Friday, December 23, 2005


Maybe the Pistons are America's team. The Pistons are the most balanced, unselfish championship contenders in NBA history. Saunders doesn't have to bench his starters for selfish play, because they are allergic to selfish play. He doesn't have to come up with some crazy scheme to get shots for his star, because every starter is a star. If you look at Pistons games, almost every game they play, there is some point in the game where each of the player carries and this is what makes the squad unique. In one 125-game stretch, dating back to last season, the Pistons' top four scorers (Rip Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace) each led the team in scoring (or tied for the lead) at least 17 times, including at least once this season. It is common for each of the four to lead the team at some point in a 10-game stretch. By comparison, Dwyane Wade led the Heat in scoring in 17 of its first 21 games this season, and only three players (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker) have led the Spurs in scoring in any game this season. With these Pistons, the center harasses point guards, the power forward shoots three-pointers, the point guard posts up and the small forward does everything. There are, obviously, many benefits to having one of the top five players in the league: frequent monster scoring nights, a buzz around the team, endorsement runoff, etc. the Pistons offensive strategy in basketball is mostly about one thing: getting a good shot. The thing that separates the Pistons from other teams is that they understand the guys they are playing and seldom they put any of their teammates in a poor position, either offensively or defensively.


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