The brunt of the tip drills this morning will probably be the different previews posted around the 'net regarding this series. It might get redundant, but it can't hurt to reiterate fundamentals before going into what is essentially the biggest game of the season, one game at a time. Pistons @ Cleveland, today, game one, 3 PM on ABC, playoffs baby!
Let's start things off with my preview that was posted on Ball Don't Lie. I may not have predicted the Pistons to win, but I've predicted them to go further into the series than others as it seems all previews I've read say the Cavs will either sweep, win in five, or win in six.
Matt Watson of Detroit Bad Boys and NBA FanHouse says the reason to watch this series is because you'll want to be able to tell your grandchildren one day that you saw Lebron's first championship run all the way through. I think that's a pretty good indication of who he chooses to win this series. For him, it wasn't a question of who would win the series, just a matter of how many games it would take.
Sean Deveney's piece seen on Yahoo! has the Lakers matched up with the Cavs in the NBA Finals. Not a very bold call there. Promising news for the Pistons, though. They weren't listed last amongst the playoff teams--where they would be if it was ranked by playoff records.
TrueHoop on ESPN.com has a few different links concerning the Pistons/Cavs series (all the playoff series for that matter). The link most interesting to me dealt with Phil Jackson clearly trying to get under people's (perhaps Lebron's) skin by saying he would rather have Dwight Howard on his team over Lebron James. Sorry, Phil, but that's like choosing Nintendo over Xbox360. Each great in and of itself, but there's not much of a decision as to which one brings the better overall package. Right?
Ten blogs from the Bloguin network gave With-Malice their Eastern Conference predictions and they unanimously chose the Cavs, Celtics, and Magic to win their respective first round series. How many games would the Pistons series go? All ten said five or six games.
The Basketball-Reference has a pretty in depth overview of the Pistons. There's also an interesting chart predicting a series between the Pistons and every other team in the Eastern Conference. I shall have you know, according to them the Pistons were destined to lose in the first round, no matter who they played. Yes, even against Orlando.
So the Cavs are favored in this series, huh? I would have never guessed. Anyway, Rashid Umar wrote a guest piece over at Need4Sheed imploring fans to stay on board and join him in giving the Pistons some passionate support. I don't think all these "Cavs will win" predictions are a sign of Pistons fans jumping ship. I merely think it's people gettin' real. I'd like to think at 3 PM ET Detroiters will all be rooting their tails off for the Pistons to win, no matter what their predictions were. I know I will.
Interesting statistic from SportsBetting.com. Detroit is 14-6 in the last 20 games where they have been the underdogs of eight or more points. The line for the Pistons today is -12.
Detroit4lyfe takes an interesting approach with their series preview. They make five arguments in five words or less on why the Pistons will win the series. They say Pistons in six.
I'm usually not a big fan of Reggie Miller's commentary, but he may have gone up a few points in my book with his positive attitude about the Pistons.
If the Pistons are going to have any chance whatsoever, they need to prevent this from happening again.
Make sure you check out Fear the Sword, the blogging enemy, for the Cavaliers' side of things.
As always, if you have any tips, links, advertisement inquiries or general banter you can email me.