Jameer Nelson has not won the respect of Pistons fans.
Some Detroit Bad Boys readers noted in the comments section of last night's game thread that they think Jameer Nelson intentionally took down Chauncey Billups last night. As best I can tell, "Other Matt" was the first person to posit the theory (warning: language). Here's the video, courtesy TrueHoop:
Take a look at the second replay, from about 00:14 to 00:17. Jameer has right foot wrapped around Billups' left foot when Billups' left leg comes out from under him, causing him to split. From my perspective, it seems unlikely that Jameer's foot got in that position accidentally. Henry Abbott agrees, but says, "This is no great scandal. It's hardly the most evil basketball play ever. It's just a little garden variety playoff feistiness." Matt Watson, who runs Detroit Bad Boys, disagrees, saying he "still lean[s] toward it being incidental."
Intentional or not, there's no question that Billups' health -- even if he's able to play as soon as Saturday, there's no way he'll be at 100% -- is a key factor in this series. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel has gone so far as to guarantee the Magic will win the series as long as Billups doesn't come back "close to full strength."
Me? I'm not ready to say that just yet. The Pistons still lead the series, 2-1, and they have the depth and talent to compensate for Billups' 17 points per game.
[Note by Ben Q Rock, 05/08/08 7:37 PM EDT ]:
DBB commenter Rob G has an amusing, if not disconcerting, take on the situation:
On purpose or not - why can’t we knock the hell out of him the next time he drives the lane anyway?
Jameer better be careful. He's already had 2 concussions this year, and the last thing we need is our 26-year-old Point Guard of the Future sidelined with a serious injury while our backups try to pick up the slack.