Sunday, April 22, 2007

Pistons-Magic: Howard Giveth and Howard Taketh Away

I managed to get through the whole Detroit-Orlando game today, which is a pretty impressive accomplishment, if I don't mind saying so. Between the insufferable Detroit PA announcer and Orlando's 517 turnovers, this thing was a rough watch. Here are the lowlights:

- Good to see Keyon Dooling back in the playoffs, once again doing all he can to aid the Pistons. Some might remember the Dooling Factor back in the 2005 Eastern Conference Finals - a calculation that tracked Dooling's impact on the game. Needless to say, the Dooling Factor wasn't working in Miami's favor, as they were outscored by more points than minutes that Dooling was even on the floor. It was pretty amazing.

- Dwight Howard had a pretty rough first playoff game. On the good side of the ledger, he went 5-for-8 from the field, snared 19 rebounds, and blocked three shots. On the bad side, he went 3-for-11 from the free throw line and committed six turnovers. As fantasy hoops owners can attest, these were Howard's problems all year. Unfortunately, they were more costly than normal, as his double Achilles heel became contagious. The Magic lost despite shooting 58% from the field, as they committed 20 turnovers and shanked 18 free throws.

- The Magic actually improved in the second half when they went 12-for-16 from the line, but unfortunately, their 6-for-20 effort in the first stanza was too much to overcome. And lest you think that going 6-for-20 from the free throw line seems impossible, trust me, it's not.

- I don't really have anything to say about the Pistons. They were just sort of out there, existing. Billups had 11 dimes, but 5 turnovers and nearly built a house out of all his bricked jumpers. Rasheed turned it on and off, as always. Detroit did enough to win a home game against the worst team in the playoffs. That about sums it up.

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