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Belated Blogfest and Heat recap

Latest 198There aren't enough hours in the day, so forgive the lack of timeliness, but I'm happy to report that Sunday's Blogfest was a success. It was a quaint affair, but that was to be expected considering we announced the event after it was ostensibly sold out. ((I have a hard time believing it actually was sold out -- I'd estimate there were at least a couple of thousand empty seats, and I was able to score tickets for less than face value on the aftermarket. But hey, we have a sell-out streak to protect ...))

It's always fun to go to a game with friends, and it was very cool to meet some of you guys, especially those that drove such long distances to attend. Natalie and I always considered this something of a trial run for next year, which we'll plan far enough in advance to make a bit easier for everyone to attend.

If you didn't see the game, you basically only missed one good quarter -- there were highlights in the first three quarters, but there were also long stretches where both team were completely flat. The Pistons pulled it out with runs of 16-1 and 9-3 late in the game, though, putting the game on ice when Antoine Walker just plain forgot how to stay in-bounds.

Latest 201It was good to see Rip Hamilton get the start, especially following the realization that some of his persistent "flu" symptoms were actually the result of a mild concussion suffered in the Mavs game. He started the game cold, though, and after sitting out the entire second quarter he entered halftime with just two points. He came on strong after the break, though, finishing with 19.

While his offense was appreciated, his defense also played a key role in getting the game back under control for the Pistons -- Jason Williams was having his way with Chauncey Billups early in the game, and Rip did a great job slowing him down, practically hanging off of him as he brought the ball upcourt and forcing him into mistakes.

Carlos Delfino, long championed on this site, played very well with 12 points in 16 minutes -- it was like he knew we were in the audience. We all know that his jumpshot can be shaky, which is why I liked seeing how quickly he tried taking the ball to the hole on several occasions, and as a result got to the line four times. He wasn't tentative at all, which is what Detroit will need out of him in the playoffs. From the Detroit Free Press:

Reserve forward Carlos Delfino played a big part in the Pistons' fourth-quarter rally. In a four-minute stretch, Delfino hit back-to-back jump shots, put Alonzo Mourning at the line on a smart foul, set up Hamilton for a jumper from the corner, stole a ball and turned it into a fast-break dunk, and assisted on a dunk for Antonio McDyess.

At the beginning of that stretch, the Pistons trailed by 10. By the end, they were up one.

I don't want to get too recap-y for a game that was played two days ago, so that's all for now. But if you're still looking for more info about the game, there's a recap over at The Hardcourt, a new Pistons blog I discovered through Ballhype, and as usual Need4Sheed.

Blogfest pictures [Flickr]
Pistons 94, Heat 88 box score [ESPN]