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Take two: Pistons try to pull even with Sixers

(Anyone object if we hit the reset button and start over? What, that's not allowed? Damn it. If only the NBA were a video game.)

The Pistons and Sixers will square off in Game 2 tonight. Flip Saunders called it a must-win, but Chauncey Billups disagrees. Is that some of the team's trademark cockiness shining through? Some might think so, but I don't.

Think about it: if Billups puts all of the cards on the table after one game, what does that tell the Sixers? That if they come out and connect with another K.O. tonight, the Pistons will be ready to admit defeat. If you remind the opponent that it's a long series, they'll be that much more likely to roll over in Game 2 knowing that they already accomplished their goal of eliminating home court advantage.

Assuming, that is, that players decide whether they get up to play or not based on what's on the bulletin board, which isn't really the case. But hey, it makes for fun fan discussion, doesn't it? While the win may have emboldened a handful of Sixers fans to speak up in the comments, it hasn't completely convinced Philly's media that the Sixers can hang for long. From Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

As a group, the Pistons got good shots in the fourth quarter and converted just four of 17 from the field, including eight misses in their last nine attempts.

"That's Detroit. They turn it on, and they turn it off," Andre Iguodala of the Sixers said.

The Sixers don't do that and should be commended for it. But the problem is that the Pistons can play a lot better than they did on Sunday, and the Sixers really can't. That was very likely their best effort against Detroit's defense and it got them the win - with some help from everything that could have gone right that did go right. Which was everything.

It was fun for them. It was uplifting. It was a payback for all they have endured during this season. It was also just one game out of seven.

Now the real work begins. The bear is fully awake, and he's in a bad mood. The Sixers, unfortunately, have to hang around and find out just how bad.

He's right, the Pistons are angry. Let's see if they do anything about it tonight. The game's on TV20 here in metro Detroit and NBATV nationally. Ball tips at 7:30. Leave your thoughts in the comments.