You hear that O'Neal and Bryant go for 59 points, 23-43 from the field, and 12-16 from the charity stripe and you assume it's a typical Game 1 in LaLa land.
Course, when the rest of the Lakes go for 16 total points, go 6! for 30 from the field, and attempt 2 free throws, ... you're left with a Pistons upset and disappearing home court advantage.
I like the Pistons strategy: match up 1-1 on Kobe and Shaq (except to swarm em now and then to force a turnover), keep them under 70 total points, and match your league leading defense against the rest of the Lakes average-at-best offensive players. Then, you pray you can shoot 45%+ from the field and the arc.
And though they played something close to resembling their best ball... Rasheed Wallace only put in 27 minutes on the court. Elden Freakin' Campbell - an original Minnesota Laker, I believe, a hundred and fifty years old - put in 19 minutes. That's 6 minutes more than he averaged during the regular season and about 11 more than he's been playing in the postseason.
There's a reason for that.
I think Elden Campbell lost two of his legs during the Clinton administration.
So it goes - the Lakers stars can't play much better and the supporting group can. The Pistons can protect the ball a little bit better and Rasheed can get 30-35 minutes.
Screw the Lakers.