Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 12, 2006
By: Amy Sullivan

BASKETBLOGGING, PISTONS EDITION....As we head into my three favorite weeks of the year, a brief comment on the NBA. Matt Yglesias thinks that Eastern Conference teams would prefer an early playoff match-up against New Jersey and then Miami instead of Cleveland, followed by Detroit. After watching the Wizards blow out my hometown Detroit Pistons by eighteen points last night, I think the Wizards, at least, should be gunning for the latter match-up.

Although the Pistons are the best in the league at shutting down the inside game, that doesn't really work against the Wizards because, well, we don't have an inside game. (Brendan Haywood, Etan Thomas, and Michael Ruffin are three of the hardest-working guys in basketball, but the Wizards don't count on them for points.) The Wizards are the only team in the NBA to have scored 110 points or more against Detroit this season, and they've done it twice. Only one other team--Utah--has beaten Detroit twice this year. At both ends of the court, the Wizards match up very well agains the Pistons.

As for Cleveland, the Wizards have blown them out in two out of their three meetings. A lot rests on whether Larry Hughes will be back and healthy for the playoffs. But I'd still take that half of the bracket any day over a repeat of last year's early series against Miami.

Now, onto March Madness!

P.S. Note to angry Detroit fans: It goes without saying that I root for the Pistons when they play anyone other than the Wizards. Joe Dumars has been my favorite person in basketball for almost twenty years. But this is my home now, and yes, I did enjoy watching Caron and Gilbert and their 71 percent shooting last night...

Amy Sullivan 2:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (42)

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Comments

Gerry! Gerry! Gerry! Let's go Orange! :-)

Posted by: Dave Straub on March 12, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

fINALLY ANOTHER POINTLESS bASKETBALL BLOG! YAY. How assinine to root for a team merely because one lives in a town, state or region. Is that any better than going to war merely because you can, or because youbelieve the colors of your flag to be better than that of the opposing side? Sports are of course a great outlet for aggression, but to be a fan(atic) for no reason other than that of geography is pointless.

Posted by: Chris on March 12, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Eh. NJ is clearly an easier matchup than CLE. If you rate the Pistons and the Heat as even, the NJ/Heat route is still easier than the other.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim on March 12, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

What real basketball fan watches the NBA? cleve

Posted by: cleve on March 12, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Weekend posts like this are useful to detect those who can still have some fun in life, and those that you couldn't pull a pin out of their ass with a tractor.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 12, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I find my fuin with real people, in real situations, not on posts or blogs.

Posted by: Cr5s on March 12, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Professional basketball? Why are you talking about professional basketball a week before the NCAA? Who cares about those overpaid, over-adulated prima donnas when you could watch teams that are representatives of institutions with history, character, and some goal other than profit?

Posted by: North Carolinian on March 12, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

By "March Madness", I'm sure you're refering to the various NCAA Hockey tournaments, either already underway (Division III), or about to begin (women's Division I next weekend, and Men's Division I in two weeks).

Yes, I'm certainly excited about them, too!

Posted by: Robert Earle on March 12, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

The unfortunate thing about sports is that one team has to win. Ideally every team would lose every time, but that's not mathematically possible.

Posted by: John Emerson on March 12, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Professional basketball? Why are you talking about professional basketball a week before the NCAA? Who cares about those overpaid, over-adulated prima donnas when you could watch teams that are representatives of institutions with history, character, and some goal other than profit?

ROFL! When was the last time any NCAA sport was played with any goal other than TV profit? Come on! The NCAA is just another pro sports league. Its athletes couldn't (mostly) add 2+2. In no way are they students.

I at least appreciate the honesty of the "real" pro leagues.

Posted by: dal20402 on March 12, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon Her, was a woman


There is a growing amount of evidence that The Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon Her, was a woman. I recall talking to my young niece, a strong believer in the Prophet, peace be upon Her. My niece became very excited and exclaimed, You mean that the Prophet, peace be upon Her, is a chick? Yes I replied. I also said that the Prophet, peace be upon Her, would probably prefer being called a woman, not a chick.

http://mohammedpeacebeuponherisawoman.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Mohammed is a woman on March 12, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Brendan Haywood one of the "hardest working" guys in basketball? Ruffin and Thomas are hard workers but Haywood has a habit of dissapearing for games at a time. There's a reason he doesn't play much in crunch times for Les Boulez.

