Are the Pistons, now that they moved Rip back to the starting line-up, back? Ready to make a run at the Eastern Conference? Seeing how they are 5-5 in their last 10 games (although, they have won 5-6), and only two games above 500 (32-30), an extended run through the NBA Playoffs is probably asking a little much, but one thing’s for sure: The Pistons still dominate the Orlando Magic. And said domination continued last night as the Pistons yet again beat the Magic, 98-94, making it a season sweep for the Pistons.
The highlight of the game was Jason Maxiell’s one-handed finish, courtesy of a Rip Hamilton lob. I knew Maxiell could jump, but I didn’t know he could extend his body like that for such an exquisite catch and finish.
As for the Pistons, the Freep is calling this a “rise from the ashes,” and seeing how the Pistons are winning again, that may not be far from the truth. After going through an extended losing streak less than a month ago, it looks like the Pistons have cured what was ailing them. However, does this equate to an extended playoff run? Are the Pistons a threat to the Celtics or the Cavaliers?
In spite of the Orlando domination and a rediscovery of what it takes to win, it’s hard to see that happening from here. Also, what happens when Iverson gets back from his injury? Although he’s said all the right things, how will he handle Sixth Man duties? Will the team allow AI’s presence to “fit” with the rest of the Pistons?