Sometimes writers just lock up when looking to put an event into proper perspective. Thankfully I'm am insurance claims professional and have no such issues after watching Friday night's Game 3 between the Cavaliers and the Pistons.
It didn't matter that the Cavs bumbled and stumbled much of the night away on their way to an ugly 14 turnover effort.
It didn't matter that the starting backcourt of Mo Williams and Delonte West combined to score four points on 1-18 shooting from the floor while they teamed up to commit eight of those turnovers between them.
It didn't matter that the Cavaliers scored nine points in the entire 3rd quarter and still won easily, 79-68, in Detroit Friday night to take a 3-0 series lead.
None of it mattered because the Detroit Pistons are dead.
Okay, they're not actually dead yet. Not officially anyway. But the Dead Collector is coming. I can't put it any better than it was put in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail':
(Courtesy of http://www.imdb.com/)
The Dead Collector: Bring out your dead. [A man puts a body on the cart] Large Man with Dead Body: Here's one. The Dead Collector: That'll be nine-pence. The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead. The Dead Collector: What? Large Man with Dead Body: Nothing. There's your nine-pence. The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead. The Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead. Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is. The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not. The Dead Collector: He isn't. Large Man with Dead Body: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill. The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm getting better. Large Man with Dead Body: No you're not; you'll be stone dead in a moment.
The Pistons can talk all they want about answering the bell Sunday and playing with pride and determination. They can talk about taking it one game at a time and getting healthy with a win on Sunday.
They can say all of that and more, but the Dead Collector is tapping his feet and waiting.
LeBron James led the Cavaliers Friday night with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. He easily could have had a dozen assists had Williams and West not thrown knuckleballs toward the rim for most of the night. James' help came from two big men Friday on a night where the guard play was, well, lacking. Zydrunas Ilgauskas started out and stayed on track for his 31 minutes on the night. ‘Z' scored 13 points (including a 3-pointer) and gathered in 6 boards.
But the man of the night had to be Joe Smith.
Smith played just 19 minutes on the night. All he did in that time was shoot 6-8 from the floor, knock down 6-7 from the free throw line and haul down 10 rebounds. One of those six makes from the floor was a big 3-point shot that created separation for the Cavs while they were regrouping from that 3rd quarter debacle.
Then, after coming to his struggling mates' rescue and digging the Pistons a hole that will serve as their final resting place he sat down and rested his own 33-year old bones.
The Pistons were not much better. They scored just 16 points. The fact they couldn't fully take advantage of the Cavs ineptitude likely cost them the ball game. Hell, they didn't even end the quarter with a lead.
Hamilton is just 19-47 for the series (40%). That's just not enough production from Rip when his offense is needed more than ever for the Pistons to be competitive.
The only other Piston in double figures was Rodney Stuckey with 12.
They Got Next
The memorial service for the Pistons as you currently know them is scheduled for Sunday at 330pm on ABC. They had their reign and won their ring. No taking that away. But on Sunday the Cavaliers come to bury them, not praise them.