The Great Debate: Calm down, Piston fans: It’s not a one-game series

Don’t Laker fans remember the Philadelphia series three years ago?

The Lakers know exactly what they are doing.

Why end the series in four when you can spend an extra day in wonderful Auburn Hills and still come back to L.A. with the championship trophy?

People who are already jumping off the Hollywood sign have been sitting in the fake-bake machines too long.

Detroit came out incredibly fired up like most underdog teams do. They set the tempo early and played the Piston brand of hey-at-least-we-outscored-the-Tigers basketball.

That’s a great way to win a series. A one-game series.

Karl Malone scored four points. It’s understandable for him to have a poor output in the first game against a young team.

It is, after all, his first Finals appearance in six years.

But let’s remember what he’s doing in L.A.

He didn’t take a $15 million pay cut and leave his favored rugged outdoor lifestyle to win a Western Conference championship.

He already has a couple of those.

The Mailman is in L.A. to win a ring.

It is crazy to think that he will just sit idly by and not contribute while his team goes quietly into the night.

The same goes for Gary Payton. The Glove started out the San Antonio series the same way.

It seems so long ago that Tony Parker was taking the old man to French class and being declared the new king of point guards.

I haven’t noticed Tony doing much schooling in the finals.

Speaking of point guards, Chauncey Billups did his best Smarty Jones impression on Sunday night.

If you think he can keep up that pace throughout the series, you must have the wrong Chauncey Billups.

While Billups was having his best game, Kobe was merely mediocre.

He was obviously pestered by “Olympian” Richard Hamilton and defensive stalwart Darvin Ham.

As mentioned before, Malone and Payton will break out of their funks, which will free up Kobe to take it to the hole.

Rip better put on an extra face mask to ward off the dunks that Bryant will be throwing down on him.

So now that Kobe, Karl and Gary are all accounted for, the only person who has to improve is Shaquille O’Neal.

But wait, Shaq is just fine.

He took the other “Olympian,” Ben Wallace, and gave the former Defensive Player of the Year a nice 34-point whoopin’.

It can’t look good to the Pistons that the only matchup that looked like a positive on paper went so badly.

Larry Brown must see what’s coming.

After all, he was at the helm when the Sixers took Game 1 against L.A. in 2001.

Look how well that turned out for him then.

He’s a great coach-one of the best to have led 86 different teams to the playoffs.

But he’s no Zen master.

Phil Jackson is the master of these situations.

Every game the Lakers lose is equaled in the fury at which they come back.

Did the Spurs even realize that they had lost one game by the time the series was over?

The tide changed that fast.

Sure, Los Angeles may drop one or two games, but to claim Detroit can win four games?

You need to get out of the tanning bed.

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