Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tuesday's NBA Picks

May 31, 2005

Home Team in CAPS

Anthony's Picks:

Last Night: (0-1)

  • Miami +5.5 over DETROIT

Call me crazy but I can't see the Pistons handling Miami by more than 5. I think it's going to be a close, hard-fought game with Detroit narrowly edging out the Heat. Shaq seemed to regain some of his dominance in Game 3, annoucing after the game that his quad was now at 75%. If that thing is just getting healthier, look out. Tonight should be a great great, perhaps one of the best of the '05 season. PISTONS 104, HEAT 101. GLTA

Paul's Picks:

Last Night: (0-1)

  • DETROIT -4.5 over Miami

I'm thrilled I caught this line at 4.5, otherwise I'm not sure what I'd do. Detroit has to win tonight, right? They've responded every single game they've had to with their backs against the wall over the past two seasons, so it's hard to go against them even with the Larry Brown distraction and Miami's offense really in sync right now. About the Larry Brown saga, which seems to have been a distraction for the team all season-- remember that the last time word leaked out that Brown was almost certainly done coaching the team after the Playoffs, the Pistons rattled off 9 straight. Perhaps most significant about that streak was the word around the Pistons locker room that Ben Wallace had the team rallying together against Larry Brown. Remember, Brown is only in his second season as their coach-- it's not like the players are giving their all for him. The success of the Pistons has way more to do with the chemistry of that starting five than it does the coaching of Larry Brown, even when you consider how good of a coach Brown is. But as long as the crew pulls together and LB is writing up the plays, you can be rest assured Detroit will not let anything prevent them from having the look of a champion. Back to tonight's game-- it's going to be close. I'm anxious to see what Detroit does on defense. They need to find a way to keep Shaq in check without all of their bigs getting into foul trouble, and they really have to keep Dwyane Wade from running the floor and from being in isolation with Tayshaun on him. I think Brown needs to let Rip and Billups stray off the Jones' a little more to provide help on double teams and then do their best to cut off passing lanes and rush back to the shooters if they have to. If it means his starting guards wear down some, then he has to trust Arroyo and Hunter to give them much-needed energy off the bench. These guys have done nothing to cast any doubt upon LB, so I'd expect them to be used plenty tonight. Also look for Detroit to bang the ball down low a little more on offense. I'm clueless as to why they haven't tried to get the Wallaces' more involved in the post and maybe get Shaq into a little foul trouble. Rasheed and McDyess are both more than Haslem is able to handle and they need to punctuate on that mismatch. I'm going to make a Doug Collins-esque prediction for tonight-- if the Wallaces and McDyess combine for 45+ points, there's no way Detroit loses. If they score below 35, the Pistons aren't going to win. I'm guessing they score 46 and Detroit barely covers. PISTONS 96, HEAT 90

NOTE: Last week Marv Albert, Craig Sager and even Stan Van Gundy announced that Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals featured the first appearance of Shaq and Zo on the court at the same time. Being the trusty "source" that we are, Paul and I discovered that this was indeed false. On March 26th at Charlotte, both players were on the court for just over 2 minutes of the 4th quarter. Thanks to Gary's request we were able to get to the bottom of this and once again prove the NBA wrong. Don't believe me? Check the link:

Heat-Bobcats Game Log

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