The young guns that follow the NBA are already mad at me.
After it took the Miami Heat seven games to dispatch the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals they said my old head roots were showing when I said the Bad Boy Pistons with Rick Mahorn would beat the Heat in a seven-game series. I stand by it and here are some of my reasons.
The Pistons were deeper, mentally tougher and coach Chuck Daly would coach circles around Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Daly would make his team believe it could win even while the experts would tell them they could not. And if they were not buying Daly’s word then team captain Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer would convince them.
If the Heat had trouble getting inside against Roy Hibbert then how difficult would it be against shot blocker John Salley and big men Laimbeer and Mahorn? You have to throw Dennis Rodman in the mix because the guy guarded everybody from Michael Jordan to Hakeem Olajuwon. And speaking of Rodman. His job would be to guard LeBron James. I am not going to lie to you and tell you he would shut James down. He would not.
However, Rodman would make things difficult for James and would get inside his head. He’d do something to tick off James and get him off his game just enough. Meanwhile the All Star back court of Joe Dumars and Thomas would go to town offensively because that is what they did in big games.
Finally let me tell you about scorers Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards and Mark Aguirre along with Salley. This was your bench. All would start for teams today. The Heat bench does not compare and these guys would force James and Wade to play longer than they wanted. Even if Miami was the better team at the beginning of the series, it would not be at the end.
Do you want to know what Laimbeer’s role would be? Then go to my other blog at valentiandfoster.com to find out.
(I will be signing 100 Things Tiger Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die at the downtown Detroit Buffalo Wild Wings Wednesday (7 pm). Books are $15 each and two for $25. We can also continue this debate.}