St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
 tampabay.com
Print storySubscribe to the Times

NBA

East is a battle of attrition

The Pacers can't seem to score. Good thing for them the Piston can't either.

By wire services
Published May 28, 2004

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - While most of the Pacers waited on the team bus, Ron Artest stayed on the court hoisting jump shots until he was drenched in sweat.

Surprisingly, many went in.

Unfortunately for Artest and the Pacers, the shots haven't been falling in the first three games of the East final against the Pistons.

Artest took 57 shots and made 15, establishing himself as the poster child for the type of offensive ineptitude that has defined this best-of-seven series. Indiana has shot a shade under 32 percent while dropping two of three games.

"We're playing horrible," Artest said, a statement that can be appreciated by anyone who has watched the series.

The teams shun the running game and grind out their offenses in the rare moments when they're not fouling each other.

Detroit's total in Wednesday's 85-78 Game 3 win was the most by either team, which begs this question: Is the Pistons defense really that good, or is the Pacers offense truly that bad?

"We're that good. We've been doing that all season," Pistons forward Ben Wallace said. "The last thing I want to do is sit here and defend the way two of the best teams in the league play basketball. Call it what you want."

Indiana's offensive woes haven't been limited to Artest.

Reggie Miller made one field goal in two of the three games, Jermaine O'Neal is shooting 36 percent and the Pacers are 12-for-54 for 3-pointers. Indiana has failed to score 20 in eight of the 12 quarters.

"You've got to be able to adjust in the playoffs. They're going to take things away, and right now I don't have a counter to their defense," Artest said.

Part of what is bothering Artest is the defense of Tayshaun Prince, the long-armed small forward who has caused Artest to alter his jump shot.

As Artest worked on his jumper Thursday, assistant coach Chad Forcier held up a three-foot broom to simulate a hand in Artest's face. Given the way Prince has bothered Artest, a 6-foot broom would have been more appropriate.

[Last modified May 28, 2004, 01:00:27]


Baseball

  • AL: Slumping Tiger leads record-tying romp
  • NL: Brewers eke out win for Sheets
  • Penny pays back glare
  • Pettitte injury not serious

  • Colleges
  • Taking a chance has a big payoff
  • 2 wins in 1 day for FSU in ACC play
  • LSU uses Michigan errors to win in 13th

  • Golf
  • New grip helps Taylor grab lead

  • In brief
  • Former Irish basketball player loses hand in Iraq

  • Motorsports
  • Foyt IV tries to redeem himself
  • Jeff Burton looking for lucky break
  • Late run better for pole-winner Johnson

  • NBA
  • Bryant's timing is perfect
  • East is a battle of attrition
  • Credibility helps Scott

  • NFL
  • Warrant issued for Rison

  • Outdoors
  • Comfortably roughing it
  • Daily fishing report

  • Preps
  • Ex-Eagle heads up Countryside
  • Power of positive thinking
  • Rockledge rallies for a big win
  • Whole new Seminole, same result

  • Sports on the air
  • Lightning fever hits its high during final
  • Remote patrol: Attention please

  • Tennis
  • Serena fights to keep name off upset list
  • 'Mosquito' buzzes off
  • Rays
  • Another pen special
  • McGriff to be in uniform tonight
  • Up next: Yankees
  • Bucs
  • Gruden impressed with development
  • Lightning
  • Reignited!
  • Flames take out frustrations
  • Game 2: period by period
  • Goalie comparison
  • Hockey is the best medicine
  • Lecavalier goes in with a bang
  • Lecavalier play simply fit for the Great One
  • Meet the man who keeps them on edge
  • Richards' 2003 is now net gain
  • Simon fitting in with Flames
  • Slapshots
  • Soundbites
  •  


    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111