The Washington Wizards had something to play for on Tuesday night, and it showed. They achieved a season sweep of the Pistons with a 96-80 win at the Palace and solidified their slot as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
There really isn't much that needs to be said about this game from the Piston fan's perspective. It had all the urgency of the final exhibition game before the regular season. Chauncey, Dale Davis, and Maurice Evans didn't dress; Ben Wallace had the most minutes of any starter with a mere 26Though he did have time to show off one of his patented "No F'n chance" fadeaways.; and Carlos Delfino was the only player in double figures, finishing with 17 (to go with 8 boards and a couple steals).To note on Carlos' performance: over the past two games, the guy has put up some nice numbers against first-teamers from Milwaukee and Washington who were still playing for something -- that's a very good sign for the Pistons' future. We'll wait until he eclipses Manu before we pat ourselves on the back too much, but damn, he is fun to watch! There weren't even any notable performances by the Piston rookies, as opposed to Monday night's exhibition game against the Bucks.
The game was lackluster, at most times boring, and it brought exactly what the Pistons wanted going into the postseason: a healthy, rested, and (hopefully) ready roster.
So, now that this whole "regular season" thang is over with, can we get on with it already?
With all the possible playoff scenarios that could have resulted from yesterday's action, the end result -- a first round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks -- is one the Pistons are probably most happy with (even if Piston fans are slightly underwhelmed). We'll break down the matchup in more detail later, but know that the Bucks are 1) the only team in the playoffs (East or West) with a negative average point differential (-1.0), and 2) they are the only team in the playoffs with a sub-.500 record. In short, were the playoffs seeded like the NCAA tourney, the Pistons would be the 1-seed, and the Bucks would be the 16-seed.
Below is the schedule for games 1-4 of the series (and notice the omission of dates/times for games 5-7; since those games will never happen, you should have plenty of time to study up on the Wizards or Cavs for the second round).
Game 1 -- 4/23, 7:00pm EST -- Bucks @ Pistons
Game 2 -- 4/26, 7:30pm EST -- Bucks @ Pistons
Game 3 -- 4/29, 8:00pm EST -- Pistons @ Bucks
Game 4 -- 5/1, Time TBD -- Pistons @ Bucks
Again, there is much more to come from us on this first round matchup in the next couple days. Keep an eye out for it.