Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Series Preview: Miami Heat vs Detroit Pistons

Miami Heat (59-23): #1 seed
Detroit Pistons (54-28): #2 seed
Head to Head matchup: Detroit 2-1 (Both won at other's home court, Detroit's second win was against a Shaq-less Heat)

5 Prominent Questions:

1. What will Shaquille O'Neal be able to bring? This is going to be an absolutely huge key to this series. These are the two best teams in the East, and the gap between them and the rest was obvious during their successive romps (although Indiana gave Detroit some issues). Regardless, Miami is not going to sweep, and to have a decent shot at success they must have the Diesel running at close to full strength. Detroit will eat Alonzo Mourning alive.

2. Whose bench will rise to the occasion? Neither team has a ton of admirable depth. Perhaps I'm spoiled by the Sonics' absurd amount of subs, but beyond Antonio McDyess the Pistons have gotten zero. The Heat have 'Zo and Christian Laettner. Yippee. This could make a huge difference, especially in a road game.

3. Can Detroit stop Dwayne Wade? The kid is looking freaking unbelievable this postseason. Again, he has been up against two teams that play a brand of defense also known as "Sacramento quality". Tayshaun Prince and Lindsay Hunter will have the assignment, and I give Prince especially a good chance.

4. Can Rasheed Wallace quit throwing up six threes and actually post up? He's looking close to what he was the last two years in Portland. An amazingly talented post player who refuses to post. Detroit has to have his inside game, because they can't depend on Ben Wallace to give them 20 points a night (what was that?). He also takes himself out of the rebounding picture, which helped make Jeff Foster a household name.

5. Can Eddie Jones and Damon Jones hit enough threes to keep Miami running? They have both been on fire from downtown this postseason, and especially with the game on the line. They are the unsung heroes of the early success and the Heat need that deep game to allow Dwayne to run all the way to the basket.

Most important stat: This is a tough one. I'm going to go with offensive rebounding. Neither team shoots amazingly well and both have depended on hitting the glass. Ben Wallace against Shaq/Haslem.

Most important player: Shaquille O'Neal, of course, the other MVP. I believe that Detroit and Tayshaun can slow down Dwayne Wade. They did it to this Kobe guy last year. Therefore, the Heat desperately need Shaq. If they have him, they win.

Fearless Prediction: I gotta go with Detroit. I just love the way they're playing this postseason against better opponents. They will stop Wade and I don't think Shaq will be Shaq. Detroit in six.

posted by Gavin @ 12:45 PM  0 comments

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