve got to back him up. He’s our guy. He went out on a limb by saying this. We’ve got to back him up. We’ve got to win this game. … Rasheed made the statement because, Ben, he believes in you. And Chauncey, he believes in you. That’s why he said that. And he believes in you because of the way you play.’
“It was almost like, ‘I can’t believe you did that Rasheed, but now that you’ve done it, we’ve got to help you out here.’”
If there was any uncertainty within the team how to respond, that cleared it up. But Tayshaun Prince believes Sheed understood what would happen all along.
“He knew what group of guys we had,” Prince said. “He knew we had his back. It’s hard for you to make a statement like that if you don’t if the guys have got your back or not.”
When Reggie Miller gets a shot he likes in the final seconds, chances are the other team’s not going to feel quite as great about it.
The Pacers guard sunk the Pistons with a late 3-pointer and helped Indiana grind to a win 78-74 over the Pistons in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. If this game as any indication of things to come, this series is going to result in a few bruises.
Somehow Indiana pulled this game out despite shooting 34 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range. The biggest stinger, at least the one at the top of the list, is that Miller made one shot all night — it just so happened to be the game winner.
Who knows if it was a case of the Pistons losing this game or the Pacers winning it, but as long as the Detroit defense comes to play in Game 2 on May 24, they should be in good shape.