AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The 76ers played like a team that was satisfied with a split. Despite the Sixers being more athletic and having younger legs, it was the Detroit Pistons who looked fresh and certainly rejuvenated during Wednesday's 105-88 win over the Sixers to even their best of seven series one game apiece.
"They not only hit us, but continued to hit us," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said.
Everybody knew the Pistons would come out with their best shot, playing with a sort of desperation that they haven't shown in the final few weeks of the season, when they had already clinched the No. 2 seed.
With their collective backs to the wall, the Pistons showed pride, not to mention pretty good defense.
Now it's the Sixers turn to counter, but it won't be easy if 40 percent of their starting lineup is MIA.
Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert have shot a collective 8 for 40 in the first two games.
Iguodala had just four points in Game 2 and appears to be getting frustrated by the defense of Tayshaun Prince.
Prince is among the better defensive players in the league and he is causing Iguodala to force shots.
Dalembert has had his trouble on offense, but what is more cause for concern is his defense. While he made some good defensive plays in Game 1 and had four blocked shots, Dalembert didn't block a single shot in Game 2.
In two games, Rasheed Wallace has taken Dalembert to school, scoring a total of 40 points.
So the Sixers have a lot to work on before Game 3 on Friday. This was the type of thorough beating that can demoralize a team. Now the Sixers have to show the same resiliency that Detroit displayed after lbeing stunned in Game 1.