From Dwywane Wade's post-game press conference, as reported in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
"They did a good job with pressure. I'm not like them. I'm gonna give them credit."
So Wade doesn't think the Pistons give the Heat any credit?
"No," he said softly.
"They was tired," Wade said, referring to comments the Pistons actually made after Game 1, in explaining their defeat. "That's what y'all said. That's why we won the first game."
I'm not going to spend too much time on this, but since just about every Florida newspaper decided to run with this quote (and since a discussion about it already started among DBB readers), I thought I'd add my two cents. One, it's not "giving credit" when you immediately reach for an excuse and complain about physical defense instead of, you know, owning up to your franchise-record-tying nine turnovers:
''I think that's the main thing, [Rip Hamilton] has his body on me all the time,'' Wade said. "And that's fine. But if they let him play that way, let me play the same way. That's something that doesn't happen, so that's the only thing that gets annoying.''
Wait a minute, my bad, that was from earlier in the season. Seems like he repeats himself... this is what he actually said Thursday:
"When you're coming up the court and Rip [Hamilton] is doing that bumping stuff, that's the only thing I've seen," Wade said. "Maybe I'll try it and see if I can get away with it."
And second, Wade needs to look around his own lockerroom before he starts calling anyone arrogant. Remember this gem from Shaq after losing to Detroit a couple of months ago?
''We're not impressed with what they so-called did. It's what we didn't do."
That's just one of many barbs Shaq has thrown Detroit's way over the years. But what's it matter in the first place? Why does Wade need validation from the guys on the other side of the court? These guys are professional athletes, not kids on the playground upset at being picked last. The other team is supposed to be confident -- if Detroit wasn't, they wouldn't have posted the best record in the league and they wouldn't be playing in their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference Finals.
In any case, while some members of the media noted that Detroit looked tired in Game 1, very few of the players actually used that as an excuse. As Ben Wallace told the Free Press:
"Come on, man, it's the Eastern Conference finals," Ben Wallace said. "Ain't no excuses. You're out there, you need to play, you need to give it your all. Everybody has to man up and take the blame. They know what they did... we just have to come out and be better the next one."
On a sidenote, I'm actually warming up to Pat Riley these days, whose even-handed and fair comments stand in contrast to those of some of his players. Like many Detroit fans, I had a well-formed dislike for the guy that dates back almost 20 years from his days with the Lakers, but lately I'm starting to think his old habit of complaining excessively has mellowed with age.
For example, after that game in March that got Shaq all riled up about what Detroit "so-called" did, Riley plainly stated: ''We didn't let one get away. They took it from us,'' and added, "I have to do a better job, period." During the post-game press conference on Thursday, he wasn't shy praising Detroit's play, and Tayshaun Prince's abilities in particular.