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Pistons-Cavaliers: Detroit's Dominance Has Faded Away

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Pistons-Cavaliers: Detroit's Dominance Has Faded Away
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Cavaliers brought their “A” game and a broom to the Palace at Auburn Hills, and the Detroit Pistons provided enough for the Cavs to sweep. 

The dominance of LeBron James, Mo Williams, and company proved to be superior to the Pistons for the seven-game series, which ended on Sunday after a four-game sweep. 

The Pistons’, who made it to majority of the NBA playoffs over the last seven years, stayed in the game for most of the series, but were clearly outhustled and outplayed by a young and hungry Cavaliers’ team led by the phenom LeBron James.

In one way, I was truly happy for the Cavs and the leadership of the 24-year-old James, and on the other hand I was disappointed with the Pistons for their seemingly lackluster efforts. 

After all, they were the ones who played hungry and were expected to come from behind and make it happen—they have done this over and over again.  But by Game Three of the series, I knew that the Pistons’ era of winning had come to a crashing halt.

There are just some things about winners, their style of play and confident demeanor, and I did not think that the Pistons exhibited such a posture.  Their energy seemed low. Yes, they hacked James around, but in the end he was far too strong to succumb to such attacks. 

At one point during the series, I was taken aback after seeing the Pistons players neglecting to even assist their teammates up from the floor after a tough play.  I know, giving the Pistons the benefit of the doubt, that they were on the losing side of the ball, but teamwork is a team effort with each player lending a hand. 

No one can point to any one thing for their loss, but I am convinced that the remaining casts of players from their championship run were missing Ben Wallace and Chancy Billups, who moved on with other teams. What was the front office thinking, you might have asked?  

But losing Wallace and Billups should be not an excuse, as players have to learn to pick up the pieces, gel and move on.   Instead, I saw a bench who gave into losing. I saw the cast of starting five unsure of how to stop James and the Cavs. 

The Cavaliers on the, other hand, were poised, eager, and comfortable, both from a coaching and player standpoint.  They were relentless on defense and stunning on offense.  They created plays after play, feeding the ball to whoever was open. 

LeBron drove the lane, he slammed, and he hit jump shots.  He was hammered on numerous occasions, but that did not stop him.  Anderson Varejao powered his way defensively, and did his best to protest James and company from the angered Pistons at times.  

During his post-game interview, James emphasized the “we” in their efforts and described how they pulled away from the Pistons, who have made the second round of the playoffs each of the last seven years. 

The Cavs’ Joe Smith heroism in Game Three should not be overlooked, likewise the consistent efforts from Delonte West and Mo Williams over the entire series.

Notable mention should be give to Antonio McDyess, who was able to create some offense by hitting jumpers, tying his personal playoff best with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting. Will Bynum also provided a spark off the bench with 22 points, but the rest of the team shot just 12 of 48. 

Their efforts in the fourth game were not enough to carry them to a fifth game, and sadly we have to watch them ride of into the sunset until next season.

 

A look at the numbers for the Cavaliers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REBOUNDS

 

 Player

G

GS

MIN

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OFF

DEF

TOT

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

 LeBron James

4

4

162

39-77

3-17

47-59

4

41

45

30

6

3

6

5

128

 Mo Williams

4

4

148

23-52

8-25

5-9

3

6

9

22

3

1

11

13

59

 Delonte West

4

4

164

17-37

2-7

10-11

1

15

16

16

5

2

12

6

46

 Zydrunas Ilgauskas

4

4

111

20-45

1-2

4-5

3

22

25

8

1

5

4

10

45

 Joe Smith

4

0

81

13-26

2-3

15-17

8

14

22

2

3

0

1

5

43

 Anderson Varejao

4

4

133

8-16

0-0

5-8

8

12

20

1

4

4

4

7

21

 Daniel Gibson

4

0

60

5-16

4-11

3-3

1

0

1

2

0

2

2

9

17

 Wally Szczerbiak

4

0

38

1-3

0-2

6-6

5

5

10

2

1

0

1

4

8

 Aleksandar Pavlovic

3

0

4

1-1

1-1

0-0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

3

 Ben Wallace

4

0

45

1-2

0-0

0-2

4

4

8

1

2

1

0

2

2

 Tarence Kinsey

2

0

3

0-1

0-0

2-2

1

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

2

 Darnell Jackson

3

0

10

0-2

0-0

0-2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

Team Totals

4

0

960

128-278

21-68

97-124

38

122

160

84

25

18

44

63

374

Opponents

4

0

--

126-308

12-49

48-58

30

104

134

66

17

12

45

95

312

 

 

Pistons by the numbers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REBOUNDS

 

 Player

G

GS

MPG

FG%

 
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