So we are on to Detroit. This team did have some really great moments (mostly 1989), and it had a whole bunch of stars, from Larry Foust and George Yardley of the 50s, to Dave Bing, to Bob Lanier, to Isiah and friends, to Hill, finally to their 04 championship bunch. I’m excited to see this team play. Lots of great players, let’s see who the best of them is. (Note: This has 60 teams….30 matchups…..this may take a while…Note: Why haven't I been posting? I'm too lazy! That's why...and school started also...been writing, just not posting...)
(1) 2006 Detroit Pistons (64-18) vs. (60) 1980 Detroit Pistons (16-66)
And the Pistons begin with….2006. They made the East Finals before falling to Miami. This team still had its championship team mostly intact: Chauncey Billups (19-3-9), Rip Hamilton (20-3-3), Rasheed Wallace (15-7), Tayshaun Prince (14-4-2), and the master defender, Ben Wallace (7-11, almost 2 steals, and over 2 blocks), but this team also had the addition of Antonio McDyess (8-5…One Note on McDyess: I used to be scared of him as a kid….no idea why). This is a pretty good team, but they didn’t win it all….
Not really exciting…Bob Lanier (having 22-10-3 this season) was traded to Milwaukee, but Bob McAdoo was there (21-8-3). I don’t get why you don’t get rid of McAdoo, who was known as a head case kinda then…and you should respect Lanier! He stayed with you through the good and bad…he’s your best player of all time at this point! Treat him better than that…John Long had 19-5-3 this season.
(2) 1989 Detroit Pistons (63-19) vs. (59) 1994 Detroit Pistons (20-62)
This was the first of the Pistons champs. They had Isiah putting up 18-3-8, Dumars had 17-3-6, Laimbeer had 14-10, Vinnie Johnson scored 14 off the bench (instant offense), Aguirre came over for Dantley (Aguirre had 16 points here, and Dantley had 18, but Mark didn’t gripe over minutes…), and they had other tough, immovable big men, like Rick Mahorn (7-7), and James Edwards (7-3), and they of course had Rodman (9-9), and they also had John Salley (7-5). Why did I list all those people? Because each was key in their own way (don’t mistake me for a Pistons fan…I despise Laimbeer like almost no other…and I hate their fouling style….but you have to respect them..((which I do with Thomas, mostly because of his heart….Remember his sprained ankle in 1988…that, my friends, is one of the largest desires to win I have ever seen))). They had a really smart team….I give them that, and they looked for every advantage…but I still hate them…Great team….but they are mostly assholes in my book…
This isn’t as happy as 1989. Laimbeer retires in December, and Thomas goes after this year (15-3-7 this year). But there still is a holdout from happier times. Joe Dumars is still going for 20-2-4. Terry Mills had 17-8, and they also had rookie Lindsey Hunter for 10-2-5. Don’t worry, Grant Hill comes next year.
(3) 1990 Detroit Pistons (59-23) vs. (58) 1981 Detroit Pistons (21-61)
This is basically the same team…though without Rick Mahorn this year. In the same drill, Thomas had 18-4-9, Dumars had a great 18-3-5 year, Laimbeer had 12-10, Aguirre had 14-4-2, and Edwards had 15-4 this season. The instant offense of Vinnie Johnson fell to 10-3-3, and Rodman had 9-10, while Salley had 7-5. Not as good as 1989, but don’t count them out, they may get pretty far.
Not really anything this season, as Bob McAdoo sat out, and was later cut. 18 points came from John Long, Kent Benson had 16-7, and Phil Hubbard had 15-7. Nothing to sneeze at. No worries Pistons fans, Isiah is on the way!
(4) 2008 Detroit Pistons (59-23) vs. (57) 1966 Detroit Pistons (22-58)
Remember when the Pistons used to be really good? This was only a whiles back…how the times have changed. Ben Wallace isn’t here in this 08 Pistons team, because he managed to convince Chicago to sign him to outrageous figures. Richard Hamilton had 17-3-4 this year, Billups had 17-3-7, and Sheed had 13-7. Prince contributed 13-5-3, and Antonio McDyess had 9-9. This really isn’t a bad team at all….
Haven’t heard of many of these guys, like Eddie Miles (20-4-3), Ray Scott (18-10), and Joe Strawder (9-10). I have heard of Dave DeBusschere (who hasn’t?), and he had a great season of 16-12. Don’t worry, Dave Bing is coming folks (this seems to happen a lot…so-and-so is coming….also, don’t worry Detroit, you’re about to screw yourselves and aid the Knicks by getting rid of Dave for Bellamy and Howard Komives…)
(5) 1988 Detroit Pistons (54-28) vs. (56) 1964 Detroit Pistons (23-57)
At first glance, these guys may be better than 1989 (and they definitely should have won the finals, if only Isiah didn’t hurt his ankle….). They had Dantley scoring 20 a night, Isiah dishing out 20-3-8, and Dumars had 14-2-5. Laimbeer had 14-10 this year, while Vinnie Johnson had 12-3-3, while big men Dennis Rodman (12-9) and Rick Mahorn (11-8) were critical cogs.
