Richmond Times-Dispatch

Detroit unsatisfie­d with Game 1 play

- BY LARRY LAGE

Despite win, Pistons look for much better performanc­e tonight

— The Detroit Pistons usually need contributi­ons from every starter and a couple of reserves to win.

In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, Detroit beat the Cleveland Cavaliers with only Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace consistent­ly producing.

“ It’s a positive that we won, but it’s a negative because we didn’t feel like we won,” Wallace said yesterday. “ That’s just the way that we feel, the aura that’s in our locker room.”

The bad vibe might have stemmed from Chauncey Billups’ rough night.

The point guard had only three points and a playoff- high seven turnovers — surpassing his total from the previous four games — entering the fourth quarter Monday night.

Billups said sometimes after lackluster games, watching film shows the Pistons didn’t play all that badly. Game 1 against the Cavs didn’t fall in that category, though.

“ My performanc­e taking care of the ball and trying to set the table, it was pretty bad,” he said. “ But we came out with the win, and that’s all really that matters. “ Good teams win ugly games.” Billups wasn’t alone in his struggles. Tayshaun Prince was 1 for 11 from the field, Chris Webber had one productive quarter, and Antonio McDyess made only one shot off the bench.

Wallace is confident the Pistons will pull it together tonight when they host Game 2, but he’s not ready to make prediction­s. In the second round last year, Wallace said the Pistons would win Game 4 at Cleveland and they went on to lose for the first time after the bombastic forward made a “ Guaran- Sheed.”

The Cavs might be tired of being asked about LeBron James’ decision to pass to Donyell Marshall instead of taking a shot in the final seconds of the series opener. But they’re not letting the situation bother them too much.

Marshall was in the same spot on the floor with 2 seconds on the shot clock during yesterday’s practice. He made the shot and his teammates rushed onto the court.

“ That’s how we are. We joke like that,” Marshall said. “ That’s how we stay loose.”

With both teams off for two days between games, Cleveland coach Mike Brown expects the playoff- tested Pistons to play much differentl­y in the second game of the series.

“ They’re going to make adjustment­s because they’re a great team,” Brown said.

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