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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Detroit's Guards, One Reason To Pick Pistons Over Heat

Sports - Opinion
By Scott McLean

During the regular season, the Eastern Conference was dominated by the Detroit Pistons, who had the best record and got the homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Miami Heat finished second in the conference, but they didn't have anything close to the Pistons fantastic record.

When they played each other, the Pistons looked like the better team by outplaying the Heat in the fourth quarter.

Detroit guards Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton will have to find some way to contain Miami's superstar guard Dwayne Wade. They are not going to shut him down, which is why I didn't write it that way.

Wade, Gary Payton, and Jason Williams aren't going to stop Billups and Hamilton, either. I think Wade will average the most points, but Billups and Hamilton together will outplay the Miami guards.

Then there's Shaq... I'm talking about Miami center Shaquille O'Neal, who is always difficult to stop around the basket.

Shaq is going to dunk the ball, as usual, and he's going to get fouled... Because opponents don't fear him when he's shooting free throws.

As a result, keeping Ben Wallace out of foul trouble is an area of concern for the Pistons. If he's on the bench a lot, Miami might win the series. That's really the only way the Heat can stop Wallace from stopping their season.

Will Ben Wallace be the difference in this series? He could be one of them. I would say the center matchup is even. But Wallace is quick enough to cause problems for any shooters near the basket.

Over all, the forwards on these two teams are about equal. Of all the forwards on both teams, Rasheed Wallace is the one who can make clutch shots in the fourth quarter.

However, in my opinion, the guards will determine which team wins this series. I'm picking the Pistons because of Billups and Hamilton. Detroit in seven games.

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