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The W - Basketball - Nets trounced in Game One
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Alessandro
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Worcester MA

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.04
Ugh ... just, just ugh.

Mike Vaccaro before Game One :

PISTONS NOT BETTER TEAM

May 3, 2004 -- AUBURN HILLS - The funny part is how cool the Pistons have been the past few weeks, how detached. For a team that hasn't won a thing in 14 years - including their own division this year, incidentally - the Pistons sure seem eager to get on with the tedious business of dispatching the Nets and reaching out to their greater destiny.

"We feel like we have a chance to do something special," the Pistons' Chauncey Billups told Detroit writers over the weekend, "and the Nets just happen to be in our way right now."

The Nets are in their way like an annoying speed bump, like a slow stop light. Funny stuff. Similar sentiments have been tumbling off of the Pistons' tongues ever since the regular season ended, ever since the Pistons became everyone's Hot Team of the moment, sparked by he addition of Rasheed Wallace and a late-season commitment to defense that caught the league's attention.

It's good that the Pistons feel this way.

It will also be utterly useless once this second-round playoff series begins this evening at The Palace, where the Nets will continue to remind the rest of the Eastern Conference who the biggest, baddest team on the block truly is. Memo to the Pistons: the Nets bring an astonishing 14-game playoff winning streak against the East into this series. Four of those games were against the Pistons in last spring's conference finals.

The Nets did not win those games in a lottery.

"They're not better than us," Kenyon Martin said Saturday. "You can say anything you want about this, or about that, or about what happened during the regular season, but until they prove it, they aren't better. No way."

Martin can drive you insane if you root against him, as Knicks fans discovered the past few weeks, but he happens to be speaking the truth here. The Nets didn't exactly cover themselves in glory this year, either on the court or in the way they made Byron Scott disappear. It doesn't matter. They know how to win a playoff series better than almost anyone in the NBA. Better than everyone else in the East.

Now, it's possible that a balky knee belonging to either Martin or Jason Kidd will implode this series; if that happens, the Pistons may do to the Nets what the Nets just did to the Knicks.

Otherwise, every syllable of Martin's observation is correct. And the Nets won't only win this series, they'll win it running away.

"The Nets swept us last year," Billups said. "They were better than us at that time. We feel like it's different this year."

It is different. It may take the Nets five games this time, or six. But they'll dispose of these flawed Pistons, who can still go through long stretches of a game looking like they're shooting a greased-up ball.

And if you are a basketball fan in New York's great hoops metroplex, you simply cannot wait for this series (which will inexcusably drag out for 18 days if it goes the whole seven) to begin, because it seems like decades since we last saw a meaningful basketball game.

Much as we wanted the Nets-Knicks series to resemble some kind of basketball holy war, we know what we saw, and what we saw was a painful exhibition of just how wide the Hudson River really is in terms of roundball relevance and respectability. Tim Thomas' cheap Ali act notwithstanding, there just isn't enough juice to justify the teams' mutual distaste.

The Pistons and the Nets don't like each other, either, thanks to the last time they played, March 18, when the Pistons trapped with their starters for most of an 89-71 rout, and the Nets countered by calling time-out late in the game to take a successful crack at halting the Pistons' string of sub-70 defensive games.

Ben Wallace called the Nets "petty" that night. Richard Jefferson said, "Hopefully, we'll see them down the line."

The line arrives tonight. So does the meaningful portion of the NBA playoffs. It's about time.


Mike Vaccaro after Game One :

KENYON FAILS TO FLEX HIS MUSCLE

May 4, 2004 --

AUBURN HILLS - When times are good, he is the face and the voice and the aura of Net prosperity. His roar can be heard across the NBA, his audacious chest-thumping glee a rhythmic admonition to the rest of the Eastern Conference. When times are good, you never have to look at a scoreboard as long as Kenyon Martin is around.

Times weren't so good for the Nets last night.

And Martin, he wasn't so loud. He wasn't so bold. He wasn't so brash. The Nets kept missing shots. They kept wasting fast-break opportunities. They kept putting the basketball in places where the likes of Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace and Mehmet Okur could swat it halfway to Saginaw.

They needed their muscle to step forward and do something, anything, to keep the Pistons within reach.

But their muscle couldn't do that. Kenyon Martin picked up early fouls. He missed a bunch of early shots. His offensive twitch-moves, so devastating against the Knicks, barely drew a flinch out of the Pistons. And as the deficit kept growing - to 10, to 15, to 18, finally to 22, the final score, 78-56 - there was nothing much to crow about.

"What can you do?" Martin said, shrugging his shoulders, when the dismantling was done. "Do you want me to say the series is over because we lost one game? I'm not going to do that."

Martin wasn't the lone Nets culprit in this calamitous performance. There were plenty of places to turn if you wanted to assign blame for the single-worst offensive performance (by 18, no less) in the team's playoff history.

Richard Jefferson, normally Martin's partner in petulance, took 12 shots and missed 11 of them. Jason Collins had five fouls to go along with zero points and two rebounds. Even Jason Kidd was significantly less than spectacular, turning in a triple single (nine points, seven rebounds, six assists) when the Nets were dying for something special from their captain.

Still, it is Martin whose passion, whose energy, whose skill and physical presence drive the Nets, and while he finished with 11 points and five rebounds, both numbers were church-quiet. The Wallaces swallowed him whole. So, remarkably, did Okur. The Palace crowd, especially the courtside denizens, seem to take far more joy in degrading Martin than they did in cheering their own team.

"Kenyon!" they screamed, during one foul-driven shift on the bench. "Where are you?"

It was a fair question that many of his teammates might have asked, if any of them had bothered to show up.

