Why do I dislike Detroit sports? For reasons like this year... How do both NHL and NBA teams lead their respective leagues all season and fall apart in the playoffs? I mean, the Wings are known for collapsing - and again, it was not for goaltending. Both teams decided they would win because it was owed them - which led to their respective collapse.
The Wings chose not to play the full game and Edmonton, due mainly to a ton of grit and hard work, defeated them. It is truly tough for me to say the better team went home when the better team decided it didn't have to play hard for the full 60 minutes. So, with that said, good luck to the Oilers in the Finals - a place you worked hard for and truly earned.
The Pistons? I am truly disappointed. This is a team which I started paying close attention to about 5 years ago - and not because they were elite, but because they were a gritty, hard working TEAM. That grit and hard work paid off with a title two years ago and an almost title last year. This year? 64 wins and a dominating season. With all of this, it must be the new coach's fault, right? No way. I cannot believe Flip wanted the Pistons, basically the only full time team in the NBA, to start playing one on four ala Kobe in the playoffs. Game 6, in Miami, you want Billups chucking unnecessary 3's with no other teammates even at half court? Or better yet, driving to the free throw, no one around and passing it out to the three point line for a similarly open shot out there? I mean, when did Detroit, known all season for driving to the basket become a jump shooting team? You wonder why their shooting percentages were so low, look no further. And don't even get me started on Hamilton's crying throughout the last two series. It is the playoffs and there will be contact. Deal with it; that is after all why you're getting paid. Their problem is strictly that too many of the Pistons feel that they truly are super stars like Kobe, Bron-Bron, D-Wade and Shaq (probably because they were voted
All Stars). The only consistent performer at both ends of the court all year long is the only Piston NOT voted to the All Star game - Tayshaun Prince. Go figure.
What does all of this lead to? I love this team, but I think Joe D. will see that the egos don't match the deeds and will be saying bye to some favorites. My choices? Bye-bye Billups and 'Sheed. Been nice knowing ya, good luck with the future and all, but the time has come. If Billups doesn't go, (and he should, because he is the on floor leader that orchestrated the one on four minimum matchups and mentality), then it has to be cry baby Hamilton. His defense has been wonderful, but you can't play D laying on the floor at what used to be the offensive zone crying about how you didn't get the call or flopping at the end of games or halves crying about the hack. The refs aren't changing their minds and would be crucified for making a questionable call at critical junctures (like halves and game ending buzzers). Stop whining and make the play.
In other leagues, the Tigers are playing just good enough to get interest to irritate people into believing...until the collapse and another playoff miss. The Lions? Still have Millen in charge, so they can't be going anywhere. I have trouble believing the Dolphins are ready for a Super Bowl ring, but within the contract they must be - I mean, look at some of the primary starters for the Lions and the good ones went on for rings somewhere: Rodney Peete - Dallas (and almost Carolina), Charlie Batch - Pittsburgh. Now is Harrington's turn. Go Dolphins!!!
Sometimes, it can be irritating to be a Detroit fan. You go from on high, to down low due to expectations. These teams all have talent and ability to play to potential, but there is little room for error at this level, which can crush that potential quickly. So, it'll be a long, slow wait until next year, when (at least in NHL and NBA) we should be back in the hunt again...