Sixers Get some Hot Spicy Home Cooking
It amazes me that veterans in the media make the same mistake in every NBA playoffs. They watch a home team demolish a underdog at home in the first two games and they immediately say the series is over.
They wax poetically over and over how the series will be a sweep and look forward to the next series. My brothers in the media did it in print and on radio and I kept telling them to hang on. Wait a minute.
Here is my philosophy on the NBA playoffs. I never feel a team is in control until it wins a road game. The Pistons won Games 1 and 2 handily at The Palace, but dropped a 115-104 decision in Philadelphia Friday night.
And did you see how handily Miami handled New Jersey in South Florida, yet needed double overtime to win in New Jersey?
The Pistons loss does not surprise me. In this league magical pixy dust is waved over home teams. You cannot explain it. It just happens. Young teams like the Sixers thrive off the home crowd. They have pride and at least for one or two nights are able to play beyond their talents.
Can you really explain the way the Sixers shot the ball Friday?
I certainly can't although the Pistons were lazy on defense.
The key was Allen Iverson.
At the Palace he drove into trees and got caught inside too often when the Pistons clamped down on defense. On Friday it was almost as if the Pistons implemented a no touch policy. They let Iverson penetrate and shoot or penetrate and kick out to open shooters.
Yes, the Sixers were energetic and hot and all feisty. But the Pistons did not respect their opponent and began taking short cuts.
You can tell the Pistons can score at will on the Sixers. They must be willing to put forth the effort on defense to win Game 4 in Philadelphia. It is as simple as that.
I expect the Pistons to recover and win Game 4 in Philly. They realize their mistakes and will make adjustments. But if they don't win then there are plenty of other consequences to deal with.
All of a sudden you have a Philly team that did not believe, thinking it can win at The Palace. It is a can of worms you do not want to deal with.