I lamented recently about the individual performances of the NBA trumping the greater team accomplishments like the Pistons 35-5 start. Well, Marc Stein fully admits to this being the case in a chat transcript posted on his latest Daily Dime:
Ben (Detroit): I'll be a Kobe believer this Sunday when he plays the Pistons. Throw up 60+ on them and I'll be impressed. Meanwhile . . . why has the 70-win pace talk died down? The Pistons are still on pace -- and if not for the Utah Jazz sweep (???) they'd be 35-3!
Marc Stein: It's only died down because a lot of us have been too wrapped up with other chaos. But hopefully you saw that the ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings committee (of one) noted Monday that the Pistons are on the verge of trumping even the Tigers' famed 35-5 start and thus still on a 70 pace. I'm sure we'll all be back on that one soon enough. Fact is, though, that the interminable Artest trade saga and Kobe's numerous detonations have dominated discussion all season. Reader response to everything we do says those are the issues that interest the masses most.
To Stein's credit, he did use some space to write about little-known Amir Johnson and his indoctrination to the boys in blue.
Detroit F Amir Johnson:
Johnson's windmill dunk, on a fast-break lead pass from none other than Darko Milicic, accounted for the 18-year-old rookie's first NBA points . . . and gave the Pistons a perfect capper to their 24-point rout in Flip Saunders' triumphant return to Minnesota.
Daily Dime [ESPN]