Live Blogging and Game Analysis: Detroit @ Orlando (Game 3)

Will be Live Blogging for tonight’s crucial Game 3 … to see if the Pistons are going to sweep the Magic away (my pick for this series) or resuscitate Orlando with one of Detroit’s periodic stinkeroos.

Seems to work best on wordpress.com when using the ‘Comments’ section.

Please feel free to drop by – beginning at approximately 7:45 PM Eastern Time – and expound to your heart’s content.

Enjoy!

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63 Responses to “Live Blogging and Game Analysis: Detroit @ Orlando (Game 3)”

  1. khandor Says:

    The opening wagering line I saw for tonight’s game was Orlando -3.5.

    Earlier today this number climbed to Orlando -4.5, and right now … 10 minutes before tip-off, it’s still on the way up, recently shifted to Orlando -5.

    For those interested,

    Detroit +5

    is a steal, in this game, from my perspective.

  2. khandor Says:

    With their season hanging in the balance and especially in the aftermath of ‘Clock-gate’/Game 2 … expect the Magic to come out fired up this evening and hit the Pistons hard, early, with everything they’ve got.

    If Detroit can keep Rasheed from picking up his 3rd foul in the initial stages of the 2nd Quarter and succeed in slowing the game down to a snail’s pace … they should be able to endure the onslaught and still be breathing during the 2nd half, where tonight’s game will be won in the final 6 minutes of the 4th Quarter.

  3. khandor Says:

    The referee crew for tonight’s game is not the type of ‘usual suspects’ that the Pistons sometimes draw … when the league office seems to want to stick it good to Rasheed … i.e. no trigger-happy techsters on this crew.

  4. khandor Says:

    Chauncey’s close-out to the corner on Evans was absolutely first rate.

    Seems like he is on point this evening.

  5. khandor Says:

    Two trips already … Detroit is running their Single Double series for Rip but not to shoot jumpers but for him to catch on the curl and dump it off to Maxiell inside when the post defender steps up to help on Rip.

    A great adjustment for Detroit.

  6. khandor Says:

    Uh, oh.

    Chauncey just did the splits, unintentionally, while getting his feet hung up with Jameer Nelson.

    If Billups is hurt … that might shed a completely different light on the rest of this series.

    And it doesn’t look good right now with him staying face down on the ground for a long while and grabbing for his right hamstring after he has made his way to a standing position.

  7. khandor Says:

    Rodney Stuckey is the ‘Real Deal’ but he is not going to get the calls that Billups would in a game of this magnitude.

    Orlando 12, Det 2

  8. khandor Says:

    Right now … Flip SHOULD pull his starters and go with his 5 subs all at once.

  9. khandor Says:

    e.g. Stuckey was just fouled while going to the hoop by Howard … no call … Orlando gets an easy 2 in transition.

    Full Time-out DETROIT.

    Flip has got to get his subs into the game … right now.

  10. khandor Says:

    McDyess for Maxiell is a good sub but Flip has got to get Jarvis Hayes and/or Aaron Afflalo in the game quickly or this one is going to be over FAST.

    ORL 22, Det 6

    Chancey is NOT coming back tonight.

  11. khandor Says:

    Flip subs in Aaron Afflalo for Stuckey … with Tay Prince shifting to the PG spot.

    This is an intriguing line-up for the Pistons.

  12. khandor Says:

    Wonder if they are also going to shift into their 3-2 match-up zone with these players on the floor.

    TV Time-out.

  13. khandor Says:

    Prince is going to work on the block vs Evans but right now Detroit can’t stop Orlando at all playing in their regular M2M D.

  14. khandor Says:

    Detroit is finally starting to find their balance on offense.

    Orl 30
    Det 16

    end of the 1st Quarter.

  15. khandor Says:

    If they would have subbed when I said they should DET wouldn’t be in this situation right now.

    Finished the 1st Q with a line-up of

    Prince
    Rip
    Afflalo
    McDyess
    Ratlif

    which is what Flip SHOULD have done immediately after Chauncey’s injury, not once the lead had ballooned to 19.

  16. khandor Says:

    Pam Oliver: How do you come back from a deficit like this in a game like this without the services of Chauncey Billups?

    Flip Saunders: This is the NBA.

    Clasic answer by Flip, easily the Pistons’ Weakest Link in this series.

