I can be a little anti when it comes to an opposing team's media, especially to the likes of Dan Le Batard, the Miami Herald writer who so often appears on ESPN whenever Shaq or Wade sneezes or coughs. But his recap of Game 5 is spot on. Some excerpts:
On the second or third most exciting block in Piston playoff history:This is not to take anything away from Ben's block of Kazaam, but I rank Tay's block of Reggie Miller's breakaway layup in 2004 as #1. And those who remember Joe Dumars' block on
James WorthyDavid Rivers in the '89 Finals could argue that it was just as impressive.
With the aid of a trampoline, a ladder and a jet pack during this 91-78 Detroit victory, Wallace climbed up into the atmosphere and came down cleanly with an angry palm upon the basketball.
On the importance of Game 6 for the Heat:
Not much at stake Friday. Just the most important game of the season. Just the second-most important game in franchise history. The 99th game of this interminable season is especially critical because Miami doesn't want to play its 100th in Detroit with a loss ending the season.
And, lest we forget that he's a Miami guy, a couple parting digs at the Boys in Blue:
The pressure is all on Miami now, several Pistons said, conveniently ignoring that only one team can have its season ended Friday and, well, it isn't Miami.
Hamilton, one of Detroit's best players, goes by the nickname ''Rip.'' It is supposed to be because he is such a clean shooter that ''rip'' is the sound the net makes when his shot goes through it.
But he and his teammates have shot crooked all series, this night included, and Miami is hoping Rip will have another meaning to Detroit come Friday.
As in R.I.P.
You get the sense that the Heat and their fans are finally feeling a bit of the pressure in this series. Anyone who heard Kazaam's monotone, defensive conversation with reporters after last night's game knows how disappointed the Heat are after letting the game slip away in the fourth. On a night when only 1.5 Pistons were hitting offensively (Tay, and Dice in the second half), the Pistons still managed to impose their will on the Heat. Le Batard may be right -- the Pistons are the only ones who can technically be eliminated in Game 6. But if this series goes 7, what chances do you really give the Heat, having then lost two in a row and facing a raucious Palace crowd?
Friday will be the deciding game of the series, regardless of the winner.
Shaq, Heat get stuffed; focus shifts to Friday [Miami Herald]