Would Somebody Please Tell The Pistons This Isn't The Regular Season Anymore
I've admittedly ripped Doc Rivers quite a bit for his coaching, which I feel is appropriate. But for some reason I haven't gone to town on the whole Pistons team yet. Well, now I will.
One of the staples of this Detroit team over the years is that they seem to make every series that they play in tougher than it needs to be. And they primarily do that by simply mailing in games - like last night. That's OK to do during the regular season as times, since it's a long grind, but this is the playoffs. You should NEVER mail in a game during the playoffs.
But Detroit has a bad habit of doing that. In fact, in the majority of the Pistons' playoff series over the past 6 years, I can remember multiple times where they more or less took a dive for a few games in a series.
Some people have argued that this is just the personality of this team, which is that they don't play their best basketball until their backs are against the wall. The only problem with that logic is that when your margin for error is nil, it becomes real easy to fail.
The stunning thing is how good this team could possibly be if they just figured out how to play effectively for a full playoff series. This is their 6th year in a row in the Eastern Conference Finals, and yet they have only one NBA Championship to show for it. They remind me a lot of those old Atlanta Braves squads in the 90s. Always on the cusp of winning a World Series, but in the end, they could only manage to win one.
I'd blame Flip Saunders for this, but in reality, he doesn't seem to be the problem. It seems this team, whose core group of players has hardly changed over the years, simply believes it can operate under a different set of rules. And that is that they can fail to show up for a game or two in a playoff series and still prevail.
The thing is, this may still work against the Celtics, who I think Detroit SHOULD beat. But then again, there are a lot of teams during Detroit's run that I thought they should have beaten that they didn't.
But the real problem for the current Pistons squad is that people are starting question their legacy at this point.
For me, I'll remember them mostly as a very good team that didn't live up to expectations because they consistently mailed in games during the playoffs.
And my guess is that's not exactly the way they would like to be remembered.