One gets the sense that Detroit coach Michael Curry has had enough. He called out Allen Iverson's shoddy defense after the game and noted A.I.'s tendency to be caught ball-watching, the outcome of which was six 3-pointers scored by Atlanta's Mike Bibby. This isn't news to anyone in Denver or Philadelphia, and in Detroit's nongambling defensive style, his play is a lot more problematic.
Curry also noted that Richard Hamilton had no business getting ejected in a six-point game with more than a minute left. The Pistons seem to be battling the refs as much as, or more than, their opponent, something that they're known to do. The difference is that now they aren't skilled enough to pull off a win after battling the refs.
Symbolic of that, and without the slightest hint of irony, the Detroit News posted the following notebook about the game. The first item is about Hamilton's protesting his ejection, the second item is about various Pistons whining about the free-throw disparity and the third item is about the team's complaints about Rasheed Wallace's two most recent technical fouls, which it hopes to have rescinded.
Anybody else notice a pattern here? It smacks of classic Pistons -- blaming everybody but themselves when things go wrong (although Iverson, to his credit, blamed himself for ball-watching as well). The only difference is that usually this doesn't happen until May.
There was once a time that I'd read an article like this and rail about how the national media has it in for the Pistons. These days, I find myself nodding in agreement.