Billups' Return Pays Off for Piston's in Game 2

Ryan MessingContributor IMay 23, 2008

The Detroit Pistons were a completely different team in Thursday's game 2 win at the Boston Garden from the one that showed up for game 1. The Pistons new found poise and composure was largely due to the return of their floor leader, Chauncey Billups.

Billups' actual return from the hamstring injury he suffered in Orlando came in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, however he was a non-factor, scoring 9 points and missing 2 of his 4 free throws. Even worse, he looked indecisive against Boston's swarming defense, committing two turnovers to go with his two assists and losing the poise that makes him one of the league's best point guards.

Luckily for the Pistons, Billups returned to form in game 2, dishing out seven assists and not committing a turnover while scoring 19 points. The brilliant performance was what Detroit has come to expect from Billups every game; calm, collected and clutch. He pushed all the right buttons, seemingly to know exactly what was needed from him in every situation. Detroit now hopes that game 1 was merely an anomaly, and Mr. Big Shot has shaken off the rust from his injury.

The series now moves to Detroit, where the Pistons will be greeted by one of the better home crowds in the league. All the pressure in the series moves squarely onto the shoulders of Boston's "Big Three", who will have to pick up their first road win of the playoffs in order to retain their hopes of an NBA title. The Pistons, meanwhile, will attempt to avoid one of their renowned letdown performances, ride the seemingly rejuvenated Billups to victory, and finish the Celtics off.