“Pistons lose, will finish eighth in the East,” by Chris McCosky
In one bad loss to a lottery-bound team, the Pistons went from thinking about stealing the fifth spot in the East to being almost resigned to the eighth spot.
“There is no worst-case scenario for us right now,” said Tayshaun Prince, after the Pistons’ fourth-quarter rally fell short in a 106-102 loss to the Pacers Saturday. “The way we’ve played all year, the best-case scenario is that we got into the playoffs. Hopefully we can go in there and do some damage.”
The loss means the Pistons have to beat Chicago Monday and Miami Wednesday to avoid finishing eighth and facing Cleveland in the first round.
“Richard Hamilton: Flip Saunders is a good choice for Wizards,” by Chris McCosky
Antonio McDyess just shook his head.
“(Monday) just summed up the way we’ve been playing the whole season,” he said, after the Pistons kicked away a 91-88 loss to the Chicago Bulls. “We were up in the fourth quarter and we let the game go.”
The loss dooms the Pistons to the eighth spot in the East and a first-round match against the top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers.
Detroit Free Press
“Chance of beating the Cavs? Zilch!,” by Michael Rosenberg
In the locker room, Rasheed Wallace looked distraught, which is how he always is when he blames himself. He’d missed a potential game-winning three-pointer with eight seconds left.
Arron Afflalo tried to tell him that one play doesn’t decide a game. Wallace got up and walked away.
So say that for the Pistons: they wanted this one badly. Unfortunately, the desire came too late in the season for a team that has much better talent than its 39-42 record indicates.
What Wallace surely knew is that the Pistons ended up with their worst possible playoff opponent. Entering this game, there were three options, and none of them were good options, but hey, this is what the Pistons get for underachieving all year. You can’t blow off auditions and ask to be cast as the lead.
“Pistons drop lead late in battle for No. 7 seed,” by Vince Ellis
Pistons forward Antonio McDyess slowly walked off the Palace floor Monday night wearing the same forlorn look he has sported many times this season.
The Pistons’ postseason fate had just become known after their close 91-88 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
“Pistons must now face NBA’s best in first round,” by Vince Ellis
Curry didn’t know how he would approach the regular-season finale Wednesday night at Chicago, now that there’s nothing at stake.
In years past, the Pistons would rest regulars this time of the season because their seeding would be decided.
But Curry feels it could be a blessing that the team has had to fight and scratch almost all the way through to the end.
“But when I look at it, it might not be such a bad thing because the games that we’ve missed, hopefully we can keep a rhythm going into the weekend of the playoffs instead of tonight being the last game for about three guys and they don’t play again until Saturday and then we try to get a rhythm again,” Curry said.
“Instant replay,” by Vince Ellis
Backup center Kwame Brown showed little ill effect from the strained left hamstring that sidelined him for Saturday’s loss at Indiana.
The Grand Rapids Press
“Pistons locked into No. 8 seed after losing to Bulls,” by Greg Johnson
McDyess missed three shots in the closing 49 seconds, and he messed up a pick play that resulted in Rodney Stuckey getting his shot blocked by Chicago rookie point guard Derrick Rose with 35 seconds remaining and the score tied at 88.
Ben Gordon, the Bulls’ shooting guard, scored on a driving layup with 15 seconds remaining to provide the winning points.
“You know, I put this whole game on me this time,” McDyess said. “I definitely felt like I lost this game.”
“Pistons hope experience helps against Cavaliers,” by A. Sherrod Blakely
“Experience is huge when it comes to the playoffs,” Detroit coach Michael Curry said after the Pistons dropped a 91-88 game to the Chicago Bulls on Monday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
“During the regular season, it matters, but not as much as it does in the playoffs. And so, we will be depending on that.”
“Bulls evade Cavaliers in first round with win,” by K.C. Johnson
Little has been easy about this Bulls season. Heck, Derrick Rose even lost a tussle with an apple cutter.
So Monday’s 91-88 victory over the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills shouldn’t surprise. It should merely satisfy.
Overcoming extremely physical play, their own road woes, Brad Miller’s ejection and a hostile crowd, the Bulls took a half-game lead over Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed and guaranteed themselves no worse than a seventh-place finish.
“Bulls’ Gordon has showcase game vs. Pistons,” by K.C. Johnson
The Pistons are one of the few teams this off-season armed with salary-cap space, roughly $22 million.
Ben Gordon arrived as the reigning Eastern Conference player of the week with a team-leading scoring average of 20.7 points per game. And he capped Monday by scoring the go-ahead layup with 14.6 seconds left.
Can you say showcase game?
“I’m not even thinking about that stuff,” Gordon said. “I’m just going to keep my options open this summer and see what happens.”
“6-shooters get it done for Bulls,” by Brian Hanley
Too bad the Bulls and Detroit Pistons can’t meet in the opening round of the playoffs.
Because if this game that had as many bodies falling as shots was any indication, the series would rekindle the vintage Bad Boys-Bulls postseason get-togethers of the early ’90s.
“Bull notes,” by Brian Hanley
With one regular-season game remaining, Ben Gordon is assured of leading the team in scoring for the fourth consecutive season.
Gordon, who was named conference player of the week Monday, scored 19 against the Detroit Pistons on Monday and has a 20.7 average, more than two points better than his career mark (18 ppg). Some wondered whether his contract stalemate with the Bulls last summer would have a negative impact.
The team pulled its final offer of six years and $58 million off the table at the deadline, leaving Gordon as a restricted free agent to sign a one-year qualifying offer of $6.4 million.
”A lot of people expected me to come out this year and kind of cry and pout and everything like that,” Gordon said. ”I did exactly the opposite. That’s always going to be my stance regardless what’s going on. I take pride in trying to handle myself in a professional manner. I think I’ve definitely been able to do that.”
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