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Learn your lottery terminology

Republished from last season, because of course it’s still necessary.

In the NBA lottery, the Pistons will have the same number of ping-pong balls as the Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Hornets, Miami Heat, Detroit Lions and any other team.

Zero.

Teams are assigned combinations, not ping-pong balls. Here’s how the process works, as explained by the NBA last year:

Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a drum. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Prior to the Lottery, 1,000 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating Lottery teams by a computer.

Four balls will be drawn to the top to determine a four-digit combination. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the number one pick. The four balls are placed back in the drum and the process is repeated to determine the number two and three picks. (Note: If the one unassigned combination is drawn, the balls are drawn to the top again.)

The actual Lottery procedure will take place in a separate room prior to the national broadcast on ESPN with NBA officials and representatives of the participating teams and the accounting firm of Ernst & Young in attendance.

Following the drawing, team logo cards will be inserted into envelopes marked 1 through 14 by an Ernst & Young representative. These envelopes then will be sealed and brought on-stage, where the announcement of the Lottery results will be made by NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. A second representative from each participating team will be seated on-stage. Neither the Deputy Commissioner nor the team representatives will be informed of the Lottery results prior to the opening of the envelopes.

To review:

  • Incorrect: The Pistons are tanking to get more ping-pong balls.
  • Correct: The Pistons are tanking to get more combinations.

57 Comments

  • Mar 27, 201311:42 am
    by cr29

    Reply

    So you’re saying it’s rigged??!! I knew it.

  • Mar 27, 201311:48 am
    by G Roland

    Reply

    Dan Feldman as quoted in the Chicago Tribune March 27 2013 on whether or not the Chicago could beat Miami in the Eastern Conference this year:

    Dan Feldman, Piston Powered: Fiction. The Bulls might not win the East with a healthy, in-his-prime Michael Jordan
    Dan, your comment is ludicrous. Miami is good, perhaps great but even your Pistons in their prime or Boston or even the mid 90′s Knicks would beat Miami. All had better front courts, great guard play and stellar defenses. And Chicago, with Michael in his prime, was better than all of those teams.

    • Mar 27, 201312:58 pm
      by G

      Reply

      He didn’t say the ’96 Bulls couldn’t beat Miami, he said THIS Bulls team with Jordan MIGHT NOT beat Miami. And I think you’re looking at those older teams with a bit of nostalgia. This Miami team would’ve destroyed the mid-90′s Knicks (especially with the current rules).

      I think the Heat would have a tough series with the ’86 Celtics and the ’96 Bulls, but they beat the other teams (yes, even the 1990 Pistons). Of course we’ll never know unless someone invents a time machine & decides to use it for the betterment of no one.

    • Mar 27, 20131:10 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Check Zach Lowe’s article for a better appreciation of what Miami does. Love them or hate them, Miami is GOOD.

      http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9098417/how-miami-heat-went-historic-winning-streak-came-dominate-league 

    • Mar 27, 20131:19 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Michael, in his prime or otherwise, never managed to win 27 in a row.

      • Mar 27, 20132:42 pm
        by Tom Y.

        Reply

        I believe he didn’t win 22 in a row either, like the Rockets did a couple of years ago. Does that mean that Rocket team would have beat Jordan’s Bulls?

      • Mar 27, 20133:18 pm
        by mixmasta

        Reply

        But they still hold the best season record of 72-10.

  • Mar 27, 201312:09 pm
    by anthony

    Reply

    i really don’t believe it is rigged like everyone seems to think. I mean sure there are some coincidences, but when your looking that hard, sure your going to find something to “prove” its rigged. 
    However, what they SHOULD do is have a lottery type system where each team gets a set number of ping pong balls (with their logo on it) and they are dumped into a big container with the air that pushes them up (think of the contraption that the lotto numbers are drawn from). then doing this on live TV with the broadcast would eliminate all doubts about the rigged lottery. Although that may prevent people from watching the whole telecast, because everyone will know who the #1 picking team is right away, but it will still be better.
    and on a (kind of) separate note, they should have a drawing for the whole lottery, not just top 3. cuz for teams with the 13,14 spot, its pretty much useless to hold your breath to move up. BUT, if it was a possibility to move up maybe 2-3 spots to say 10-11, then it’d make it worthwhile. just my opinion though.

    • Mar 27, 201312:13 pm
      by anthony

      Reply

      just to clear up, the weightedness would still be in play. so 25% to worst team, etc. but drawing the whole lottery gives more chance for higher teams to incrementally improve their selection

    • Mar 27, 20133:43 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      how are different balls for each team any better than different combinations for each team?

