While the Pistons will collectively continue to take out their Finals Game 7 frustrations on the Spurs this evening, pay particular attention to the Rip v. Bruce Bowen matchup. In Rip's last ten games against Bowen dating back to the start of last season (including last years finals), Rip has averaged only 14.7 points, and has shot just over 36% from the field.
Perspective: in addition to averaging 21.7 ppg this season and shooting the lights out at just under 50%, Rip went for 18.7/44% and 20/45% in last year's regular season and playoffs, respectively. In his first game against Bowen this season, Rip managed only 11 points on 4 of 15 shooting (less than 27%). And while I'm sure Rip would tell you that he'd much prefer the W over individual stats, it has to be frustrating him. Rip, ever the diplomat, praises Bowen's D to A. Sherrod Blakely of MLive...well, sorta.
"He's willing to play dirty. A lot of times, NBA guys don't always want to play dirty. He's willing to use his hips, all parts of his body to make a play and doesn't really care about getting hurt or anything like that."
All this goes to show, again, that
10. if Bruce Bowen really wanted to, Bruce Bowen could stop time. (Borrowed from a genious list propagated by J.E. Skeets.)