  17. khandor Says:

    Orl 22
    Det 32

    Rip has found his rhythm and this is a much better Defensive team the Pistons have an on the floor right now.

  18. khandor Says:

    As Flip said, if the Pistons can get into the half with the deficit under 10, they will have a decent shot to stay in the game deep into the 2nd half.

  19. khandor Says:

    Since an early point in this season … the Pistons quality depth from 1-12 has been far ans away THE BEST in the NBA … now they get to test their mettle in a Real Live NBA Playoff Game.

  20. khandor Says:

    5:54 of the 2nd and Rasheed picks up his 3rd PF.

    This is going to be a turning point in this game, one way or the other.

    Ratlif, McDyess, Maxiell, Hermann and Amir Johnson will have to step up and play BIG if Detroit is going to stay in the game for the balance of this quarter.

  21. khandor Says:

    Still no sign of the 3-2 zone from Detroit.

  22. khandor Says:

    2:28 left in the 2nd

    Det 34
    Orl 47

    Hermann shooting 2 FT’s coming back from a Time-out.

    If Detroit can get 2 back-to-back stops & scores they will be back within hailing distance of the magic going to the 2nd Half.

    Can they do it?

    Methinks they will.

  23. khandor Says:

    With the score

    Det 39
    Orl 49

    Rip misses an open jumper from the right baseline with 1:00 left in the half

    followed by a Rashard Lewis ‘Catch & shoot’ 3

    then a careless Prince TO in the front-court, off the bounce

    followed by a tough baseline drive and layup by the Magic to push their lead bac up to 15 pts.

    But then Rodney (Real Deal) Stuckney goes the length of the court for an AND1 driving layup (Made the FT) of his own with 2.8 left in the Half.

    Det 42
    Orl 54

    Losing Billups like that … maybe the best outcome Detroit could hope for.

  24. khandor Says:

    The pistons are right back in this game

    Det 52
    Orl 62

    with the ball … if they can score on this possession.

    Blocked Shot by D12.

  25. khandor Says:

    Rip is missing right now and needs a sub … but Flip is asleep at the switch, again.

  26. khandor Says:

    Rip has kept Detroit in the game so far this evening BUT Flip needs to have a better sense of where his personnel is at during the flow of a game … something which he regularly falters on in big games during the playoffs, first in Minnesota and now with Detroit.

    It can be maddening to watch him hurt his own team’s chances to win games when he doesn’t make the necessary adjustments in a timely manner.

  27. khandor Says:

    5:42 left in the 3rd and the Pistons could get blown out right here … if Flip doesn’t go back to his bench in a major way …

  28. khandor Says:

    Come on Flip … pay attention!

  29. khandor Says:

    No Reggie Miller …

    Rodney Stuckey is NOT going to be a carbon copy of Chauncey Billups.

    Yes … Marvelous Marv …

    the ‘Real Deal’ is a carbon copy of JOE DUMARS!

  30. khandor Says:

    If Rip is going to stay in the game he needs to keep looking for his spot J NOT his pull-up.

    Going back to the Prince mismatch, right now, is a solid tactical move for the Pistons with Sheed on the bench.

    Where is AFFLALO?

    Come on Flip!

  31. khandor Says:

    I just don’t want the cover tonight … I’m still looking for the straight-up WIN from the Pistons to put the dagger into the Magic this evening.

    Timeout … Stuckney on the line … Pistons only down by single digits!!!

  32. khandor Says:

    Det 62
    Orl 67

    Rodney Stuckey is going to be a multiple time All-Star in this League for years to come.

  33. khandor Says:

    Rip with a monster TO in transition down 3, followed by a Lewis 3 at the other end …

    Det 64
    Orl 70

    … a 5 point turn-around.

    FLIP … please go to AFFLALO for Rip.

    Pretty please.

  34. khandor Says:

    If Detroit can put their nose in front they will play down to the wire tonight … but the longer they go trailing by 5-7 pts … the more likely they are going to end up losing this game with a Magic run mid-way in the 4thQ.

    It’s up to FLIP to figure this stuff out!

  35. khandor Says:

    Det 69
    Orl 73

    heading to the 4thQ.

  36. khandor Says:

    When a team has to expend this type of energy to come back in a game and then can’t push through to re-take the lead … it’s a very dangerous situation for them, not their opponent.

    If the Pistons are going to win outright tonight they will have to get out front at some point before the last 3 minutes.

