Sixers Not Doomed Yet

There is a general feeling that the Detroit Pistons have finally woken up and that they will now go on and put the 76ers away in six games.

 Here are three words that we would say to that - Not so fast.

While the Pistons looked like they crushed the Sixers spirit with Sunday's 93-84 win, who is to say they have turned the corner for good? Or who is to say the Sixers have finally faded?

The Pistons have been wildly inconsistent in this series. Many said after their Game 2 romp of the Sixers that the Pistons would now be in overdrive.

And then the next game the Pistons looked like they were shell-shocked, with little intensity in their 95-75 loss to the Sixers.

So it would be premature for anybody to conclude the series is over. Then again, the Sixers have to show that they are capable of wiping away the bitter aftertaste of the second half of Game 4, where Detroit simply steamrolled them.

At Monday's practice, the Sixers said all the right things, about how confident they were and how they have to do a better job in various situations, particularly defending the screen and roll.

What seemed to hurt the Sixers the most about Sunday's loss was that Detroit played harder than the Sixers in the second half. While the Sixers don't always match teams in the talent department, they pride themselves on bringing it every game. In Game 4, they only brought it for a half.

The players talked about how they relaxed late in the second quarter once they were up 14 points. And the relaxation extended into the second half.

No doubt the Sixers have their work cut out for them and there is a good reason why many figure they are finished. Still, they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

For that matter so does Detroit. The Pistons haven't shown consistency and fire for any extended period this series. Which is why Game 5 should be so compelling. And also why this series, which some felt would be over by now, has provided us with no shortage of drama.