Sunday, May 29, 2005

Feeling the Heat

The Miami Heat gained back their home court advantage Sunday night with a 113-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons. The bad news for Detroit is that they are now in a must win situation for game four, but the good news is that game four is at The Palace.

After gaining control of the game late in the third period the Pistons seemed to lose focus on the Heat in the fourth and focus instead on what they believed to be bad officiating. Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups each drew technical fouls for protesting calls in the final period. Miami scored 11 points from the charity stripe during a 13-4 run in the fourth period that put them up for good.

Here are my thoughts on this series. Miami is too good of a team for the Pistons to lose focus on. If you are the Detroit Pistons you can’t turn your attention to anything but the Heat. Secondly, Detroit is too good of a team to have a meltdown like they did Sunday night. This is the defending World Champs we are talking about, and they are in the middle of a slug fest with the team that had the best record in the East. During the final minutes of the third and into the first few minutes of the fourth period Detroit gained complete control of this game, only to give it away. Neither Wade nor O’Neal played well enough in the second half to win the game for Miami. Detroit needs to get back to playing basketball in the same way they did in game one, stingy defense and consistent offense. If not, game four goes to the Heat and the series ends in Miami on Thursday night.

I picked the Pistons to win in seven and I still think they are on track for that. Here’s how I see it going down. Detroit will win games four and six at home and game seven in Miami.

On the Western Conference side, I strongly believe that the Suns have a solid chance to win game four tonight. I also strongly believe that this series is over! I can even see the Suns winning game five at home, but there is no way they make it past game six. The Suns just didn’t turn out to be any match for the Spurs, and even though I have not given them the credit they deserve, San Antonio is hands down the best team in the West.