  37. khandor Says:

    Flip needs to start this quarter with Sheed on the bench.

  38. khandor Says:

    The Magic open up the 4th with a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 11 points … forcing DET to call an early Time-out.

    If the Pistons lose this game it will be on the Weakest Link, once again.

  39. khandor Says:

    FLIP … get RIP out of the game.

    Turnover Det … 11 unanswered pts by ORL.

    Where is AFFLALO?

  40. khandor Says:

    SVG going with Dooling vs Stuckey, instead of Nelson or Arroyo, is what’s turned this game around for ORL.

    Plus the fact that FLIP IS ASLEEP.

  41. khandor Says:

    Turk for consecutive 3’s … ORL by 17 … this game is now DONE.

  42. khandor Says:

    Det 77
    Orl 90

    Stuckey gets fouled and makes 2 FT’s … and NOW Flip finally goes to Afflalo & Hermann … when the game is done.

  43. khandor Says:

    Yes, indeedm Marvelous … Howard has perfected the Patrick Ewing ‘drop-step travel’.

    Det 83
    Orl 99

  44. khandor Says:

    Joe D … I have watched Flip coach for a lot of years now … and, unless you take a similar tact as you did when you let Rick Carlisle go after a very successful season, and then hired Larry Brown … this group of Pistons you’ve assembled is going to come up short, once again, this season, and every season Flip remains as your coach … not because their players are inconsistent BUT because their coach doesn’t really know what he’s doing at crunch time – when split-second decisions MUST be made at the right time or all is lost – of important games in the playoffs against high calibre opponents.

  45. khandor Says:

    Do NOT let the final score or the Billups injury fool you … this was a WINNABLE game tonight, at the start of the 4th Quarter, when Flip Saunders LOST THIS GAME for the Pistons.

  46. fluxland Says:

    “but Flip is asleep at the switch, again.” LOL. That was funny!

    Well, I’m sure it’s easy to hang this one up on CBills going down, I still believe the Magic would have won. Or on Flips subs.. but let’s face it Sheed sucked and so did Maxy (Flips nickname).

    Not the mention, Orland finally didn’t have an absurd no of turnovers. And Lewis was hot, as was the Turk. If they can have consistent production from those to and limit TO.. they are in this. I still stick with Magic in 6.

    Why does Stuckey look like a carbon copy of Rip more then anyone, to me at least?

  47. withmalice Says:

    Phew… that took a while to read!
    Sorry I missed it Khandor – had a pretty busy day.
    Nicely done tho’. I live-blogged a Japan v Australia soccer match, did it on the actual blog-post & just hit ‘save’ continually (http://with-malice.com/2007/07/21/japan-vs-australia-asian-cup-live-blogging/)

    Again… nicely done.

  48. khandor Says:

    FLUX,

    The biggest thing the Magic have in their favour … is Flip.

    Your observations are all accurate for last night’s game … but

    DO NOT believe for a second that, despite all of that

    THAT game last night was

    WINNABLE for the Pistons … if Flip knows ‘the Flip’ what he’s doing out there, as a top notch NBA head coach.

    He was late with all his moves or never used certain ones at all.

    He freezes up every time I’ve seen him coach in a big game playoff situation … making the wrong subs, making no subs at all, putting Sheed in the game when he shouldn’t, not resting players prior to crunch time, changing D at the wrong time, etc., etc., etc.

    When your team is as good as this group of Pistons is … it can get quite frustrating to see Flipster blowing chance after chance to get them back to the NBA Finals … not as a fan of their team necessarily but as an aficionado of good basketball, in general.

    This team has the goods to go the distance … depending on Flip.

    Time will tell if he’s up for the challenge.

  49. khandor Says:

    wm,

    Tried using repeated ‘Save(s)’ once before … but didn’t like the fact that visitors couldn’t participate by chiming in with comments of their own to add flavour to the overall ‘event’.

    If you were available last night would you have commented on the game in this section?

  50. fluxland Says:

    Khandor!

    Isn’t every game winnable by both teams? Or are they only winnable by the more experienced team?

    I’m not sure how to take your one -sidedness, over the last few posts. It’s as if the Hornets and Magic get zero credit for winning games.. they are just mere winners due to the other teams failures. Seems kind of odd.

