I have all sorts of stuff from last night's game going up at FanHouse this morning. Before the game, Rashard Lewis told me that the brewing war of the words between he and Theo Ratliff was over and done with:
"I'm a basketball player, I go out there to play basketball and not to trash talk. It was just something that he said and I responded to it. It wasn't nothing personal, it was just me being a man and responding to what he said. But at the same time, I'm not that type of player. I go out there to play basketball and try to win for my team and let the trash talk stay on their side."
After the game, Ratliff told me that Dwight Howard isn't on the same level as David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon ... yet:
"He's a phenomenal talent -- his athleticism, his size, but he's still young. He's going to continue to get better and continue to get better and he'll probably be at the status of those guys later on in his career."
Jason Maxiell explained why he's so freaking active on the court:
MW: At the end of the last series, Thaddeus Young had a pretty entertaining quote about you. ... He said, Maxiell is crazy, he's crazy crazy. What do you think about that, that's a sign of respect, wouldn't you say?
JM: Yeah, to a certain degree. I guess with my size, I got to keep moving, going for offensive boards. They don't run plays for me, so the way for myself to score is to get to the board.
And, of course, the clock thing. The Pistons obviously got a gift, but the Magic refused to blame that one play for their loss:
"They didn't start the clock and he made the shot, but I didn't think that determined the game," said Rashard Lewis. "We were still in the game, we were down two points at the time. We still had another full quarter to go, we were still in the game, but I think we made a lot of little mistakes that made us lose that game."
You can't get too upset about an iffy call when you go out and finish the game shooting 25% and committing five turnovers over the last 12 minutes. That whistle on Keyon Dooling for "pushing" Rip Hamilton before the in-bounds pass? That was bad, too, but the Pistons were already up three with the ball so it's hard to say that was a game-changer, as well. I will admit those types of things add up over time, though. I'm willing to chalk some of it up to the refs being partly influenced by a LOUD crowd at the Palace.