Chris McCosky has a nice take down on the complacency argument, and finishes his post with this:
Why do we always look to pin blame on intangibles? The Pistons are a great team, no question. We are looking at all-star players out there. But all-stars miss layups and free throws sometimes. It doesn't have to be about anything other than that.
And for those of you who want to blame Flip Saunders -- go away. What, the Pistons lost because Amir Johnson didn't play? The Pistons had two chances to win or tie the game in the final seconds. Both times, Saunders drew up plays that got first Tayshaun Prince then Rasheed Wallace wide-open shots. Both missed. The Pistons' game plan was solid at both ends, solid enough to have control of the game for most of three quarters.
I agree with 85% of his post (read the whole thing if you haven't), but his conclusion leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If all-stars sometimes miss layups and free throws, can't coaches sometimes flub the rotation and make mistakes? Flip Saunders did a hell of a job this year and deserves to be in the running for Coach of the Year, but this wasn't his best coached game by a long shot.
The loss isn't on him, it's not on Chauncey and it's not on Rasheed. It's on everybody.
Update: the Pistons didn't just miss some layups, they missed 14. Ouch.