Pistons worry about Spurs and officiating

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons are renowned for their resiliency.

If the defending champions don't rally from a 2-0 deficit against San Antonio in the NBA Finals, however, they might be as well known for their whining.

The Pistons complained incessantly about the officiating during the Spurs' 97-76 victory Sunday night in Game 2, just as they have at times during the regular season and playoffs.

When coach Larry Brown was asked Monday if he was concerned with his team's lack of composure, he offered up what he called a simple statistic.

"We're 1-7 with one referee and 11-1 with the rest," Brown said.

Brown declined to elaborate, but postseason box scores show Detroit is 1-7 when either Ron Garretson or Dan Crawford has officiated its games and 11-1 when neither has been on the court.

Of course, the Spurs have had a lot to do with the Pistons' problems, too.

"If people don't give us credit, we just don't care," said Manu Ginobili, who has scored 53 points in the series.

Spurs stars Tim Duncan and Ginobili appear to be better than anybody Detroit has, while Tony Parker, Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry have made numerous key plays against the Pistons.

San Antonio is spreading the floor, sharing the ball and making shots. Defensively, the Spurs are taking away passing lanes and easy shots.

Meanwhile, the Pistons look lost on offense and overmatched on defense as two of their starters -- Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince -- struggle at both ends of the court.

"We've never faced anything like this team," Detroit's Antonio McDyess acknowledged.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expects to face a much different team the rest of the series.

"They're going to be ferocious," he said. "They're going to be very physical and aggressive."

Detroit will host Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Thursday and if necessary, Game 5.

"We can definitely win all three, but we still have to come back here," Prince said in San Antonio.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: