AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- One gets the feeling from spending time with the Detroit Pistons the last few days that they are both surprised and annoyed at losing the opening playoff game to the 76ers.
Both emotions are understandable. The Pistons gave away a game they had full contol of and give the Sixers all the credit in the world for taking it away.
Because they are smarting from the loss, the Pistons will likely come out smoking on Wednesday and it has nothing to do with the ridiculous pre-game fireworks.
So watch for Detroit to try to stomp on the Sixers early and then try to kick them when they are down.
The only question is whether Detroit can actually accomplish this feat?
The Pistons seemed to be taken back by the Sixers athletic ability and resiliency. They will never admit it, but once the Pistons led by 15 points midway through the third quarter, they thought the game was over.
And as we know, now it wasn't. What is interesting is that the Sixers are saying all the right things and one can tell they really believe what they are saying.
Instead of saying that they will come out of this with at least a split, the Sixers are talking about the importance of going up 2-0, although they are making no predictions.
Coach Maurice Cheeks confirmed what we all knew - that winning Game 1 gave the Sixers a ton of confidence.
The Pistons have talked about how difficult it has been to have two full days off between games. The loss is really bothering the Pistons, but most of all, the Sixers have placed even the smallest bit of doubt in the back of the Pistons minds.
If the Sixers can hold off the initial rush of the Pistons in the first quarter, then Game 2 should be very competitive.
And no matter what happens in Game 2, the Sixers have Detroit's undivided attention. Before the series, many Pistons talked about how tough the Sixers were. We're not sure if they really believed that, but if not, they sure do now.