After the New York Knicks built a 3-1 series lead against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1973 NBA Finals, the Lakers' team physician, Dr. Robert Kerlan, uttered -- as Wilt Chamberlain put it -- one of the classic lines in sports history:
"The pressure is all on the Knicks. They have
to win one game."
It sounded crazy at the time, and it turned out to be just as looney as it sounded, because the Knicks closed out the series with a 102-93 win in Game 5. But maybe Kerlan was pulling a Nostradamus and looking ahead 34 years to the Bulls/Pistons series. After taking a 3-0 lead, the Pistons only needed one more game to finish off the Bulls. Two games later, they still
need that one game.
Do I still think the Pistons will win this series? Absolutely. But they aren't doing themselves any favors. Their businesslike approach helped them polish off the Orlando Magic in short order, and it helped them build a nice cushion in this series, but...where's the sense of urgency? The killer instinct? Those a qualities that are absolutely necessary for a team to win a championship. So even if they win, you really have to question their chances going forward.
Labels: Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA playoffs, New York Knicks, quotes, Wilt Chamberlain