- Wait -- I thought this Cabrera guy was supposed to be fat and worthless. I'm confused.
I've been a little under the weather for the past few days so I had to turn the ol' brain off. I'd say it's still in the "reboot" faze at the moment. Given my state, I've been only semi-conscious watching sports since the weekend, but the Pistons nearly pulled me out of my stupor a few hours ago.
Pistons 98-103 Bucks
I was only half-paying attention once Detroit was down by 20 or so in the 2nd half, but they managed to peel my eyes off of my computer when Sheed started draining 3's. He hit 4 in a span of like 2 and half minutes to single handedly pull the Pistons back into the game, and put the entire Milwaukee crowd into "Oh, shit" mode. Upon the fourth 3-pointer, Blaha nearly had a fucking stroke. "I don't believe it -- although maybe I should!" he yelped.
Two plays, however, stood out in my mind that I wish we could have back. The first was Amir's missed dunk opportunity......Chauncey drove the lane and dished to Amir right under the hoop. I thought he was going to go up for a thunder dunk to effectively cripple whatever resolve the Bucks had left, but unfortunately, he was pressured from behind and had the ball blocked/stolen from him. Very disheartening. Amir played brilliantly late in 4th quarter, but he'll remember this play more than any other. And I think with a bit more experience under his belt he'll take it to the rim mercilessly with this particular play in the back of his mind.
The other play came after a Bucks miss, when Chauncey came galloping down the court with nobody on him. Once he crossed mid-court, I was 2000% positive that he was going to jack up a 3. He hesitated for a split second as he approached the arch, looked like he decided at the last possible instant to let it fly, and ended up shooting off-balance and missed. Had he slowed up just a bit and set himself -- or just try to find somebody cutting to the basket -- things might have gone differently. But during this Piston-era, one thing that has always remained constant is either Sheed or Chauncey taking just one too many three's when the team is making a late comeback. This will generally come after they've made one or two, so they go, "Ah fuck it," and let 'er rip.
After bitching about not being able to comment on a Red Wings win, I effectively went silent for 3 days after a 4-0 drubbing of the hated 'Lanche. Needless to say, the rivalry has some life still. Even if they have like nobody else remaining from the 90's aside from Sakic (who I like anyway), there's still a big rift between Detroit and Colorado fans. Basically -- and I'm not trying to sound like a douche bag here -- we're better than them. It's that simple. We have a knowledgeable understanding of hockey and how it's played, and most of them are dumb as dick and do things like throw hats on the ice during a shootout in thinking that their player has just picked up a hat-trick (This actually happened -- I wish I had the link to this). I'm not gonna go into all the reasons why I can't stand them, as I'm sure those sentiments have already been expressed by every Wing fan with computer access.
- Aaron Downey: Wow. He's making it pretty clear that we don't need Darren McCarty right now, even if Mac is performing well in Grand Rapids at the moment. Right after Lidstrom went down, my first thought was "Aaron Downey". And sure enough, he made it known that nobody is to elbow his captain's head into the boards. If McCarty were to miraculously find a spot on the Wings roster, I don't see how it could be at the expense of Downey.
- Val Vilppula: He makes me shake my head sometimes. I complain all the time about his "finishing" ability. He's the type of guy that can make all of the necessary moves and get himself into open space, but when it comes down to the final moment where he has to bury the puck in the back of the net, he crumbles. Then he goes out and scores a goal on a shot that appears to have 0% probability of success. The only way his angle on that shot could've been worse would be if he were standing in the front row. Hence the head-shaking.
- Pavel Datsyuk: Not to get all whimsical or anything, but the assist he had on the last goal was a thing of beauty. It was a 3 on 1, with the third guy being Zetterberg who was trailing. Datsyuk had the puck, and instead of forcing a pass across the crease to the far-side man -- which the goalie anticipated -- he went just a little deeper into the zone before dropping it back to Hank for what essentially ended up being an empty net goal, as both the goalie and the defenseman were playing the pass to the far side, which never came. He had his head up the entire time calculating what was the best thing to do, and then he did just that.
- Nick Lidstrom: It's just very, very weird that he's injured. Weird. It' the only word I can use to describe it. In all my years of watching him, I'm not even sure I've seen him fall down to a knee. It's as if he's actually been standing on his feet since 1992. So now that he's out, it just so happens to come at a time when it would positively fuck us over (for the short-term, at least). We're so thin on the blue line that I think Bob Rouse is penciled in to start tomorrow night.