    • Mar 27, 20134:00 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      I don’t get this at all. Common sense suggests it isn’t rigged. Why does there need to be more evidence than that? Every lottery bound team sends representatives to watch the thing. To think the NBA rigs the draft you either think they are willing to do it with that many observers and hoping they aren’t caught, or worse that the teams are all in on it. Neither of those scenarios are likely. For the all the teams are in on it, are really telling me that many people could keep that secret, and that many hyper competitive people are just ok with getting screwed over by a rigged draft? For either you have to buy that the NBA is willing to risk getting caught cheating and the damage it would do amongst the owners, the teams, and the fan base. Plus, either scenario suggests a pretty big conspiracy either from the league office and the people who built the rigged hopper, or from the league office and every owner and their representatives. History shows that big groups suck at keeping secrets. If you are arguing the second one, there’s a decent chance they wouldn’t care about being on TV and they’d still rig it using your system because they already have a way of cheating that won’t be noticed while observed. All of these just aren’t a smart risk/reward, so what more evidence does there need to be that it isn’t fixed.
       
      Two other things. One, your talking a hopper with 1000 balls in it instead of 14. That’s how many combinations there are, so to assign the percentages you’d need 1000 balls. Maybe that keeps them from rigging it because of the difficulty of doing so in that situation, but I can’t imagine what that device would look like. That’s an expensive monstrosity for no real gain. Two, the lottery is done in private because it just isn’t good TV. Pulling cards out of the envelop with the countdown to build anticipation, that works. Pulling a ball out of the hopper for the first pick, then two more the next two spots, then reading the teams off by their record isn’t good TV. Besides, what if the first pick is from the team with 250 balls. The odds are good that team with 250 balls gets grabbed more than one time. Every redo is just going to look awful on TV. Is proving to the handful of people that are crazy enough to think the lottery is rigged now but not too crazy to think it’s rigged in that scenario really worth it? I’m going with no.

      • Mar 28, 20131:03 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        perfect reply. i was thinking about writing this but was too lazy to type it all out.

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    Mar 27, 201312:11 pm
    by 2013 Draft thread - Page 12

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  • Mar 27, 201312:13 pm
    by piston moribund

    Reply

    Doesn’t matter.  Trade Bullwinkle to move up if we don’t have a top pick.  He is due his extension so its best the Pistons make a move and get something in return.  Preventing a team from scoring will always give you a better chance at winning then trying to outscore them.  Bullwinkle is a good offensive player but is to slow and malcoordinated to play good D.  Wish trader jack can advise Joe D on that.

    • Mar 27, 201312:48 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Trade Monroe to move up?  In this draft?  That isn’t value at all.
       
      D may be more important than offense, but you need a combination of both either way and I would much rather see Monroe’s offense with Drummond’s defense than waste a player who is only in his 3rd year averaging 15 and 10 to move up in a bad draft.  Monroe still has time to develop on D, is it really worth it to throw him away because we think we are going to some how magically come upon some guy who does everything really well.  There are not many of those guys out there, none of them are FAs, and none of them are in this years draft.  Most teams combine players with different strengths to be good, they don’t cycle through guys until everyone does everything.  I get people are worried Monroe will command a max contract, but given how much talent is in the 2014 FA group and how few teams can afford adding max contracts, Monroe isn’t in as good of a position as people think.  Not to mention if he plays worse (or doesn’t improve) in his contract year his offers might not be sky high, or if he improves he might be worth a max deal anyway.

      • Mar 27, 201312:52 pm
        by pg

        Reply

        Agreed. Plus it would be wise to trade Moose for a proven player instead than moving just a few spots  up on a weak draft.  

    • Mar 27, 201312:50 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Do you really believe there’s a player THAT much better than Monroe in this draft? I think if Joe D would be crazy to offer up Greg Monroe just so he can move up a couple spots in a mediocre draft.

    • Mar 27, 20131:26 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      There might not even be a player coming out this year that is better than Monroe, so why would you trade him to pick up a player that might not even be as good as him.  They may be picking anywhere from the 4 spot to the 10 spot.  I don’t think moving from 4 to any of the top 3 spots would change who they are going to pick anyway.

    • Mar 27, 20133:56 pm
      by cr29

      Reply

      Just to pile on- literally the only thing this team has going for it is the potential of a Monroe/Drummond pairing. There are no other pieces worth anything. So if you trade one of those guys, you better get something awesome.

  • Mar 27, 201312:13 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    “Tanking” implies that the team is trying to lose. This team isn’t good enough to tank. Heck, they beat the Bobcats in a tight contest, didn’t they? They aren’t supposed to beat the Wolves, because the Wolves (with or without Love) are better than us. Basically everyone is better than us. Accepting that might not be fun, but it’s the first step towards making hte necessary changes to fix things.

