The Cavs got smashed something fierce on Sunday night at the hands of a well-rested Pistons team. It was pure ugliness for Cavs fans. Not only were the Cavs a step slow, but the Pistons were playing unconscious basketball.
I am already on record saying that I don’t believe the Cavs can beat the Pistons in this series. At the same time, I don’t think they are as bad as they played on Sunday. The Cavs will have to step up their defensive effort and reduce mistakes on offense if they want to do any better in this series.
At the same time, that isn’t enough. They need the Pistons to play worse and I am going to show you why that expectation isn’t unreasonable. You can blame a lot of the gaudy Pistons stats from Sunday on Cleveland’s defense, but at the same time, these guys were hitting ridiculous shots even when they were heavily contested.
The Pistons shot 15-22 from 3-point range for an astonishing 68.2%. At one point in the game they were 11-12, which is almost 92%.
I don’t know if the Cavs will win tonight’s game two match up, or even a single game in the series, but I can almost guarantee that the Pistons will not shoot 68% from three for the whole series. For the season, the Pistons team shot 38.4%. Even if you inflate that number a little bit assuming that some of the scrubs who missed threes this season won’t see any playing time, you still can’t get anywhere near the unsustainable percentage that the Pistons hit in game 1.
68.2% is a statistical anomaly, even against a poor defensive team like the Cavs.
In the season series between Detroit and Cleveland, Detroit shot exactly 28% from three in beating the Cavs 3 out of 4 times.
I know that this isn’t very scientific, but if you apply that percentage to the 22 three pointers that the Pistons took on Sunday, they would have made 8 less three pointers, which is 24 less points, which would have made the final score 89-86 and the Pistons would still win the game.
Anyway, I am just saying that I don’t think the Cavs are 27 points worse than the Pistons every night. Once you start applying stats to rewriting history, the whole topic starts to get away from you. But for you Cavs fans out there, don’t think that the Pistons will sweep the Cavs with an average margin of victory of 27 points. That is about as far as I can go out on a limb against a team as talented and deep as this year’s Detroit Pistons.Powered by Sidelines