Bucks Diary

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Pistons are not switch flipping!


The media is so intellectually lazy, that instead of actually analyzing what's happening in a particular NBA playoff series, they constantly resort to trite little, collectively- manufactured "storylines" to describe the action.

And the storyline "they" (by which I almost exclusively mean the jabberjaws on ESPN) have settled on for the Sixers surprising challenge to the Pistons is "the Pistons are flipping the switch back and forth from on to off." The tired "switch" metaphor is meant to imply that the Pistons are really, really good (because, gee, didn't they win a championship a couple of years ago?), and therefore the only way they could be losing to the lowly Sixers is if the Pistons are not trying. The only problem with this little storyline is its completely false.

If the Pistons have a switch, it seems to be pretty close to the "on" position. You simply cannot play defense as well as they are playing defense without exerting a substantial amount of effort. The Pistons problem is they cannot get any consistent offense generated against Philadelphia's equally outstanding defense, especially from their traditional sources of offense... Chauncey Billups and R. Wallace.

In fact, they have struggled so much on offense that their Offensive Win Score average in this series (about 30.3 per game) would have been the worst in the NBA by a healthy margin had that been their season average. The fact is the Pistons should not have won any games in this series and they are somehow tied 2-2.

In my mind, the proper storyline, if there must be one, has the Pistons cast as quickly diminishing but ever-proud Muhammad Alis, employing every bit of guile and guts they have left to eke out wins against the Ken Norton/Earnie Shavers/Leon Spinks 76ers (young, strong, dangerous, unorthodox, and hard to score against)... opponents they would have wiped the floor with just a few short years ago.

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