NEW KINGS OF UGLY
Larry Brown era, the Pistons took pride in winning
ugly. Most of the time, they didn't even score 90
points. Remember that streak where they held five
straight opponents under 70 points?
The Pistons still play some of the league's best
defense but they're much more easier to watch. They
can play uptempo, they'll throw lob passes and they've
got some big-time dunkers.
The new kings of ugly? That would be King LeBron and
His Court. Though no one on the Cavs' roster - other
than a fading Ben Wallace - has a reputation of being
a great defender, they consistently shove opponents
into the mud.
The Pistons still haven't figured out how to prevent
Cleveland from making their offense sluggish and
ineffectual in the postseason. If Game 1 of the
Boston-Cleveland series is any indication, the Celtics
are wading into the same quagmire.
Though Sam Cassell made a few big shots in the late
going, Cleveland was poised to steal homecourt
advantage Tuesday. Every possession was a grind and
the Cavs made just enough 3-pointers and midrange
shots to hang around.
What they couldn't overcome was James' worst
performance I've ever seen - two baskets, 10
turnovers. I can't believe Paul Pierce and James Posey
are going to stop him that much, though Kevin Garnett
was able to help off Ben Wallace when James ventured
toward the lane. If history is any indication, the
Celtics are in for a long, painful-to-watch series.
They might slog their way past the Cavs, but either
way, it's not going to be pretty.