To be honest, I'm actually more optimistic about Game 6 than I was when I penned my vomit post -- the stakes are high for Cleveland, very high. And with any luck, there's a chance they'll start to believe the hype surrounding them and ease up. But in any case, I'm still not too happy to read things like this:
There were signs all game that the Pistons were battling themselves.
Webber, after firing up a bad shot and picking up his fourth foul, in the third quarter, yelled to the bench, apparently at assistant coach Ron Harper, "Just let me play my game. Let me play my game."
Later, Billups and Hamilton appeared to have a brief discussion over who would shoot a technical foul free throw. Hamilton had made five straight at that point, Billups had missed two. Billups kept the ball and missed the free throw. Then, to compound the problem, he fired up a rushed 3-pointer.
Wallace was angry, apparently at coach Flip Saunders, for his decision to go small for a stretch against the Cavaliers. Saunders did that because Antonio McDyess had been ejected.
Between the third and fourth quarters, Wallace and assistant Dave Cowens engaged in a fairly animated discussion. Mostly Cowens was listening to Wallace's complaints about the strategy.
Wallace later got peeved with Billups for a couple of his decisions.
Team harmony, this was not.
That was from Chris McCosky in the Detroit News, someone who has often tried to downplay any signs of locker room discord in the past. Incidentally, this report comes one game after this blog post by Cavs beat writer Brian Windhorst of the Akron Beacon-Journal:
Before I write this I'm telling you I don't know if it is true, it is complete hearsay. That's why it's in a blog and not a story. But some PWK (people with knowledge) whispered to me tonight the Pistons are having some chemistry problems in the locker room right now. Again, I don't know the team and I don't know the locker room. I am just passing it on because it's from a reliable source. It is interesting, though, that Wallace got a technical foul for yelling at his own teammate tonight.
Windhorst wrote that following Game 4, and although I saw it, I ignored it since it was completely unsubstantiated. Now, in the face of McCosky's suggestions, it seems relevant.
HOWEVA, wanting to win is a common ground that everyone wearing a Pistons jersey stands on. As much as I hate how they've tortured their fans the last several years, these Pistons tend to find a way to bounce back when their backs are against the wall.
I refuse to believe that LeBron will torch Detroit for another 40-plus points, because I refuse to believe we'll see a combination of Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Jason Maxiell -- basically, anyone and everyone except Tayshaun Prince, guarding LBJ when the game is on the line. Even if you think Flip Saunders is an idiot, you have to figure even he can watch the tape and figure that out.