You watch the games, you see the scores, but how do you really know what's going on in NBA Playoffs 2006? NBA.com has infiltrated the action with the ultimate insiders -- the players themselves. We're giving you an exclusive look at the postseason with a roster of player mailboxes.
Detroit's Tony Delk averaged 8.0 points in 16.3 minutes per game off the bench for the East-leading Pistons this season.
CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS MAILBOX
Has your game improved since you have played for the Detroit Pistons?
--Kaleb, Elsie, MI
Delk: I think I have gotten in better shape and from playing with these guys definitely make the game a lot easier.
Q: Who has the best NBA player you ever played against?
--Steveo, Detroit, MI
Delk: Michael Jordan.
Q: What made you want to play basketball?
--Atrain, Livonia, MI
Delk: My brothers. I had four brothers that played and it' s something that I grew up around.
Q: If the Pistons make it to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year, which team from the West would you like to face?
--Nick, Woodbridge, NJ
Delk: Dallas or Phoenix. Those teams are exciting teams to play against. They get up and down the court and that is my style of play. Running and gunning.
Q: What would it mean to you, to win the championship with the Pistons?
--Matthew, Provo, Utah
Delk: It would be the greatest accomplishment. I mean I think it'd be so great because from where I started at to where I am at right now. I tell people it is not where you start, it is how you finish.
Q: The Pistons are my favorite team in the NBA. I'm from Mexico: What do you think about NBA fans in Mexico? We really enjoy the NBA, you really play good and I hope you win the NBA Cup.
--Vic Hamilton, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
Delk: It is great to have fans from all over. In Mexico we have fans, we definitely applaud them to keep rooting us on.
Q: Who is the funniest guy on the Pistons Rosters? Why?
--Kib, Elkhart, IN
Delk: Rasheed Wallace by far. He will say and do anything at any given time.
Q: Hi Tony!! Who was your favorite basketball player growing up?
--Jovvann, Boston, MA
Delk: "Michael Jordan"
Q: You've been on many teams over your great career. Is Detroit your favorite team to play on? Why or Why not, and if not what team was it?
--Kyle, Windsor, ON, Canada
Delk: I haven't been with this team that long but it would definitely be on my top two favorite teams. Sacramento was a team that I really enjoyed playing with, you know with the team camaraderie, and reminds me a lot of this (Pistons) team, but I was there a lot longer, I stayed there for a whole year. It was fun, we made a nice little playoff run, but this team is a special team right here.
Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
--Persia, Rochester, MI
Delk: I did, but not as much as I once had. I would have chicken on game days, make sure I get 3-4 hours of sleep, and no phone calls between 1 and 5.
FIRST ROUND MAILBOX
Q: What was your first week with the team like, and when on the bench, what's your focus?
-- Pleze, Detroit, MI
My first week with the team was really good. They accepted me, it's a better group of guys. You know, you just come in and not mess their chemistry up. When I'm on the bench, my focus is just seeing what's happening on the court.
Q: What other team(s) in the East do you consider to be a legitimate contender for the Eastern Conference Title?
-- Real, Columbus, OH
That's hard to say. I think right now anyone is capable of beating someone on the road. Miami is definitely a good team, they have good depth and leadership. The other teams are young teams. We had experience on our team. Miami right now is the team I would think of because they have the big guy in the middle and explosive wing players.
Q: How is it in the locker room before and after the games in the playoffs?
-- Kyle, Coloma, MI
It's a relaxed atmosphere. You've got music playing, listening, rapping a little bit...guys just having fun. There's no pressure that you have when you go out on the court. It's probably one of the most relaxed atmospheres I've been a part of.
Q: Will Ben Wallace ever cut his hair? I found that when I shaved my head (you can identify) I shot better from everywhere on the court.
-- Tom, Ferndale, MI
I can't even comment on that one. (laughs)
Q: How big of a role do the fans (loyal fans like myself) play in the post season, as compared to the regular season?
-- AJ MI
They've been good throughout, regular season and playoff. Playoff is a different intensity for the fans as well as for the players. It's been great for both sides.
Q: What does it feel like to have an opportunity to play for one of the best teams in the NBA and have a legitimate shot at winning an NBA Championship?
-- Drayton, Brownsville, TN
It's a great feeling right now. I think when you think about what it's like to be in that situation, it's been great. Hopefully we can finish it off.
Q: You add a huge offensive boost to our team every time you enter the game just as Lindsey Hunter does. How easy/difficult was it for you to adapt to the Pistons style of play?
-- Carla, Detroit, MI
I think being on seven different teams, it helped me out as far as making adjustments, coming to games and doing what I do. That's just more like playing with experience and doing the little things that help the team out.
Q: What's the most important thing to have to be in the NBA?
-- Ashley, Quincy, MI
Q: What was your favorite NBA team when you were a child?
-- Sam, Ann Arbor, MI
Q: Why did you decide to wear 00?
-- Jasmin, Grand Rapids, MI
My brother wore it in college. It's been a tradition, so I just kept it going.
Q: Who won the dunk contest between Sheed and Rip in practice the other day?
-- Yari, Grand Rapids, MI
Sheed. Rip was like Nate Robinson trying to dunk the ball, he missed a lot of dunks. The winning dunk was Sheed going up with a one hand dunk. Nothing spectacular, but he made it.