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Return of the Mack

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It seems that everyone's sense of up and down has been restored with the disposal of the tougher-than-expected Cavs. And now, finally, we turn our attention to Pistons v. Heat, the matchup everyone has been expecting since the beginning of 05-06.

Despite Detroit's struggles with the 4th-seeded Cavs, yesterday's defensive domination of Lebron and Co. seems to have restored the collective faith in the Boys in Blue. Greg Anthony, on ESPN radio's Mike and Mike show this morning, called for a big series from Chauncey Billups (against the likes of Jason Williams) and chose the Pistons to win it. His ESPN cohorts echo his prediction, with only Chris Sheridan picking the Heat to win in 7.

Likewise, the Pistons themselves seem to have rediscovered their self-confidence after a few introspective moments in the conference semis. Hell, even Lindsey Hunter is talking trash now (courtesy of today's Daily Dime).

The Pistons also got a big boost in games 6 and 7 from 13-year veteran Lindsey Hunter, whose 5-year-old son, Caleb, was imitating one of Kobe Bryant's moves in the locker room after the game as his dad finished getting dressed.

"Kobe's not playing anymore, Caleb. He's watching," Hunter said. "But your favorite player is still playing, D-Wade, and we're going to beat him."

Even given the short turnaround between yesterday's game 7 and tomorrow's conference finals opener, with this resiliant swagger and the return of the Piston D, would anyone be surprised to see the Pistons pull off the convincing win at the Palace tomorrow night?

Miami v. Detroit playoff page [ESPN]
Detroit defense deflates Lebron [ESPN]