In a departure from our usually verbose recaps, I'm just going to point out a few details about Friday's game:
- Free throws: the Pistons shot 68% from the line. Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton combined to miss five. If they made three of those, this game goes to overtime.
- Goon Squad, anyone? The Wizards can run with anyone, so why not throw a curveball and play physical? Instead, Jason Maxiell played three minutes and Dale Davis played zero.
- A three pointer? You're down one with 15 seconds left, so you take a low-percentage three-pointer? It didn't look like it was the designed play, but I'm confused why Rasheed Wallace was at the top of the key in the first place. If you need two for the win, wouldn't putting Rasheed on the block -- where he can hit his patented turnaround jump shot or at the very least by in position for a rebound -- be most beneficial? I can't tell -- is Rasheed's pride or Flip's coaching at fault?
That's all I got right now -- check out Need4Sheed for ten times the bullet points (plus Chauncey's cheesy Ford commercial). [Update: I'm usually an optimist, but I found myself nodding along to many of the points made over at Human Victory Cigar.]
But I do want to stress one more point: I really think the Wizards are the best team in the East right now, so I'm not torn up about this close loss. The Wizards have certain limitations that I expect will cause problems for them in the playoffs, but they're on a great run right now and are rightfully playing with a good deal of confidence. With time, the Pistons should be able to get into that type of groove, too, but they're not there yet. In the meantime, I'm eager to see how they fare in the rematch this Tuesday in D.C.
Wizards 99, Pistons 96 box score [ESPN.com]