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article imageOp-Ed: Pistons beat Lakers

By Layne Weiss     Mar 7, 2012 in Sports
Auburn Hills - The Detroit Pistons stunned Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday with an 88-85 overtime win at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey scored 34 points, 17 in the 4th quarter and overtime, which Lakers All-Star Kobe Bryant forced with a buzzer beating shot to tie the game.
I was born and raised in Detroit. Living in New York now, I'm unable to watch most Pistons games, so I rely on NBA.com and texts from my dad and brothers. When I received the text that we were winning at the half, I was slightly surprised as all of us were sure the Pistons would be massacred yet again. When I received the text we were going to overtime, I replied to my dad with "Nice!!" At first he didn't agree with my sentiments, but I reminded him of the way the Lakers have basically destroyed us in previous years, and he agreed. Kind of a tough feat in its own right. Finding out we beat the Lakers for the first time since I think 2009 was one of the most amazing feelings ever. My dad's been taking me to games since I was a baby. When I was 4, I horrified him by asking for a Lakers jersey from the t-shirt stand at the Palace. Purple and yellow make for a pretty color combination...
Anyway, fast forward to Tuesday, March 6, 2012...
Kobe Bryant's new protective face gear (black) may look like that of a superhero's, but he played the role of anything but...Bryant and Metta World Peace both had chances to tie the game (yet again) in OT, but they just couldn't connect. I must say, though, his mask is way cooler than what Rip Hamilton had to wear. Oh, and yes. He did use the mask as an excuse.
"The mask we tried tonight didn't work," he said. It just slid all over the place. Bryant switched to a clear mask in the 2nd half.
Bryant blames his weak performance Tuesday night on fatigue related to the whiplash injury and concussion he suffered at the NBA All-Star game on February 26. Bryant scored only 8 of 26 from the field Tuesday.
"Everyone played a little tired," Bryant said.
Metta World Peace missed all five of his 3-point shot attempts.
While Bryant's game was a bit weak Tuesday, his teammates, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, had very strong showings. Bynum had a season high of 30 points, while Gasol scored movement.
Pau Gasol commented on the Lakers' loss saying "We just didn't have a good flow today."
Lakers coach Mike Brown also expressed his disappointment. "Nothing went well and we paid for it with a loss," Brown said. I was very disappointed in our team defense. All they did was drive the ball every time and get lay up after lay up."
"Stuckey did an unbelievable job of attacking in the paint," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. Kobe made a great shot to put the game into overtime and yet our guys kept the resolve."
The Lakers did outscore the Pistons 20-9 in the 3rd quarter, but the Pistons came back with that fighting spirit and determination their fans just hadn't seen enough of the last few years.
Tonight's game marked John Kuester's return to the Palace. Kuester was the Pistons coach for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. He is now an assistant coach under Mike Brown. Kuester hugged Pistons assistant coach Brian Hill before the game. Hill was on Kuester's coaching staff when he coached the Pistons.
The Pistons won Tuesday's game by forcing the Lakers to take bad shots. This is something I never thought I'd write. At least not anytime soon. Yes, the road to a championship is still extremely long and bumpy, but this win will no doubt boost confidence and morale.
Before the game, Brown commented that he believed Kobe was still a strong candidate for MVP of the league. While this loss won't necessarily make or break his chances, I still believe the award should and will go to the OKC Thunder's Kevin Durant. I'll save that for another article, though.
Now if only Joe Dumars would stop being stubborn and agree to make some moves. Time will tell, but for now, I think it's ok to bask in the glory. Tonight's win was big. Pistons fans, you're allowed to smile about. We'll worry about the rest tomorrow.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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