The best effort we have seen from the Pistons in years. That's what happened.
The Pistons embarked on a strategy to take Dwight Howard out of the game, and it succeeded. He was held to 17 minutes, eight points and five rebounds. The Palace guards went after him, in spite of some thuggish behavior from the Magic, and all three scored 20 points.
Tayshaun Prince's consecutive game streak came to an end. Did anyone see that coming? That seems a bit fishy to me. There is more to this story, I think. Also, we didn't hit a single three point shot. So much for my "Keys to the game".
MFWB, which, for new readers, stands for Marcin Finger Will Bynum. He exploited Jameer Nelson's thug defense, which resulted in a 15-yard penalty type takedown. He then took a jab to the eye (which, of course, was not a foul), left the game, and came back to draw D'Ho's sixth. He also scored 20 points.
The Doug Hoffman Unsung Hero
Sorry, couldn't resist. Ben Gordon carried this team. 23 points on ten shots, with only two turnovers. That's a superstar performance. Gordon continues to post a PER in the mid-20s, a contrast to his uneven starts in the past. If he keeps this up, his contract was a bargain.
Shockingly, Detroit came into this game with the 6th rated defense in the NBA. Tonight's performance likely elevates the team into the top three. Considering the Magic entered tonight as the league's most efficient offensive team, I'm happy to take that away.
Elsewhere in the NBA
The Celtics are off to one of their crazy starts. We'll see how that holds up.
The Suns are off to a surprising start, with Steve Nash benefiting from a more uptempo offense, and Grant Hill looking more or less like the Hill of old. They've got some interesting pieces there.
Dirk Nowitzki reminded everyone that he's still a superstar, dropping 29 points in the fourth quarter as his team cruised to a 3-1 start. If they can get a strong return from Josh Howard, this team could make it out of the Western Conference.