Posted by: Joel on March 12, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

The Wizards don't match up that well with the Pistons, despite the two victories. In both games, Caron and Gilbert have gone off -- Caron actually had his first big game as a Wizard against the Pistons (27 pts), but neither have "good" matchups against Billups or Prince. Things have just worked out well for us.

The Wiz can win against any team (except the Heat -- we're on an 0-15 streak against them) on any given night. We whipped the Spurs, and we've beaten the Pistons twice. We can also lose to any team on any given night.

I wouldn't count on beating the Pistons in a 7 game series. They're too consistent, despite only being 12-7 in their last 19 games. The Pacers, Cavs, or Nets are much easier fair.

Posted by: Dave on March 12, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum, please come back! All is forgiven. Just spare us from (ugh) sports blogging.

Posted by: beb on March 12, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

jeez, another misplaced bball post. aren't there any sports blogs to comment on?

go bruins!! ucla is back!

Posted by: Jones on March 12, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

NorthCarolinian wrote: "Professional basketball? Why are you talking about professional basketball a week before the NCAA? Who cares about those overpaid, over-adulated prima donnas when you could watch teams that are representatives of institutions with history, character, and some goal other than profit?"

Matt Doherty begs to differ. It's all about the benjamins in the NCAA too.

Posted by: chaboard on March 12, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

I've actually encountered some rather bright college athletes.

Posted by: gq on March 12, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

but to be a fan(atic) for no reason other than that of geography is pointless.

but very real in the world.

Anyhoo, what's this? Is this like a sport without ice? Are there really such creatures?

(display of a pointless, geographically-determined preference)

Posted by: snicker-snack on March 12, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

What a bunch of dicks. The internet comes with a handy featurescrolling! Try it sometime.


I will say this, however. Amy has the hometown/new-town fandom reversed. She should root for the Wizards at all times EXCEPT when they play the Pisons. She should AT BEST be torn, but not turn against her hometown team...

I live in Michigan now, and always root for the Tigers, except when playing the Red Sox. A home in Ann Arbor does not override a lifetime of New England programming.

Posted by: Mr Furious on March 12, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Beware the Beast, the one the Bible tells about.

Posted by: dith on March 12, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

lol - on the day of the bracketing of the greatest championship in the world of sports, this knee-jerk know-nothing-about-sports person decides to talk about pro basketball.

And the eastern conference at that. as if either miami or detroit had a prayer against whomever the west throws out (presumably san ant, phoe, or dallas).

i suspect the reason she chose to talk about the pros is that she already displayed her ignorace of the college game a week ago. she's on a mission to show her ineptitude in as many topics as she possibly can.

Posted by: cdj on March 12, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Although the Pistons are the best in the league at shutting down the inside game, that doesn't really work against the Wizards because, well, we don't have an inside game."

The Pistons are also the best in the league at defending the perimeter with Billups, Hamilton, and especially Prince.

Washington couldn't miss the other night, but I don't think their chances are very good in a 7 game series against the Pistons.

Posted by: Petey on March 12, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

When you have to shoot 71% to beat a team, it doesn't always bode well for a 7 game series rematch.

gq -- yeah, at Stanford athletes are often some of the best students. They're good at time management and they're smart enough to get in. At state schools where complimentary x-boxes, cars, and paper writing tutors are common place -- it's a different picture. Even the good students are encouraged to take the easy way out.

Posted by: B on March 12, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, I'll be the first to admit that the Pistons have issues...A weak inside game, shallow bench, and they may have possibly peaked earlier this season. Saunders' offence may allow too much freedom...They don't go inside enough, settling for the outside shot too often. The Pistons have also developed a bad habit of coming out and playing okay in the first half and dominating the second. Most of the time.

Having said that: Relying on any team to shoot 59 percent against them for four games in a seven-game series?...I dunno, Amy. You're putting a lot of stock in a team that is barely above .500 and were on a five-game losing streak before last night.

Posted by: grape_crush on March 12, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

If I want to read about pro sports (which I don't) I'd go to a sports site.

Anyone who avidly follows pro sports is a tool (and college sports for that matter.)

Posted by: ctm on March 12, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Who the fuck cares about any kind of fucking basketball unless your kid is playing?

The fucking world is on goddamn fire in more ways than one and people get their panties in a knot over a bunch of freaks of nature putting a ball into a hoop that will accommodate two balls side by side at the same time?

