Yahoo Sports called it "Grimy". To me, the Pistons v Celtics game was more like watching a classic heavyweight title fight. Two contenders slugging it out playing the game the right way with hard-nosed defense. The tough physical kind, but nothing below the belt. From the outset, the Pistons opened the game like a Mike Tyson fight, with a flurry of haymakers and devastating left hooks jumping out to a 10-0 start. Credit the Celtics for getting up off the canvas after a 9-count to hang off the ropes and go the full 12 rounds, but in the end it was an unanimous decision, Deeeee-troit Basketball!!!

The play of course that epitomized the Detroit effort tonight was from Pistons unsung hero, Jason Maxiell. Just a gutsy, "not in my house", possibly series-defining come-from-behind-block. Like the kind that Tayshaun Prince did to Reggie Miller half a dozen years ago. I also included Mark Jackson of ESPN breaking down that first 12 minutes of terror that the Pistons defense unleashed,

Double-Team and Rotate:

Just some basic concepts of double-teaming, you have to rotate to cover 1 pass away. In this case, Rasheed Wallace goes to help on Paul Pierce. Now, Chauncey Billups is help side and now must rotate to cover Kendrick Perkins. Rondo is left open in the far corner,

Jason Maxiell, Unsung Hero:

I wrote about Jason earlier in the season. It's hard not to like his game. He's not a guy that can create his own shot, but he's the spark plug. He makes all the plays behind the scenes that make the stars shine, whether it's rebounding, defense, setting picks. Despite getting beat initially off the rebound, Jason hustles back to block the sure KG dunk,

I love the "Not on my watch. Nothing easy" attitude of the Pistons. Don't give the other team any easy buckets, just say no layups and dunks!!


Those familiar themes cropped up again for both teams. The Pistons were fired up from the get go, and looked like the better team throughout. Which Detroit team will show up on Wed? For the Celtics, scoring remains a problem. Tonight everyone struggled, but even if they had a better output from the big 3, they lacked secondary scoring. The Celtics will go home where that secondary scoring has been much better. But can they count on it?

For more defense and rebounding video help, check out Tom Izzo's DVD on rebounding and defensive drills. Coach Tom Izzo's teams are always one of the toughest teams on the boards. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk about this and your favorite basketball topics.