    Also, you seem to be picking teams that have more experience. I guess to me it just stands to reason, that the more experience.. the more you expose yourself, the more other teams know what to expect and how to react. Of course, execution on that knowledge is another matter. Also, all that experience racks up the miles, making you older and more worn out. It seems that the Spurs and Pistons are merely passing the torch to they younger teams.

    Sloan is in the same boat.. its been the same old same old for the last 20 years. And sure year in and year out you achieve above average success, but never getting to the top prize. Fail to adapt and you are bound to perish. The guy is a stubborn mule and his my way or the highway has hurt him more then helped him with the players he has.

    Hey, next time, if I get an earlier heads up on the live blogging I may join the discussion. I wouldn’t expect of me to be an entertaining foe however.

    fluxland at hotmail dot com

    MIA around the Arse blog lately … what gives? Also, any thoughts regarding his email?

  51. khandor Says:

    FLUX,

    Some people would erroneously see last night’s contest as NOT being winnable for the Pistons when you take into account the different observations mentioned in this thread.

    My point is … that despite these occurrences, last night’s game was STILL a winnable one, even without Billups, even with Sheed playing poorly, even with Orlando playing/shooting better at home and making fewer TO’s, etc.

    I am pinning last night’s loss squarely on the shoulders of Flip, no one else … cause I think that it was an easy game to get distracted by those other factors also in play last night (mentioned above) and disregard just how poorly Flip coached his team during this specific game.

    I told visitors what the Pistons needed to do at specific times last night.

    When Flip did a few of them … they worked right away.

    Other times Flip waited and waited and waited … before finally doing them, and by then the cow was already out the barn door.

    While other times Flip chose to do absolutely nothing, or the wrong thing altogether.

    ‘Timing’ and ‘appearance’ are critical when coaching in an elite level way … and, unfortunately, for Flip I do not recall a single instance where I’ve been left with the impression that his teams have either (i) Over-achieved; or (ii) been aided by their coach (A) making the ‘Right move at the Right time’, given the time & score, etc., involved in a specific game, or (B) looking composed & steadfast, with the knowledge that what he was going to do next in this specific game was going to help his team snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.

    On the contrary, when the heat gets turned up … and the big boyz step up … Flip has that ‘forlorn look’ on his face, is almost always screaming, and looking about with his head on a swivel OR sitting motionless (on his chair or on the scorer’s table), letting the key moments of the game slip by, as he’s dozing off, asleep at the switch.

    As a head coach … it’s not just WHAT you do (or not), it’s WHEN & HOW you choose to DO IT that matters just as much.

    If Pat Riley was coaching this Detroit team … they’d be pencilled in to the NBA Finals tomorrow, regardless of the ‘Big Three’ in Beantown or ‘King James’ in Ohio.

    I just hate to see THIS much talent go to waste.

    —————————————————————————

    Experience is but ONE factor when evaluating which team is the better one in a head-to-head series match-up. Trust that it is not the only (or the primary) aspect I consider when making my evaluations.

    In each of the 4 semi-final series, so far, things are evolving pretty much as I expected … with the exception now of Chauncey’s injury.

    If you’ve read what I’ve had to say elsewhere, you’ll see that I said earlier, if a team picks up a significant injury at this point, every team left in this post-season tournament is good enough to take advantage of that and close out their injured opponent lickadee-split … except, perhaps, Orlando.

    The Magic have built a fine team, much better than less-aware NBA observers have them pegged to this point … but, they are still a year or two or three away from being a serious contender in this League, IMO, as D12 continues to mature and they add further to their player roster.

    The sweep is now gone for the Pistons but … I still expect Detroit, Boston, LA and San Antonio to be the last 4 teams standing in two weeks time … if the Spurs make the adjustments I’ve recommended and can win tonight’s game at home.

    ——————————————————-

    re: the email we got

    Depending on what the actual workload is going to be … I’m down with that possibility …

    but, as you can also see with my current absence from that site … from time-to-time … the amount of work I already have on my plate can be quite substantial and keep me away from certain other interests which are not my No. 1 priority at this particular time.

    I don’t think I’ve responded yet to the specific email … but I will be doing that shortly, thanks to your ‘friendly reminder’.

    On the surface, it sounds like an idea I might be very interested in … if I can just manage to fit it in. 🙂

    PS. Foe or Friend (in a colloquial sense) are rather inconsequential terms to someone like me, who sees the world as a never-ending series of mutually beneficial collaborations. Although, a ‘true friend’ in this Life is absolutely priceless. From MPOV, getting the opportunity to work with (rather than against) someone like you, who is both passionate & intelligent, would be a pleasure.

