Note: Photo courtesy of Basketbawful reader kobefearslebron.
Detroit Pistons: Their defense got shredded -- Orlando shot 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from three-point range -- and their offense was stagnant (40 percent shooting, 2-for-10 in threes, only 12 assists). Mind you, part of that was some spirited "We're home!" play by the Magic, and an even bigger part was the fact that they lost Chauncey Billups less than four minutes into the game due to a strained hamstring. Which could be a big problem going forward if the injury is a serious one, because if last night proved anything, it's that Rodney Stucky does not equal Chauncey Billups
Rip Hamilton: The Phantom led Detroit in scoring (24 points) but he also had a game-high 6 turnovers.
Rasheed Wallace: The line: 11 points, 4-for-15, 4 rebounds and 4 fouls in 28 minutes. That and his +/- score of -30 was by far the worst on his team. Of course, it didn't help that he picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter and had to ride the pine for a while. But it wasn't so much the numbers as his attitude. He didn't seem to have that crazy, cocky fire that the Pistons really feed off of. And they really needed that when Mr. Big Shot went down. You never know when 'Sheed is going to bring that, though.
'Sheedtastic extra: Get yer Rasheed Wallace mask here.
Jason Maxiell: He gave the Pistons a huge boost in both Game 1 (12 points, 5-for-8, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Game 2 (11 points, 5-for-5, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks). But last night, he was almosdt non-existent: Zero points (0-for-2), 2 rebounds, and 1 turnovers in about 19 minutes of lack-tion. Oh, and both of his shot attempts were blocked.
Detroit's bench: Outside of Stuckey -- who got extended minutes because Billups was out -- the Pistons' reserves didn't contribute much: 8 points, 3-for-12 shooting, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, and 10 fouls in about 76 minutes.
Adonal Foyle: He was the only player on either team that didn't get any PT. It's pretty bad when your team wins by 25 and you don't get any garbage minutes...not even a mario!
Carlos Boozer: I've been saying this for weeks, and other people are finally starting to realize it too: Boozer is in a slump. He has been, in fact, since the beginning of April. Just check his game log. The biggest problems seem to be that 1) his jump shot is off, 2) he hasn't been getting many easy baskets in Utah's set offense, and 3) it's pretty clear he's aware of the slump, and his confidence is down. You can see it in his eyes. And you could really see it last night when he got tagged with three early fouls. Methinks Carlos could use a good sports psychologist, because I don't think he suddenly forgot how to play basketball. Remember: 50 percent of sports is 90 percent mental. Or something like that.
The freethrow discrepancy: The Lakers once again feasted at the line last night, getting 43 freethrow attempts compared to only 16 for the Jazz. In two games, L.A. has 89 freethrows and Utah has 46. Now, Lakers apologists are quick to point out that the Jazz led the league this season in fouls per game. This is true: They committed an average of 24 fouls each and every game. However, those same people haven't really done their research, because the Lakers committed 20.6 fouls per game. For those of you who enjoy simple math, that's a net difference of 3.4 fouls. So how does that explain a 27-freethrow discrepancy? Especially during a game in which Utah consistently tried to work the ball inside. Trust me, I watched the game. There was plenty of uncalled contact.
Update! Here's a little extra tidbit for those of you who are going to inevitably accuse me of "whining." One, I realize the Jazz were intentionally fouling at the end of the game. That resulted in 10 additional FTAs for the Lakers. But take those away and L.A. still had a 17-FTA advantage, which is pretty significant. Two, the Jazz were awarded 16 freethrows when their stated goal was to work the ball inside. Check out the shot chart. Utah was 19-for-40 on layups. With all due respect to the Lakers' defense, it seems rather improbable for any team to attempt that many layups in a game and hit less than 50 percent of them without contact. Especially a team that finishes as well in the paint as the Jazz do. Sorry, but Utah took it to the basket a lot and received a lot of contact without whistles. On the other end, the Lakers sure seemed to be getting those whistles. Say what you will, but that's what I saw.
C.J. Miles: Tonight's mario is brought to you by Mr. Miles, who logged a mere 14 seconds. Amazingly, he managed to squeeze two missed threes and a foul into his meager PT. That's, um, efficient...or something.
Carmelo Anthony: Can we please get this guy a chauffeur? Seriously. 'Melo got a speeding ticket for going 60 MPG in a 45-MPH zone. Now, admittedly, I've gone 60 in a 45 zone before. Probably many times. But I probably wouldn't do it three weeks after getting a DUI.
David Aldridge: When you're a sideline reporter, you should at least know whom you're talking too, right? David didn't last night, did he Dero...I mean, Derek? (From Odenized.)
NBA.com's split-face ads: This is from Basketbawful reader sEan, who noticed something was amiss with NBA.com's hype for tonight's Cavs-Celtics game. "The Cavs have needed point guard help for a while...Steve Nash is a good choice mid-series."
Yahoo box scores: There was a lot of random fishiness going on in the world of Yahoo last night, and the people were all over it. Basketbawful reader Anfernee said: "I was checking the live boxscore of the game tonight...and I am totally confused. On the front page it said DET leads the series 2-1 with the Magic ahead 94-77 in the fourth quarter, so this means after tonight's game 3, it will be tied at 2-2? Also, on another page, it said Magic won game 3 by 30-16. Wow, I didn't know I missed the NCAA tournament game a few nights ago!" Thanks also to readers Andrew and Geriandre for the quick alert.