Everything that went right in Los Angeles went terribly, terribly wrong in Phoenix.
Call it what you want: Jet lag, not enough rest, a west coast curse, Shaq was mean. It doesn't matter, the Pistons were thoroughly man-handled by the Phoenix Suns, who went without Shaquille O'Neal for the entire second half after he committed a clear, flagrant-two against Rodney Stuckey with just over five minutes left in the second quarter.
The men from the motor city are gladly ready to fly back home and 1) get more then one day off and 2) play in the comforting confines of the Palace again.
It won't get easier as LeBron James comes to town on Wednesday. But it will be a welcomed Eastern Conference matchup to the Pistons after the four game trip out west.
Mind you, for all intensive purposes this was a highly successful west coast swing for the Pistons; 3-1 is a beautiful record on any road trip. They beat teams they should have (Sacramento and Golden State) and turned some heads after dominating the then undefeated Lakers, all leading to the eventual let down game.
It's like out of a novel.
If you're a Piston fan, be happy not to see the Suns again. They'll be a force to reckon with. There is nothing but pure talent on that team, and with Shaq looking like the Shaq of old recently, watch out.
Kwame Brown seemed to be the answer down-low against L.A., but maybe L.A. just gets pushed around by whoever plays them in the East, because tonight, the one fatal flaw the Pistons have, their post players, was on full display. They got dominated.
Let's start that Antonio McDyess countdown clock back up again shall we? 21 days to go...
A.I. was off tonight, but then again most Pistons were. Tonight, they just didn't have it.
It's almost as if Rasheed Wallace knew it. Friday night in a halftime interview with an ESPN reporter he said "I'm not looking forward to Sunday."
And you just can't change an already written ending I suppose, especially one as cliche as that of the NBA.
The inevitable let down game.
Up next: Wednesday Nov. 19 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Cleveland Cavaliers and the Detroit Pistons. 7:30 p.m. ET.
Courtesy Yahoo Sports:
|Percentages:||.398||.231||.680||Team Rebounds: 8|
|Percentages:||.569||.500||.571||Team Rebounds: 10|