In recent years, no team has beaten the Clippers more consistently and more soundly than the Detroit Pistons. They are now 0-10 against the Pistons in the five years since MDsr became the coach. In fact, they have lost 11 in row. The last time the Clippers beat Detroit was November 2002, and they were led by 19 points and 20 rebounds from Michael Olowokandi (quite a game from the Kandi Man) and rookie Tayshaun Prince got a DNP-CD. Since then, it's gotten ugly.
Their 30 point win tonight goes with a 24 point win earlier in the season, and two 18 point wins last year. And frankly, those games last year weren't nearly that close.
Detroit doesn't dominate the rest of the league this way. Nor are the Clippers this inept against other teams. But the Pistons just do whatever they want against the Clippers. It's pretty depressing to watch, quite frankly.
Tonight was just more of the same. Chris Kaman was back in the lineup, and grabbed 14 rebounds. But he looked VERY shaky on offense, where he was just 5 for 17 with at least half of his dozen misses of the really ugly variety. The fact that Rasheed Wallace is a very good defender, and also apparently allowed to hit players once or twice before any foul is called, did not help Kaman. (Rasheed went ballistic in the first half when the refs called him for a foul on Al Thornton, and he had a legitimate beef. I mean, he only hit Thornton once. All we ask for is consistency - if Sheed is allowed to hit players without it being called a foul, then he should be allowed to do it all the time.)
But the worst thing about losing to the Pistons is the Detroit fans. One of the dirty secrets of Clipper ticket sales is that their attendance figures are driven into acceptable NBA levels by transplant fans from across the country. Against Eastern Conference teams with broad support like the Celtics and Pistons, the issue is magnified. Not only do Detroit fans buy up all the single tickets available for the game (of course, it's easier to see the Pistons against the Clippers than against the Lakers) - they also buy tickets on StubHub, etc. from season ticket purchasers looking to make some of their money back on the highest demand games. I went to the Detroit game last season, and while I wouldn't say there were more Pistons fans than Clippers fans, they were certainly louder, and infinitely more obnoxious. Even watching on TV tonight, the roar of 'SHEED' when Wallace touched the ball was unmistakable. They even seemed to know all of the Palace traditions - I mean, they didn't spontaneously decide to cheer when Walter Herrmann touched the ball, did they?
I'm really glad we don't have to see those guys again for awhile.