Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Eastern Conference Finals: Who ya got?
Tonight we embark on the first game of the NBA's final four.
Making their sixth straight Eastern Conference Finals appearance, the Detroit Pistons will head to Boston to take on the revamped Celtics in Game 1 tonight at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Boston is two days removed from a trying Game 7 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pistons haven't played since last Tuesday when they closed their second round series against the Orlando Magic in five games.
Slumping Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen prefers the rhythm of regular competition over a lengthy rest period ala the Pistons. But Detroit's coach Flip Saunders said Pistons practices have been crisp and focused.
After back-to-back seven game series, will fatigue be a factor that works against the Celtics?
I've got to think so. It's more than just the physical wear-and-tear of 14 games. This was a Boston team that won 66 games and had the best road record in the league. But they played gutless and unfocused on the road in the postseason and didn't win a game. That's got to toy with the players' minds.
As Kevin Garnett said after Sunday's Game 7, "We’re more emotionally drained than anything, but we’re getting prepared for Detroit." And Detroit's been preparing for you and the Celtics for six days.
The swagger seems to be back in Motown. This is a playoff-tested team. When they're focused, no one can beat them. Pistons in 7.