  52. fluxland Says:

    Thanks for the reply.

    I see what you meant by winnable game, now.
    I’m still not sure if that was realistic, with the mentioned factors involved. I’m sure had the suggested adjustments taken place, it would have been a much closer game yet I don’t know why.. but I still see the Magic winning it. They just seemed much more relaxed and determined then the Pistons.
    Plus, digging a hole like that in the 1st is a tough thing to overcome in the long run. You would need the other team to fall apart at a certain point, to actually take over the lead.

    Sheed is a real indicator of this teams success. Where he goes, they go. You are right about Flip though.. I think he frustrates the players more then the refs or anything else.

    Yeah the whole “injury changing everything” kind of bothers me. Not sure where I stand on that. I guess to me they are professionals and the back ups are supposed to step in and execute. Chemistry and feel for the other players, I guess are much more fragile then you would think.

    —–

    Yeah, I figured as much. I’m sure any contribution would be welcome, however.

  53. fluxland Says:

    Thanks for the PS, Khandor. Foe was a poor choice of words. I guess what I meant is that you wouldn’t gain anything from my perspective and input. The whole: “you only get better by playing a better opponent” deal. I seem to benefit more from you then you from me. Thanks for the kind words, (hopefully needless to say) the feeling is very much mutual.

  54. fluxland Says:

    You are Hubie Brown.. I am Chuck. LOL 🙂

  55. khandor Says:

    FLUX,

    Appreciate the kind words in return.

    Will share something with you – and other readers of this site – that might be of (limited?) interest (to some).

    Hubie Brown is an actual acquiantance of mine (in real life!) … and, as I’m typing in this comment, I’m looking straight at his home telephone number (which is in a notebook on my desk), from back in the day before Sir Charles & D-Wade popularized the whole ‘Fave 5’ concept.

    Last time I spoke with Hubie, directly, he was very accommodating and, as always, more than willing to share the wealth.

    In my experience … most practicioners with an authentic expertise fit into this exact category.

    PS. Know what happens if I drop some factual information like that on a site like RealGM.com? It isn’t a pretty picture, from that point forward. In sharp contrast, however, one of the absolute treasures involved with doing one’s own blog, in a format like this, is not having to put up with that type of ridiculousness on the regular. Fact is … You (and others) who frequent this location of the blogosphere can count on one thing from me … i.e. everything I write here is based upon my real life experience. FULL STOP.

  56. fluxland Says:

    *eyes wide open*

  57. fluxland Says:

    I’m not even sure what to say.. I appreciated your insight, well before that interesting fact, if anything it doesn’t surprise me as much as it maybe should!

    What did surprise me this whole time was the willingness and time put into “dropping knowledge” on amateurs like myself. A measure of humility and greatness, perhaps?

    The Khandor enigma continues to evolve..this cat continues to stay tuned!

  58. khandor Says:

    FLUX,

    As the Good Reverend Wright might be want to say, himself, would it were that he was here,

    “That deserves an Amen, from me, brother!”

    At all times … better to be ‘wide open’ rather than ‘wide shut’. 🙂

  59. khandor Says:

    FLUX,

    In this world in which we live … we is all ‘amateurs’ and ‘pros’ … from celebates to whores, alike … simultaneously.

    It’s a complex world … i.e. see String Theory … and those who are ‘no friend’ to the jamario moons among us, waiting … nay, aching for their chance at the brass ring, on the big stage, after scratching & clawing and never ‘losing the faith’ on their way up the proverbial (and eternal) ladder … are most truly ‘no friends’ of mine, especially when the gate-keepers come a callin, shutting doors unnecessarily in good people’s faces.

    And, now … back to our regular programming. 🙂

  60. fluxland Says:

    AMAN, indeed, brother! Aman, indeed!
    🙂

  61. fluxland Says:

    AMEN, indeed, brother! Amen, indeed!
    🙂

  62. withmalice Says:

    Yes, probably would’ve commented.
    If you have a look at the link I provided, I had loads of comments. Actually had around 3,000 people check in for it.

  63. khandor Says:

    withmalice,

    Drop me a message re: the next time you’re live blogging and I’ll do my best to drop by and participate.

    I’ll do likewise for you.

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