Miami ousts Pistons at their own game: T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K, Josh Charles tells you how!

Hondo S. Carpenter

Miami ousts Pistons at their own game: T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K

  

By Joshua Charles

  

No one knew what to expect out of the Pistons in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

  

The team was coming off their best defensive performance of the playoffs in game 5, but questions still remained as the offense still faltered. However many fans remained optimistic as they hoped that the Pistons would be able to duplicate the defensive performance of game 5 and force a game 7 back at the Palace.

  

The Pistons have not been the same offensively since the fourth quarter of game 2 of the Cleveland series. With uncertainty throughout the fan base as well as in the locker room only a disaster was the likely scenario.

  

A disaster is exactly what happened in game 6 and in the end Pistons’ fans were given a false sense of hope.

  

The Pistons were manhandled by the Miami Heat in game 6, 95-78. In a game that wasn’t even that close.

  

With Dwyane Wade fighting the flu and obviously not 100%, players like Jason Williams, Antoine Walker, and Udonis Haslem filled in for what Wade was unable to do. The three main role players for Miami stepped up and combined for 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

  

Despite having the flu, Wade was still able to contribute 14 points and 10 assists. Couple that with the other half of Miami’s dynamic duo, Shaquille O’Neal who had his best game since arriving in Miami. O’Neal shot 12-14 and finished with 28 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots.

  

As the clock struck zeros on Friday, every Piston fan was likely disappointed, but none should have been surprised. These playoffs have caused many to wonder what happened to the team that ran off 64 wins this season.

  

Over the course of these playoffs Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, and Rip Hamilton, weren’t even mirrors of the players that led them to the past two finals. While Wallace and Hamilton battled through ankle injuries what excuse can you find for Mr. Big Shot?

  

For the first time since Billups has been in Detroit he looked timid and afraid of what the end result could be. For someone who loves to shine when the spotlight is at its brightest, Billups faded out and with that so did the Detroit Pistons.

  

You can’t blame this entire series on Chauncey, but for someone who proclaimed himself to be the MVP of the NBA on ESPN’s “Budweiser Hot Seat”, you have to wonder where the real Chauncey Billups went.

  

Everyone had struggles and all of them contributed to the team’s demise. From Ben’s free throws, to Rip and Rasheed not scoring, to Flip Saunders not making proper adjustments. All of those were also key factors in the team’s early exit.

  

Chauncey however is the point guard, the catalyst, the leader of what was the best team in basketball over the course of an 82 game regular season. He was the MVP candidate from a team that had four all-stars.

  

Ultimately the Detroit Pistons got exactly what they deserved, because when you don’t show up to play in the playoffs you will be going home empty handed.

  

Teamwork and defense is what got the Pistons to their elite status in the NBA, none of that was consistently evident in these playoffs.

  

As the Pistons head into the off-season a little earlier then expected, many questions are unanswered, but one thing is certain. Joe Dumars won’t settle for what just occurred and he will put a team back out on the court that will contend for an NBA title.

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