Pistons 95, Pacers 87: Simply Outplayed
The Pacers left the Palace Sunday night with an eight point loss, 95-87, although it felt like it should've been a 15 point differential. The Detroit Pistons played at a high level most of the night which the Pacers could not match. The Pistons stuck to their game plan of attacking the soft underbelly of the Pacers' interior defense and made most of the game look easy. The Pacers get a little credit for continuing to hang around and making a couple of runs when Detroit stepped off the gas. Other than that, take the loss and learn from what the Pistons exposed then get ready for the next game. Other thoughts:
- The Pistons exposed a match up problem for the Pacers by working Rasheed, C-Webb, and McDyess on the low block. They attacked Troy Murphy, normally with Rasheed, and found little resistance. The Pacers had to go zone and really were smoked throughout the game when both teams had their first units on the floor.
- Marquis Daniels sat out the game to rest his knee. Rawle Marshall stepped up and played 'Quis' minutes, doing a nice job on Rip Hamilton. Rip used all of his veteran savvy and veteran pull with the refs to maintain an advantage over Rawle, but he had to work for it.
- Again, the Pacers reserves were involved in the best basketball of the night for the blue and gold.
- JO got it rolling in the fourth as the Pacers tied the game up. Everything ground to a halt after JO picked up his fifth foul. Around the same time Murphy and Dunleavy re-entered the game and you could see the Pistons' energy change. They were licking their chops to get the ball on offense.
- JO was forced to return with four minutes left but couldn't be as aggressive on defense and the Pacers couldn't get closer than four points.
- Chief Webber had a real nice game just filling the cracks in the paint with put backs and nice ball handling. With the Pacers and JO in particular forced to help on interior defense, Chief rarely had a body on him. He took advantage with seven offensive rebounds.
- Jamaal Tinsley played pretty well most of the game, but again, had some head-scratching possessions down the stretch the resulted in turnovers and no points.
- ESPN showed a picture of Colts' coach, Tony Dungy from his playing days at the University of Minnesota. He played basketball for one year and was a Freshman roommate of Pitsons' coach Flip Saunders. Tony was rockin' the 'fro back in the day!
- The Pacers return home to play the Celtics on Tuesday.