by Brett Edwards
As predicted earlier this week, the Pistons dominated the Spurs in this Christmas day rematch of last year's Finals. DET simply wanted this game more, and showed it by outworking SA on nearly every possession, holding them to 70 points (including a franchise low 8 in the first quarter), and out-rebounding them 57-30.
Of course the Spurs were without Ginobili, and are still getting used to new additions Finley and Van Exel in their lineup. But there's no mistaking that DET is still "pist" at not winning the title last year, and they are taking it out on the rest of the league by winning almost every game: they are 22-3 on the season, sparking talk of "can they beat the Bulls' 72-10 record?" The answer is yes, by the way. This team defends like crazy, and is completely in sync on offense. Even on a day like today when their leading scorer went 4-15 from the field and they shot 42%, they held their opponent to 40% and whooped them on the boards. If they keep up this pace and intensity, they can definitely get the record.
Weirdest stat I heard today was that Tony "the frog" Parker leads the league in points in the paint! What?! Can someone stop overplaying him on the perimeter and make him take a jump shot or two? If not, how about knocking him on his ass when he gets in the lane? He's a EURO, remember? He's soft, and all it takes is to pop him once and he'll stop coming inside.
Best part of the game was near the end, when Pistons fans started the college basketball "O-ver-RAT-ed (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) chant at the Spurs. Very funny to hear that in the NBA.