Friday, May 02, 2008

2nd Round Preview--Detroit-Orlando

Pistons (2) vs. Magic (3):

Pistons can't dick around at all this series, because Orlando can beat them straight-up. Detroit does not have the room for error to float in this series like they did vs. the Sixers. Flip better have his boys locked in early otherwise he'll need to sharpen up his job interviewing skills for the summer.

Orlando loves to chuck up the long bombs--they attempted nearly 30 3 pts. per game vs the Raps. What comes in handy for the Pistons is they historically guard the 3pt line as well as anyone in the NBA. A good thing for Detroit is that Sheed can handle Dwight without constant help. Sheed is kinda light for a center but he positions himself well vs. Dwight, and allows his teammates to stay at home on the perimeter shooters.

You would think Tayshaun is a great matchup vs. Hedo, but the Turk has given the Pistons issues when they met in the reg. season. Detroit had difficulties figuring out how to handle the high screen with Hedo handling the ball. Will see if the Pistons can curtail Hedo in screen/roll action, and if Tay can harass Hedo like he did with Iggy.

Expect a healthy dose of Billups on the block to force doubles. Chauncey needs to regain his mojo after a subpar 1st round series; he can dominate his matchup if he's on his game. If Dwight is guarding Sheed expect Det. to get the high screen working more with Sheed dragging D-How away.

Detroit needs to consider some some Hack-a-Howard in the series. Make Dwight earn his points from the foul line (shot 58% vs. Raps). Not sure you have to foul him off the ball, but if he's in great position to score--drill him. They have some depth upfront, and they even have Theo Ratliff as their designated defensive presence with expendable fouls.

Feel the Pistons can do a decent job containing Dwight, but think Hedo could be a bigger problem for them in this series. Detroit has a decided advantage in the backcourt, and needs to win that battle every night because Orlando is obviously dangerous on their frontline.