Originally Posted by Nadir at LastChocolateCity.com
Both Orlando Magic players recalled bad memories of Detroit upon their return for the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Going back to Florida down two games to none certainly won’Â€Â™t help their dispositions.
Hill was a superstar in his six seasons with the Pistons, but seems to place some blame on the team, its medical staff and Piston fans for aggravating the ankle injury that has hobbled his career since the 2000 playoffs. As the Detroit News reports the forward was tired of being called “Â€Âœsoft” so he played on a bad ankle.
Hill had grown weary of people in Detroit perceiving him as a silver-spoon softie. He had grown weary of not getting his team out of the first round of the playoffs. He was determined to play.
There is no medical proof that his play in that game made his injury more severe, but it may have. After several surgeries (most of them to correct the botched first operation), Hill is a great comeback story that is making a contribution to his new team in their quest to upset his former club.
Darko endured the boos of the Palace crowd that once called him “The Human Victory Cigar”Â€Â. He is finally showing some promise in Orlando after two and a half seasons with the Pistons. He called them “Â€Âœthe worst two and a half years of my life”Â€Â.
But Milicic was under a lot of pressure in Detroit because Joe Dumars passed on Carmello Anthony, Chris Bosch and Dwayne Wade to draft the 7-footer from Serbia. Those other players entered the league as immediate superstars turning their teams around. Two and a half years later, Darko is finally blossoming into an okay second string center.
Hill and Milicic return to Orlando two games behind their old team. Most observers believe the Magic are outmatched and have no chance of beating the Pistons. The arrogant, overconfident Pistons are the ones who offer the Magic a glimmer of hope. Their “sluggish” play has allowed Orlando to stay in the series.
But Detroit was the only team in the NBA this year who had a better record on the road than they did at home. Hopefully they will carry their brooms on the team plane and sweep these dudes. Do it for Grant and Darko, so they don’Â€Â™t have to return to this land of broken dreams and regrets.