SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, June 07, 2004

Okay, So the Lakers Won't Sweep (But is There a SportsProf Jinx?)

You don't have to be a rocket scientist or even Phil Jackson to determine why the Lakers lost 87-75 to the Pistons last night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The answer: 6-30 shooting from players not named 0'Neal and Bryant and 16-57 shooting for players not named O'Neal (as Kobe shot 10-27). Ouch! The Pistons relied on a balanced attack, and I thought they sent an interesting message at the game's outset when Rasheed Wallace hit a three. The Pistons will try to open the floor by forcing Shaq to move around a bit to guard his man -- looks like it worked in Game 1. Query for Game 2: Will Shaw try to track Rasheed, or will the Lakers put him on the easier-to-guard Ben Wallace? Will other Lakers show up offensively?

Lakers fans must be worried, though, because SportsProf hasn't exactly been right when he's called the action lately. Just remember 1 thing: Detroit isn't a sacrificial lamb here. The Pistons can play.