June 10, 2005

Move aside, Larry

I didn't watch the game. I was about to and then a guildie contacted me to take his place in Molten Core, so I obliged and missed watching the game. My comments below are based on what I think happened based on the boxscore. For some reason the sporting world hasn't released a "recap" of the game yet so this is all I can go by.

Everything that I said Detroit needed to do, didn't happen. The end result -- Spurs win 84-69. Let's compare what I said Detroit needed to do, and what really happened:

- The two Wallaces need to combine for 35-40 points
- Rip needs to take no more than 15 shots
- Neutralize Brent Barry
- "Billups will get his 20-25 points in and Prince his 15."

Here's what happened:

- Wallaces combined for a paltry 11 points on 5 for 11 shooting. This tells me that they weren't being used in the offense. 11 shots by your big men? Come on Larry!
- Rip took 21 shots. Why would you take 21 shots if you're being guarded by Bruce Bowen? The way to neutralize the best one-on-one defender in the league is not to try to score on him! Again I blame Larry because we all know Rip is *not* a ball hog.
- I'm not sure if they did this or not. Spurs barely used him because they appeared to be in command of the game for most of the night. Their guys weren't tired because of their weeklong layoff. Only Horry got lots of minutes and he didn't do much.
- Billups got 25 points. Prince had 11.

I think what happened last night (because I also have utmost respect for Larry Brown), is that he went with the same game style as last series. Larry is one of those guys who sticks with what works. Unfortunately, the Spurs are nothing like the Heat. They are not just a two-star team, although in truth they do only have 2 stars.

So.... Where do we go from here. Larry will make adjustments to the offense to get Rasheed open more often. And Sheed will have to come through for them. Ben Wallace scored well last year but not much this season. He needs to put in 10-15 points, and Rasheed 20-25. This is imperative. Rip has to take less shots. And then everything else is fine.

11 of the past 14 teams who won Game 1 went on to win their series this year. However, they were all 2-2-1-1-1 series' and not the 2-3-2 format for the Finals. I think Detroit can still pull through!

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