If anything, the Pistons had overachieved enormously over the past three seasons. If the East was as good as advertised this season, Detroit probably wins 58 games and nobody thinks of them as a “great” team. If even one Piston starter suffers even one minor injury, they probably win 58 games. And we already know how easily things could have turned out differently in the 2004 and 2005 playoffs.
What I’m saying is that with a few bad bounces (or even just the absence of a few good bounces) here or there, this could be a team that never made it further than the Eastern Conference Finals. And instead of wringing our hands at the downfall of a mini-dynasty, we would just be shrugging our shoulders and saying, “This makes sense, with Wade and Shaq healthy and playing well, Miami is a much better team.”
I’m not here to write the Pistons off as nothing but a lucky team, nor am I trying to downplay the egregious way that many Detroit players are handling themselves right now (these guys are acting like participants on The Apprentice – busy pointing crooked fingers and laying blame in the event of a loss, rather than putting all their effort into winning).
What I am saying is that we might have a “much ado about nothing” situation on our hands. Because when you look at the big picture, here is what you get:
An overachieving team that usually plays well in big moments isn’t playing very well this time around, and for the first time in the last three years, they are playing a healthy team in the Eastern Conference Finals. It isn’t going well.
This is a huge story? If you say so.