I remember well the last time Larry Brown took a team of young roustabouts into LA, led by "The Answer," and stole game one. The Lakers made their adjustments, as great teams do, and the Sixers never came close to winning another game.
I don't expect the Pistons to shut out the entire Lakers bench again, as well as nearly shut out Malone and Payton. All those guys will be seeing red, tonight. Shaq proved last game, the Pistons have nothing with which to stop him(nobody does), and that geeky, needs-his-own-shower-room Kobe will always get his points...even if he did have to toss up a few prayers, over the abnormally-long arms of young Tayshaun Prince.
My diabolical plan for stealing this series, involved winning one in LA(done), winning 2-of-3 in Detroit(not done), and then having two chances to steal the series in LA(doable, but very difficult!).
I wouldn't be surprised if the Lakers blow the Pistons out, tonight. All year, and all playoffs, they've followed great performances with lackluster ones. Put their backs to the wall, though, and you'd better not blink. Which is why I think this will be a long series, at least six games.
The Lakers do need to guard Billups, though. Keep leaving Chauncey open like they did in game one, and he's going to rain treys like it's a backyard shoot-around.