The Second Annual Detroit Bad Boys/Need4Sheed Blogfest coincided with Sunday's game against the Raptors. Unlike last year's hastily put together affair (which wasn't even announced until after the game was sold out), this time around the Pistons were generous enough to help facilitate not only getting tickets but also providing some nice swag and pre-game entertainment.
After everyone met up in the Comcast Pavilion before the game, we received a tour of the Palace's Club 53 and a pre-game meeting (along with some other season ticket holders) with assistant coach Dave Cowens, which included a discussion of the team's strategy for Sunday's game as well as a general Q&A session.
In hindsight, this would have been an excellent opportunity to bust out the camera, right? Alas, I was a little caught up in the moment and didn't think of it until later. Besides, had Cowens seen he was being recorded, he may not have been quite as off-the-cuff as he was -- most coaches tend to dodge questions when asked who they'd rather face in the playoffs, but Cowens had no problem admitting he preferred Philly over the Raptors or Wizards in the first round and San Antonio over any other Western team in the NBA Finals. (Looks like you got half your wish, coach.)
From there we made our way down to the court, where we were able to watch the Raptors warm up. This is where I remembered to actually take pictures as well as snag this enthralling video of Primoz Brezec and Carlos Delfino in the layup line (which is notable only for being the lone item on all of Flickr using the "primozbrezec" tag):
We eventually made our way up to our seats, where I took more blurry pictures of the introductions, that snazzy shot of tip-off at the top of this post as well as this semi-amusing video of Amir Johnson taking the place of Rasheed Wallace by leading the Zoo Crew's pre-game dance:
(For a view that's close enough to actually see faces, Need4Sheed has the TV clip.)
All in all, it was a fun afternoon -- especially with the Pistons' bench outplaying Toronto's starters down the stretch. It's always fun to actually meet some of you guys in person, and for the second time in less than a month, I owe thanks to the Pistons' organization for helping make it possible.
Also, I owe many, many thanks to Natalie from Need4Sheed. I know she won't say it on her site, but she did the lion's share of planning and pulling of strings (I'm convinced she knows everybody who works at the Palace) to make this happen. I owe her big time.