Rather than dealing with my shallow analysis of what went wrong, I think it best to let Coach Mike Brown sum it up for all of you out there.:
At halftime some of their players must have gotten together and said let’s defend and take this game away from the Cavaliers. They came out in the second half and just took it from us. They didn’t do anything special or anything differently. Defensively, they just turned it up. They turned it up with their pressure and we did not respond. We did not respond well at all in the second half to their aggressive play and that was disappointing.
Things started a bit rocky with the Pistons going on a 7-0 run. No problem as the Cavaliers shook off a slow start to take a 49-38 lead into the locker room. Why the difference? The Cavs are getting some serious calls. They’ve went to the foul line 15 times to the Piston’s..umm…ahem…three. They’ve hit 12 of those shots. They have a slight advantage in rebounds 23-19, but are losing the shooting battle. They’ve shown more defensive intensity in this first half with 5 blocked shots to the Pistons 1. LeBron James said before tip-off that this game would have a playoff feel to it. So far it’s as advertised.
Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters: Cavs: LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G). Pistons: Tayshaun Prince (F) Rasheed Wallace (F); Kwame Browns (C); Richard Hamilton (G); Allen Iverson (G)
Injuries: Cavs: Eric Snow (knee); Wally Szczerbiak excused for personal reasons. Pistons: None.
Officials: Joe DeRosa, Ron Olesiak, Olandis Poole
Streaking: Cavs have won 8 consecutive games; the Pistons have won three-in-a-row, all on the road.
Two things to watch:
1) How Allen Iverson fits with the team. He and Chauncey Billups are two polar opposite players in that Billups looked to get teammates involved in the game before taking his own shot. Iverson – pure scorer. Obviously they’ve done something right as the Pistons came off a mini West Coast swing with a 3-1 record on that trip.
2) LeBron James on Tayshaun Prince. Prince has assumed more of Billups’ role as a facilitator and plays more of a point forward now.
From the coach’s office:
Mike Brown on whether LeBron James has elevated his game:
Yeah, he is and obviously every year that you play in the league on both sides of the ball, especially if you’re a worker, you’re going to get better. And he’s a worker on both sides of the ball.
From the locker room:
LeBron James on the whether he’s surprised about the attention his ‘’imminent’’ free agency has attracted:
No, sometimes people don’t have nothing to write about. They need a story once again and keep bringing up my free agency.
LeBron James on the Pistons without Chauncey Billups
It was definitely weird seeing Chauncey playing in that Nuggets uniform last week. It’s going to be weird going out there and not seeing him be the point guard for this team. It is weird. It should be weird to everyone that’s been around Detroit and been around sports.
Ben Wallace on being back in Detroit:
It’s just strange coming in here and this guy is no longer here and that guy is no longer here and a couple more guys are no longer here…That’s a little strange because we played together for a number of years and we built that friendship – that bond.