This team has some good players, or really good, in Bailey Howell’s case, as he had 22-10 this season, while Ray Scott had 18-14 impressively this year. Don Ohl had 17-3-3 in his last Detroit season, as he would go on to have better years in Baltimore. Dave DeBusschere played only 15 games after a decent rookie season last year and the future looks bright for him.
(6) 1997 Detroit Pistons (54-28) vs. (55) 1972 Detroit Pistons (26-56)
It’s such a tragedy, seeing Grant Hill (no I am not a Pistons fan…or a Magic one) having so much talent, but it getting lost due to injuries. Here are the top tragedies in the NBA, off the top of my head:
10. Shaq, not going all out…he could have won so much more…
9. Vince Carter, having so much talent, but not caring to use it.
8. Chris Webber, wasting all that talent in Washington
7. Connie Hawkins, wrongly banned from the NBA, and had to play in second rate leagues before he was allowed in after his prime…
6. Drazen Petrovic, died in a car crash
5. Grant Hill, foot injuries
4. Maurice Stokes, tragic head injury, not treated right
3. Len Bias, died because of coke…ranked third because we never saw him, and we never would know how good he would be
2. David Thompson, coke, screwed his career
1. Bill Walton, a guaranteed championship, before foot injuries derailed him
He ranks 5th on my list…sorry if I forgot anything….but he had so much talent…shown in Detroit, but was screwed after that. It’s too bad none of these guys reached their potential, but that’s life. This season, Hill had 21-9-7, and almost 2 steals (amazing…), while he paired up with Dumars for 15-2-4. Lindsey Hunter had 14-3-2, while we saw Otis Thorpe average 13-8.
You’d think this team would be amazing, they had Lanier, Dave Bing, and Jimmy Walker. But Bing played only 45 games, averaging 23-4-7 in them. Lanier had an astounding 26-14-3, and Walker had 21-3-4. Of course, there is no next year for this…Walker was traded for Stu Lantz, who didn’t do crap for the Pistons….
(7) 2004 Detroit Pistons (54-28) vs. (54) 2010 Detroit Pistons (27-55)
Here’s the final Pistons champ! Rip Hamilton had 18-4-4, and Chauncey had 17-4-6. They acquired Sheed from Atlanta, and he put up 14-7 to finish the year. The other Wallace, Ben, had a great 10-12-2-2-3 (blocks and steals) this season. Tayshaun Prince averaged 10-5-2, while Mehmet Okur had 10-6. Darko had an unsuccessful rookie season, only having 1-1 in 34 games.
How the times have changed…now they feature Rip Hamilton (18-3-4 in 46 games), Rodney Stuckey (17-4-5), Ben Gordon (14-2-3), Tayshaun (14-5-3), and big man Ben Wallace (6-9). Only Hamilton, Big Ben, and Tayshaun remain from the champions. Ben left for Chicago and Cleveland for a while before returning, Sheed is in Boston in 2010, and Billups was in Denver.
(8) 2005 Detroit Pistons (54-28) vs. (53) 1995 Detroit Pistons (28-54)
This is a pretty good team. They managed to make the finals, before falling to the Spurs. Rip had a great 19-4-5 season, Billups had 17-4-6, Tayshaun had 15-5-3, while their big men were Rasheed (15-8), Big Ben Wallace (10-12) and McDyess (10-6). Basically the same team, except for McDyess there instead of Okur. This team is dangerous, and they may make a good run.
Welcome to the NBA, Grant Hill! He thrived in year 1, averaging 20-6-5, but the Pistons only won 8 more games (maybe Thomas’ retirement had something to do with it). Joe Dumars had 18-2-6, and they got 16-8 from Terry Mills, and 15 points from Allan Houston.
(9) 2007 Detroit Pistons (53-29) vs. (52) 2011 Detroit Pistons (30-52)
Rip Hamilton had 20-4-4 as the Pistons lost Ben Wallace to Chicago. Chauncey had 17-3-7, Tayshaun had 14-5-3, and Sheed had 12-7. Chris Webber was signed to try to fill Wallace’s void, and he had 11-7 in half a season, and McDyess had 8-6.
It must hurt to be a Pistons fan….Rodney Stuckey is your high scorer with 16-3-5, Rip Hamilton played limited games after being benched, and Tayshaun had 14-4-3. Other has-beens and head-cases littered their roster: Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Tracy McGrady, and an old Ben Wallace…not pretty.
(10) 1974 Detroit Pistons (52-30) vs. (51) 1979 Detroit Pistons (30-52)
They had a strong front two of Bob Lanier (23-13-4) and Dave Bing (19-4-7), but not much afterward (Curtis Rowe and Don Adams for 10-6). These guys didn’t last one round before falling to Chicago in 7 (but can you blame them? Chicago was good that year).
Bob Lanier played only 53 games that season, but had 24-9-3 in them. In his absence, ML Carr had an odd, 40 minute a game, 19-3-3 season. Kevin Porter had an amazing season, putting in 15-3-13, which led the league. John Long gave 16, and 13-8, and 11-9 came from Terry Tyler and Leon Douglas, respectively.