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News » Detroit Pistons Getting Inside 2008-05-30

Detroit Pistons Getting Inside 2008-05-30

Detroit Pistons Getting Inside 2008-05-30
The Pistons' fatal flaw, should they fail to reach the Finals, will be their inability to rebound against Boston.

Detroit got out-rebounded in all three of its regular-season outings against the Celtics. The Pistons haven't won the rebounding battle in any game during the Eastern Conference Finals. That problem was the primary cause for their 106-102 Game 5 loss Wednesday night, which left them with a 3-2 deficit in the series.

They must win at home Friday and a potential Game 7 in Boston Sunday to prevent the Celtics from reaching the Finals for the first time since 1987.

Boston crushed them 42-25 on the boards in Game 5, as center Kendrick Perkins out-rebounded the entire Pistons team 13-11 in the first half.

"We didn't rebound but we did a lot of other good things to put ourselves in a position to be in the game," coach Flip Saunders said. "That was the surprising thing. We were in the game at the end. I'm sure everybody was surprised."

It's surprising that the Pistons have been so deficient in grabbing rebounds, considering they were among the top five teams in rebounding percentage during the regular season. They have been out-rebounded by an average of nine per game in this series.

"Defensively, we've done some things with extending our defense and tilting our defense, so we were leaving some people on the weak side of rebounds (free)," Saunders said. "That opened up some rebound opportunities for Boston."

The Celtics emphasized rebounding from the start of the series. Now, they're on the verge of winning it.

"That was the No. 2 thing that we felt we had to do to win this series," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "No. 1 was ball pressure."

CELTICS 106, PISTONS 102: The Pistons' furious late rally in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals fell short Wednesday, leaving them on the brink of elimination.

The Pistons, now down 3-2 in the series, trailed by 17 in the third quarter and 13 at the start of the fourth but got as close as one point. A Ray Allen basket with 1:02 remaining proved to be the biggest of the night.

Just like Game 4, the most unheralded starter played a major role. Pistons power forward Antonio McDyess was the breakout performer that night with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Boston center Kendrick Perkins stepped into the spotlight Wednesday with 18 points and 16 rebounds.

Power forward Kevin Garnett fired in a game-high 33 points and Allen had a monstrous third quarter while piling up 29 points. Garnett clinched the victory on two free throws with 3.4 seconds left.

"We said that coming into it, that this is like a Game 7, and we responded," Boston forward Paul Pierce said. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy."

Pistons guard Chauncey Billups had 26 points to lead the Pistons, while shooting guard Richard Hamilton supplied 25 and center Rasheed Wallace added 18, all on three-pointers.

"We're going to come out and we're going to fight and we're going to scratch and we're going to claw and do the things that we've been known to do and try to get back here for Game 7," Billups said.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 30, 2008


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