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…