Yeah, I'm pretty frickin cool! But once again, before I breakdown how Rip, the Masked Mid-Ranged Wonder, and his Bad Boys will make Doc Rivers stomp around the sideline like a schoolgirl who found-out her boyfriend has been tagging a grunge girl while she was at cheerleading camp, I need to discuss how cool it is that the Celts pick their cheerleaders to match their players.
DETROIT PISTONS (+4.5) @ BOSTON CELTICS
Say hello to the ‘Hangover Affect’ for the men in green tonight. With Boston just finishing the most intense playoff series of 2008, I can’t see how they’ll have they same type of juice for tonight’s Game One match with the Bad Boys. While some will say the long lay-off could equally affect the Pistons, I believe they may have looked sluggish in Round One because the vets had their sites already set on this series. Loaded with playoff experience together, the former Champs will show a swagger early-on to let the Two Amigos and the Shuttlesworth lackey know they may be in ova their heads. Speaking of ova their head, how comfortable will the Celtics be once the Pistons go on a run and look over to the sidelines to see Doc with a look of bewilderment. I swear that dude just stomps his feet on the sideline and complains to assistants that his team sucks. While Flip Saunders doesn’t have the ability of Big Chief Triangle or the pockmarked Popovich, he understands his veterans have a ridiculously high baller IQ and simply offers a friendly a pat on the tush while getting them a solid possession out of every timeout. As for the match-ups, I simply don’t see how Ray-Ray or Paulie will be able to chase Rip through all those screens. Hamilton was dominate closing out the Orlando series averaging 32 ppg in his last two, while Prince has picked his spots beautifully throughout the playoffs (16 ppg on 56 fg%). And once again...
And once again, I don’t see how Ray-Ray or Paulie have the ability to stop Tayshaun’s unorthodox game, while he’ll also do a superb job of keeping Pierce under-raps with his length. As for KG, sure he could knockdown some mid-range jumpers and cause some problems on the glass, but overall, the depth of the Bad Boys frontcourt should be able to keep him from dominating to point of controlling the series. And finally, even if Billups isn’t a 100%, the impressive development of Rodney Stuckey and the experience of Lindsey Hunter is still a better combo than Rajon Rondo…especially since Doc has killed his confidence. Take the Money Line Homeboys…Pistons win tonight
RIP HAMILTON OVA 19 POINTS
The Masked Mid-Range Wonder lit-up the Magic with his non-stop motor and beautiful cuts off multiple screens. As the playoffs have progressed, the Pistons have run more and more of their offense for the hot-shooting Husky, and with Billups not close to 100%, I expect that trend to continue. The reason Bodog set the line at 19 is that Rip only averaged 18 ppg against the Celtics in their three regular season contests. But unlike Boston who played the regular season trying to prove they were the best team ever, the Pistons simply used the regular season as preparation for a Championship run. Hamilton only averaged 37 mpg in those contests, but was extremely efficient shooting ova 50% from the field. After averaging 17 ppg during the season, he has improved his scoring with each series (Round 1 – 20 ppg, Round 2 – 24 ppg) and I fully expect that to continue tonight against the worn-out wings of Boston….Richard Hamilton scores 23-27 points