A number of links and quotes from the morning newspapers:
"The Big Three were brought down to size last night. The Celtics fell, 94-75, to the Pistons in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals last night at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The best-of-seven series is now tied at 2-2 with Game 5 tomorrow night in Boston. The Celtics' All-Star trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen was limited to 43 points and 6 assists. Boston is now 1-7 on the road in the postseason.
Big Three, where were you? No, hold it. No more talk about a Big Three until they win something. And, please, no more of that (admittedly humorous) ESPN promo. Right now it's an insult to the real Big Three. You can talk about the bench, and, yup, you need a bench. But in the long run, the Celtics have been constructed around three high-priced veteran stars. And they simply cannot come up as small as they did as a unit last night. It's just not acceptable.
Pistons forward Antonio McDyess will agree with those who say his time is almost over. He knows it. And that knowledge is fueling the veteran in these playoffs like nothing else. McDyess was the Pistons’ soul and fire in last night’s 94-75 Game 4 win against the Celtics, pumping in eight early points en route to 21 points and 16 rebounds.
The Celtics did not need this game so much as they wanted it, though even that is open to some question. Clearly, the Detroit Pistons wanted it more. That is how it works in the NBA, especially now, when desperation is the great equalizer. Or, more accurately, the greatest edge.
The evening was painfully slow, marred by whistles and a lot of physical play. The Celtics shot 31.8 percent from the field, hunted for baskets as if they were rare pearls and scored almost half of their points from the free throw line. The offensive drought had a predictable effect - a 94-75 Game 4 loss to the Detroit Pistons that evened the Eastern Conference finals at 2 and again showed that the Celtics can look horrid with the ball in their hands.
In the Celtics [team stats]’ 94-75 loss to the Detroit Pistons in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals last night, point guard Rajon Rondo [stats] had his least effective game of the series, collecting just four points and four assists. His backup, veteran Sam Cassell, fared even worse, going scoreless with no assists. In 47 minutes, the two combined to shoot just 2-of-11 from the field.
"It’s tougher for the coaches because those film breakdowns have to be done. A couple of our coaches prefer to get to bed and then get up at 4 or 5 to do their film work. I can’t do that - I won’t be done until I’m done with the film, and so I don’t go to sleep until 4 or 5," he said. "But that’s a great problem to have." Indeed, there have been late nights when, instead of finally turning in, Rivers has simply ordered breakfast. "Yeah, but I only need three or four hours," he said. "Sleep can be overrated."