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Pistons at Cavaliers

June 02, 2007

NBA ECF Game 6 - Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers (-1, 173) 8:30 PM EST

LeBron James of the CavaliersThe Cavaliers have covered the spread five straight times against Detroit and six in a row altogether. The Cavs will come into potential series closer 17-6 ATS in home games after three or more consecutive wins over the last two seasons.

Coach Mike Brown's ability to convince James to play improved defense, gave permission to the rest of the team that they to should clamp down on that side of the floor and now stand 48 minutes from playing in NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

Continued clutch efforts on offense and defense have seen the Cavs record climb to 15-6 ATS after a win by six points or less this season.

Detroit is starting to take on aspects of Dallas and Golden State, both long forgotten in the NBA's eternal playoff chase.

Rasheed Wallace looks more and more like Dirk Notwizki with each more feeble effort, being out-hustled and outworked by two guys named Anderson (Valejao) and Drew (Gooden).

Chauncey Billups has become more enamored with trying to do two things at once, than just his job. He has often in this series tried to lean into defenders to draw fouls while shooting. His success rate is around zero and just needs to make THE shot, instead of thinking that far ahead.

It is becoming increasing clearer why Flip Saunders has never won many big games as a coach in any NBA stop. Remember in 2004 when Detroit won the NBA championship and Rip Hamilton ran defenders off a maze of screen for open shots he drilled all game long?

The Pistons run so much isolation and post-up plays; they play right into Cleveland's defensive hands. It is becoming less than a coincidence that the Pistons are 1-9 ATS in the East Finals with Saunders as head coach.

Money line players can comfortably place a wager with the game even money at sportsbook.com with this bit of knowledge and a little intuition. In the first five games of the Eastern Finals, the team that scores 79 points first has won each game. Whom does that look like to you?

Last season in this exact position Detroit responded with a clutch effort in winning 84-82 and is 7-0 ATS in road games after two or more consecutive losses this season. Plus the Pistons are also 8-1 ATS in road games revenging a straight up loss vs. opponent as a home favorite.

This Cleveland club has a different look and feel about them. They wiped out Washington, took care of New Jersey on the road and have been in position to already end this series. The Cavaliers have upped their record to 11-1 ATS in last dozen outing versus teams with winning percentage of .600 or higher.

Cleveland's day of reckoning may be at hand, leaving Detroit feeling like another song off the CSN&Y album, Helpless.

TNT will have this much anticipated Game Six starting at 8:30 Eastern. The last two encounters have gone Over (Game 5 was Over in regulation) and the Pistons are 13-4 OVER after failing to cover five or six of their last seven against the spread this season.


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