Posted by: angryspittle on March 12, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

We wouldn't want to lend any legitimacy to the 'angry liberal' claim, would we?

Here's another movie line:

Lighten up, Francis.

Posted by: grape_crush on March 12, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm in love with Amy Sullivan.

Posted by: scott herbst on March 13, 2006 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

Big win for Washington.

Matt is my boy, but he's crazy to think anyone wants a piece of New Jersey in the playoffs. They have experience, Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson.

New Jersey would be Washington's worst nightmare, but would probably get beat pretty handily by Detroit. It's all about matchups.

Cleveland doesn't scare anyone, other than the thought of how the referees call the game, and how many free throws Lebron James will shoot.

Posted by: Jimm on March 13, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

North Carolinian,

"overpaid, overhyped, prima donna"

Oh, I thought you were talking about that used car salesman, Roy Williams.

Jayhawk Fan.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 13, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

fINALLY ANOTHER POINTLESS bASKETBALL BLOG! YAY. How assinine to root for a team merely because one lives in a town, state or region. Is that any better than going to war merely because you can, or because youbelieve the colors of your flag to be better than that of the opposing side? Sports are of course a great outlet for aggression, but to be a fan(atic) for no reason other than that of geography is pointless.
Posted by: Chris

Vonnegut pretty much nails this is 'God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" and elsewhere as a commercially manufactured artificial 'tribe' based on ephemeral coincidence.

I'm a bit wobbly on the spelling of this neologism but it's something like 'granfalloon'.

Posted by: CFShep on March 13, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

As a college basketball fan, I do appreciate the occasional b-ball thread.

However, why can't we have a Road to the Roses and a Triple Crown thread sometime.

Me and Nicely Nicely would 'preciate it.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 13, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Amy,

Thanks much for clarifying your stance on the Pistons given your roots.

I would love to see a Bullets-Pistons first round match-up. There is no doubt in my mind that the Bullets would shoot less than 40% in each of the games leading to their subsequent sweep.

Another three or four years and they'll be ready to play with the big boys (as you know, it takes heartbreak at each level of the playoffs before a team is ready to take on the throne).

In the meantime, enjoy the W your team got over the weekend, it was well deserved.

Posted by: Freddo on March 13, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

So are you telling me you would have cheered for Princeton against Michigan if they had played in basketball while you were at Princeton? Where's your loyalty?

Posted by: matt on March 13, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Me and Nicely Nicely would 'preciate it.
Posted by: thethirdPaul

Right on, sweets. You, me, and Shoulda-Coulda

Go over to roadtotheroses.com and get your virtual Derby stable.

>>>grin

"I got the horse right here..."

Posted by: CFShep on March 13, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Actually one of the faves right now is named Cause to Believe...

sire is Maria's Mon, who also sired Monarchos, out of a Storm Cat dam...dosage to spare.

Convincing win Saturday.

Posted by: CFShep on March 13, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Ahem. That's

http://www.roadtotheroses.com/

Posted by: CFShep on March 13, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Amy -

Down with the Wizards!!!!! They beat my Bulls last year and I hope the Pistons make them pay. (But damn Arenas is good!)

And if it makes you feel any better, I live in L.A. and hate the Lakers too. Go Clippers!

And to all the rest of you who take some sort of moral superiority to people who enjoy sports. Bite me. Or bite Amy.

And to the poster who wrote this: "Vonnegut pretty much nails this is 'God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" and elsewhere as a commercially manufactured artificial 'tribe' based on ephemeral coincidence."

Aaarrggg. What a sanctamonius jerk - "I, like my intellectual equal Kurt Vonnegut, dislike Sport."

Posted by: dannyinla on March 13, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

"I, like my intellectual equal Kurt Vonnegut, dislike Sport."
Posted by: dannyinla

Happen to be a born again college football fan, jerk. Follow thoroughbred racing, too.

Does that mean you'll pop a gasket if I quote Damon Runyon? Can I get ringside seats? Should I wear a rain slicker?

Posted by: CFShep on March 13, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

And let us not forget the women's tournament that begins Saturday; the seedings were issued tonight. I'm crossing my fingers that Maryland will end up in the final four in Boston next month. Go Terps.

Posted by: Vincent on March 13, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

I don't believe you Amy Sullivan.

Posted by: d. b. cooper on March 14, 2006 at 4:00 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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