Somehow I think it will be a very different Detroit Piston squad facing the Toronto Raptors on Sunday than the one that was trotted out two days before Christmas. Ben Gordon was in uniform that night but did not play, while Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton were getting work in before the game but did not suit up as they were decked out in “civvies” on the bench.
Hey, they have to come back at some point and conventional wisdom says that, most of the time, you bring a guy back on the road not at home. Regardless of whether any of those three suit up or not you would think the Pistons mind set will be a bit different. The 64 points was the lowest scored by the franchise since Danny Biasone’s invention was put into play in NBA circles. Also, sitting on a six-game losing streak with a couple of days to practice and play against a team that just pasted you at home, well, you just know it will be a team with more fight in them.
OK, you know what’s annoying? Going to Pearson International Airport in Toronto and having the place crawling with security that won’t let you stop for a minute to pick up relatives. It seems like unless they are standing right at the curb and ready to go in the form of a NASCAR pit stop, you are told to keep moving. Heck, Jeff Gordon had nothing on me with the number of laps I took on Saturday night waiting for my brother and his family to get out of the terminal after arriving in Toronto.
But I don’t feel badly as there in a big vehicle behind me was Raptor player Pops Mensah Bonsu who was doing the same thing. He was picking up family but his “ride” was too big to fit in the free parking lot so there he was waiting curb side.
There was another NBA person of note at the airport, hey you just never know who you might see, huh? Unless he’s doing something else Sunday afternoon, referee Bob Delaney will be one of the guys tooting the whistle at the Raptors vs. Pistons tilt.
If you are an NBA fan, you surely know the story of Bob Delaney and the amazing story of his fight against organized crime. It brings to mind the story almost 10 years ago when they wanted NBA coaches to wear microphones. Some coaches balked at the initiative, now of course it is commonplace, but they also asked the referees to do the same thing. When asked if he would wear the mic, Delaney laughed and said, “no problem, but remember, the last time I wore a microphone, people went to jail.” The book that chronicles his story is called Covert : My Years Infiltrating the Mob and after reading it, I highly recommend it.
Boy there are a lot of people scratching their heads after the Los Angeles Lakers took it on the chin at home at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hmmm, just wonder if the Lakers are the powerhouse that everyone thinks they are right now? In these eyes, when they are healthy, it’s the Boston Celtics that are still the team to beat.
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