BOSTON — Listen. This Pistons-Celtics series? We’re going about it all wrong. We keep watching these games figuring the younger team (the Pistons), the stronger team (the Pistons), the team with the deeper bench (the Pistons) is going to win.
What do you think this is? Parcheesi?
No, no, no. What we should do is expect the weirdest, most aggravating thing to happen.
And then we’ll be OK.
Take tonight, Game 5. We all know what happened in Game 5 last year. If we once again expect a fair, sensible contest, we will no doubt finish the evening by throwing up.
If, on the other hand, we approach this game the way you would approach, say, the Amityville Horror, we’ll be just fine.
Allow me to help. Allow me to show you the kind of story you’re likely to read Thursday morning. That way, you won’t be surprised, and your dog will feel it’s safe to come out from under the couch.
HE’S THE MOST IN THE POST
BOSTON — In the most bizarre finish in recent memory, the Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons, 101-100, Wednesday after veteran radio announcer Johnny Most intercepted a pass from Isiah Thomas with five seconds left.
“I STOLE THE BALL! I STOLE THE BALL!” Most was heard to rasp as he leapt from the scorers table, grabbed the pass and dished it to Dennis Johnson for a streaking lay-up that turned a one- point Celtics deficit into an amazing victory.
“I can’t believe it,” Pistons coach Chuck Daly said. “We never get a break here . . . “‘
KEVIN TO PISTONS: HAVE A NICE TRIP
BOSTON — In the most bizarre finish in recent memory, the Boston Celtics edged the Detroit Pistons 98-97, after a controversial final play in which Celtics forward Kevin McHale threw Detroit’s John Salley into the stands.
The play came with one second left as Salley went for a dunk that would have given Detroit the win. McHale draped one arm around Salley’s waist, the other around his neck, and tossed him in a section of Celtics ticket holders. No foul was called, as all three referees claimed they didn’t see it.
“We were watching McHale’s feet to make sure he was behind the three-point line,” referee Jack Madden said. “They yelled at us for that last time.”
The Boston fans doused Salley with popcorn and soda, then told him he was lucky the refs didn’t call him for traveling.
“I can’t believe it,” Pistons coach Chuck Daly said. “We never get a break here . . . “
KNOCK ON WOOD SAVES CELTS
BOSTON — In the most bizarre finish in recent memory, the Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons, 112-111, after reserve center Mark Acres banged heads with starter Robert Parish, suffered amnesia, then scored the last 26 points of the game.
Parish had just picked up his fifth foul. Acres came racing off the bench. The two men collided, knocked heads — as Adrian Dantley and Vinnie Johnson did a year ago — and Parish was taken to North Shore hospital. Acres got up rubbing his scalp.
“Who am I?” he asked Larry Bird.
“Akeem Olajuwon,” Bird said.
Acres nodded, then scored 26 straight.
“I can’t believe it,” Pistons coach Chuck Daly said. “He doesn’t even look like Olajuwon . . .
LONG SHOT SINKS PISTONS, LOSES CAR
BOSTON — In the most bizarre finish in recent memory, the Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons, 104-103, as Adrian Dantley’s length-of-the-floor
pass swished through the net for an illegal basket at the buzzer.
“I was standing under the opposite end,” Dantley said. “I was looking for
(John) Salley to dunk.”
The ball rose and fell in a perfect arch. Asked why he didn’t touch it on the way down, Salley said, “I thought if you made that shot you won a free car for a year. I didn’t want AD to miss out.”
Dantley, however, was told no car would be forthcoming, as it was not an official contest toss.
“I can’t believe it,” Pistons coach Chuck Daly said. “He doesn’t even need a car . . . “
O-FER GOODNESS SAKES: CELTS WIN!
BOSTON — In the most bizarre finish in recent memory, the Boston Celtics beat the Pistons, 18-17, to capture Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final at Boston Garden. The Pistons set an NBA record by missing every one of their 93 shots from the floor.
“We were tight,” said Bill Laimbeer, who was 0-for-24. “I’m not sure why.”
All the Detroit points were scored by forward Dennis Rodman, who converted 17-of-18 free throws. His only miss came with two seconds left in the game. The Celtics — who never bothered to shoot the ball — grabbed the rebound and held it until the buzzer, which served to wake up most of the 14,237 sleeping fans.
“I can’t believe it,” Pistons coach Chuck Daly said. “I . . . uh . . . what happened? . . . “
A STUNNER AT THE GARDEN
BOSTON — In the most bizarre finish in recent memory, the Detroit Pistons defeated the Boston Celtics, 123-107. Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary took place. No passes were stolen. No three-point shots were scored. No inbounds passes landed in the basket.
“I can’t believe it,” Chuck Daly said . . .
Hey. I said to expect the unexpected, right?