Toronto — Ordinarily a man of few words, Rick Carlisle found it prudent Sunday to be more verbose than usual.
"Rick gave us one of his great speeches. That was good to hear," Pistons guard Jerry Stackhouse said. "We get them every once in a while."
Carlisle gave his team a talking-to at practice after they played a sloppy Game 3 and lost 94-84 to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. Detroit leads the best-of-5 series 2-1, with Game 4 tonight at 6 p.m.
Appalled at the way Toronto's big men were able to get off high-percentage shots, Carlisle's message was this: The Pistons need to get back to focusing on defense, and they need to do it fast.
Given the difference in playoff experience between the teams, Carlisle doesn't relish the prospect of a Game 5 against a Toronto team loaded with veteran players who have seen it all.
"It's not like these guys are a bunch of guys off the street," Carlisle said. "The Toronto Raptors are a team of veterans that have been down the road many times, starting with (Hakeem) Olajuwon and going right to Antonio Davis to (Chris) Childs to all the rest of them. They've been in the playoffs and know what this is about."
Carlisle also pointed out that Morris Peterson, who helped hold Stackhouse to 11 points in Game 3, played on a national championship team at Michigan State that won six straight single-elimination games.
Last season, the Raptors played four elimination games and went 3-1.
Of the nine players in Carlisle's rotation, four Ben Wallace, Chucky Atkins, Damon Jones, Zeljko Rebraca have never been to the playoffs.
Of the other five, only Cliff Robinson has extensive postseason experience (101 games). Stackhouse has played in just 11 playoff games, and Corliss Williamson in 14.