Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The 2008 NBA Conference Finals: 10% Luck for Doc Rivers

As one of the theme songs to the NBA Playoffs last year and in 2006 (as well as the theme song for the Cleveland Indians in 2007), "Remember the Name," states something to the effect that your success is based on:

"10% luck, 20% skill,

15% concentrated power of will

5% pleasure, 50% pain".

Man, that 10% luck is really helping out Doc Rivers! If only Billups were healthy, the Pistons could even be up 3-1. If only Mike Brown would have exerted some control over the Cavaliers offense, perhaps the Celtics would already be eliminated and my comparison between the Celtics and the movie Freejack would have held true.

Alas, now that the Eastern Conference Finals are all tied up at 2-2, the question is - can Detroit win on the road to win the series? Of course, I have a biased opinion on the subject (I believe the Pistons will advance), but I thought it would be more interesting to take a look back the first 4 games and see who the unsung heroes are, to see who is contributing the "15% concentrated power of will."

Eastern Conference - Billups' health has been and will continue to be the main deciding factor in this series. Hopefully, McDyess can continue to post monster numbers, like in Game 4, and give the Celtics fits down low.

Game 1 - The Celtics won by 9, but it really was not close at the end. Chauncey Billups really did not appear healthy, went a team-low -18 over only 32 minutes and only had 2 assists and 2 turnovers. The Celtics continued to make the extra pass and got a whopping 27 assists on only 36 baskets.

Game 2 - The Pistons became the first team to win in Boston in the playoffs. Interestingly, they did it while getting outrebounded 39-31. Billups was more like himself as he had 7 assists, 0 TOs, and 19 points. The Pistons only had 9 TOs.

Game 3 - The Pistons became the first team to get lose to Boston at home in the playoffs. This time, the Pistons got destroyed on the glass, 44-28. Again, Billups did not seem right and posted a team worst -25 over only 27 minutes. Ouch. And he went 1 for 6 from the field with only 4 assists and 2 TOs. Stuckey, the backup to Billups, played well in 29 minutes off the bench and had a +3 in a losing effort, which makes his contributions look even better. I suppose that is "15% power of will."

Game 4 - The Pistons closed the rebounding deficit to 38-34, behind McDyess's dominating 21 points and 16 rebounds. Again, Billups played well getting 7 assists, 0 TOs, and the team only had 7 TOs all game.

Perhaps the Pistons just need to have 5% more pleasure on the court and then they will succeed.
Western Conference - Barring a dramatic turnaround, the Spurs are done. When Manu Ginobili plays well, the Spurs win. Only problem is, Manu has only had one good game so far.

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