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Archive for Thursday, May 25, 2006

Character test nothing new for Pistons

May 25, 2006

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— The Detroit Pistons might be the most resilient team in the NBA.

They've bounced back from a 3-2 deficit to win a playoff series in each of the last four postseasons, consistently showing they're at their best when behind. Just like they are now in the Eastern Conference finals.

The Miami Heat beat Detroit, 91-86, in Game 1 and snatched home-court advantage away from the top-seeded team in the NBA playoffs.

Game 2 is tonight at The Palace before the series goes to Miami for the next two games.

Heat guard Gary Payton said Miami can't get cocky because he has not seen a team in his 16-year-career, which includes 14 postseasons, that has had success the way the Pistons have.

"They're the first ones that get behind, then go to somebody's place and win, like they did last year in Game 7 in Miami," Payton said Wednesday. "I've never seen another team do that."

Detroit was down 3-2 against Cleveland in the second round and faced the same deficit versus Miami in last year's conference finals, New Jersey in the second round two years ago and Orlando in the first round in 2003 - with four of their current starters.

"We get down a lot, but we're never out," point guard Chauncey Billups said. "It's not over till it's over for us, no matter what the circumstance is, no matter what the number is in the series - 3-1, 3-whatever. Until it's four, we're never out."

While the Pistons have a history of comebacks, they have a trend working against them in this series.

The last time they lost a Game 1 was in the NBA Finals last year, when they fell to San Antonio in seven games as defending champions. The last time the Pistons lost the first game of a series at home was the conference finals in 2003 when they were swept by the Nets.

Pistons reserve Tony Delk hopes the Pistons have not fallen behind one too many times.

"Sometimes you dig a hole that you can't get out of," he said.

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