Martin's night seemed to best exemplify what the rest of the Nets were enduring, and with good reason. From a skill-player standpoint, the Nets are the better team. Even given their numerous woes last night, the Nets still outscored Detroit 19-9 in transition, for instance. But what the Nets needed was someone to set a tone, a dark, muscular tone, with a hard dunk, a tough rebound, a bone-rattling screen.

Martin is their man on those issues. He couldn't deliver this time. And the Nets withered on the vine.

"Unlike most teams around this league that have eight days off and make excuses, we aren't going to do that," Martin said, which, of course, was his way of saying, "What did you expect? We had eight days off!"

The problem wasn't the eight days off, in the same way the three off-days better not be an issue by the time this series resumes on Friday night. By then, it would be helpful if the Nets could, say, break 30 percent from the field, go from there. But it would be more beneficial if their heart and soul came armed with the same sneer he showed the Knicks up close.

Or else they shouldn't even bother taking the plane back here.


Lost some of his cockiness there, didn't he?







Alessandro "Hercules" Boondy

Just so you guys know: 75% of this crap [you read on the internet] is made up, either by the writer, or the wrestler the writer is getting the dirt from. Just so you know. -- Statement by "Tammy Sytch", from Hyatte's Dec. 29th column ... Lest we forget.





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bradbice
Chorizo








Since: 2.1.02
From: MI

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.33
Game two should(and hopefully will) be a different story, though Game one was very fun indeed. I just couldn't stop smiling as Marv Albert was rattling off the record lows that Detroit was holding New Jersey to.

Granted, Detroit also participated in the lowest scoring half in playoffs history or somethig along those lines.

But it was certainly nice for this Pistons fan to watch the dreaded Nets get utterly destroyed almost to the brink of humiliation.

So we wait(and wait...) for game two, and hope that the first wasn't a fluke. Though I highly doubt it was.

Go Pistons.
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.71
Am I the only one concerned that if the Pistons face the Spurs in the Finals, there might be games that the winner doesn't break 60 in?



These are desperate times. And desperate times call for desperate measures. Thus, its time to break out the Cubs/White Sox/Red Sox call to put the Kaiser back on the throne.
rockdotcom_2.0
Frankfurter








Since: 9.1.02
From: Virginia Beach Va

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.34
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Am I the only one concerned that if the Pistons face the Spurs in the Finals, there might be games that the winner doesn't break 60 in?



Just you and ABC. The rest of us wont be watching



Doin my Superman thing
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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Last activity: 7 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
I dunno, I think the all-time record for a low-scoring game was a 13-11 game before the advent of the shot clock...

Detroit hasn't got much farther to go to pull that off. Or so it seems.



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Reverend J Shaft
Liverwurst








Since: 25.6.03
From: Home of The Big House

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.04
    Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
      Originally posted by redsoxnation
      Am I the only one concerned that if the Pistons face the Spurs in the Finals, there might be games that the winner doesn't break 60 in?



    Just you and ABC. The rest of us wont be watching


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! No, seriously, here are the first round scoring averages of the Pistons and the Western teams left in the playoffs:

Detroit: 98.2
San Antonio: 97.5
LA Lakers: 90.0
Sacramento: 98.2
Minnesota: 94.2

So quit the bitching. The whole "defense makes games boring" thing has become such a cliche. Oh wait, lemme put one of those smiley faces to be clever.

P.S. And, ekedolphin, your Pacers averaged less ppg than the Spurs this season and 1.3 ppg more than the Pistons, so I wouldn't put the record past your team, either. Except they haven't got the defense to hold the opponent to that low score.



(edited by Reverend J Shaft on 5.5.04 0908)



GET BETTER STEVIE!!
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 395 days
Last activity: 395 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.71
    Originally posted by Reverend J Shaft
      Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
        Originally posted by redsoxnation
        Am I the only one concerned that if the Pistons face the Spurs in the Finals, there might be games that the winner doesn't break 60 in?



      Just you and ABC. The rest of us wont be watching


    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! No, seriously, here are the first round scoring averages of the Pistons and the Western teams left in the playoffs:

    Detroit: 98.2
    San Antonio: 97.5
    LA Lakers: 90.0
    Sacramento: 98.2
    Minnesota: 94.2

    So quit the bitching. The whole "defense makes games boring" thing has become such a cliche. Oh wait, lemme put one of those smiley faces to be clever.

    P.S. And, ekedolphin, your Pacers averaged less ppg than the Spurs this season and 1.3 ppg more than the Pistons, so I wouldn't put the record past your team, either. Except they haven't got the defense to hold the opponent to that low score.



    (edited by Reverend J Shaft on 5.5.04 0908)





Actually, when I said it I was being complimentary of the defense the Spurs and Pistons play. Get those two teams into a rock fight game, and its going to be low scoring. Have a rock fight and neither team hitting jumpers and it will definately be a sub 70 game, possibly sub 60 if the there is no transition at all.



These are desperate times. And desperate times call for desperate measures. Thus, its time to break out the Cubs/White Sox/Red Sox call to put the Kaiser back on the throne.
RYDER FAKIN
Six Degrees of Me








Since: 21.2.02
From: ORLANDO

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.46
The coolest stat I have heard in some time was mentioned on the TNT Post Game show. Last night was the 10 year anniversary of Sir Charles! dropping 56 points on the Warriors. They put his game stats side by side with the alleged offensive performance of the Nets, and man, did Barkley gloat...and gloat.

FLEA



Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high...

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CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.07
    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    The coolest stat I have heard in some time was mentioned on the TNT Post Game show. Last night was the 10 year anniversary of Sir Charles! dropping 56 points on the Warriors. They put his game stats side by side with the alleged offensive performance of the Nets, and man, did Barkley gloat...and gloat.

    FLEA
Nelly REALLY should have doubled him.



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