    • Mar 27, 20131:22 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The records say that the Pistons and Wolves are pretty much equals. Without Love or Drummond, that seems about right.

      • Mar 27, 20132:19 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        The record can say whatever it wants. The Wolves have been DEVASTATED by injuries this season, while the Pistons have had a pretty average run of health.
         
        To compare: The Pistons have plenty of mediocre depth and the talent is awkwardly unbalanced. So if all of our guards are healthy, Stuckey is going to be the odd-man-out because there are only so many minutes and sots to go around. But when Knight was injured, Stuckey just gets extra shots and minutes, and he’s basically just as mediocre an option. And as for Drummond, he’s our backup center. And until he and Monroe were to play major minutes together, that’s all he is. And it’s not like Slava has been brutal filling in for him. It would have been nice to get him on the floor with Drummond to see if they can actually play together, but the team had 50 games to do that and they wasted the opportunity. I don’t think Drummond would have been the difference in very many of our losses.
         
        The Timberwolves are certainly at least a notch above the Pistons. As much as we love to pretend we’re in that echelon with the Raptors/Bucks/Sixers near the playoff bubble, we just aren’t.

        • Mar 27, 20132:49 pm
          by G

          Reply

          Look at the teams across the board – at PG Rubio is better than Calderon, at SG Ridnour is maybe a tiny bit better than Knight, at SF Kirilenko is better than Singler, PF is a draw, and C (I hate to say it) is also a draw. The benches are pretty close except for Barea, who’s better than anyone on the Pistons’ bench. I give it overwhelmingly to Minnesota. The problem with comparing overall records is one of those teams is in the Western Conference. 

          @ Otis – Slava hasn’t been brutal, but Drummond made Bynum/Stuckey/Daye/Charlie V one of the best 5-man units in the league. Going from Drummond to Slava is dropping over 3 win shares at a bench spot, which is a TON. 

          • Mar 27, 20135:20 pm
            by D_S_V

            Exactly! A bad record in the west is not as bad as a bad record in the east considering the conference that you more often play. 

          • Mar 27, 20138:19 pm
            by Otis

            Well for one thing, Charlie and Austin’s hot shooting streaks had a lot to do with that unit’s success. When those two guys are coming off your bench shooting well at the same time, you’ll have a pretty good bench. Also it should never surprise anyone that our team, bad as it is, would have a good bench– because basically the whole rotation is made up of good bench players (Stuckey, Knight, Bynum, Max, Charlie, Singler, almost everyone’s best role would be coming off someone’s bench), so having an above average bench should be easy.
             
            But the bottom line is that until he and Drummond play together and demonstrate synergy, Drummond is just a backup center. Almost every minute he’s on the floor, Monroe is on the bench, and I thought everyone was supposed to be so fond of Monroe. So elevate him to something besides “backup center” or else you can’t blame him that your team is inexplicably awful.

          • Mar 28, 20131:20 am
            by jerrific

            I would argue that Calderon is at least equal too, if not better, than Rubio. He posts far better shooting percentages. Rubio is an incredibly inefficient scorer, and is also pretty turnover prone. You could argue that Rubio is a better defender, and therefore equal. But better? The gap is too wide on the the offensive end on the floor. 

          • Mar 28, 20138:15 am
            by G

            Fair to say. Rubio & Calderon are a wash then (although if we’re saying who would you rather have on your team, then Rubio), that’s still 2 positions and the bench where Minnesota has an edge over the Pistons.

            @ Otis – Drummond made that bench unit Detroit’s best defensive unit, despite featuring several terrible defenders. They had good spacing with a couple 3-pt shooters, a couple slashers and Drummond cutting to the rim, but a BIG reason why they had such a statistical edge over whoever they were playing against was the defense, mainly due to Drummond. And remember, they didn’t just go up against the opponent’s bench. Often when the starters were cold, Frank would leave that unit on the court. I think one of the Atlanta games they played most of the 2nd half. 

  • Mar 27, 201312:47 pm
    by Panzer

    Reply

    This year, will go to Orlando, mark my words.
    They lost the best Center in the league, therefore, they will be some form of compensation.
    2010: The Gilbert Arenas scandal with Washington. That year, they get John Wall.
    2011: Cleveland loses LeBron. Get Kyrie Irving.
    2012: New Orleans needs a new buyer, after losing Chris Paul. Get Anthony Davis.
    2013: Orlando loses Dwight Howard. Will get… Whomever they want. 

  • Mar 27, 20131:40 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    With these rules in play of course they would beat the Bad Boys but if they played with the rules of the Bad Boys era then Miami would yield pretty easily to the physicality of the Pistons. Of course we would have problems with Miami’s athleticism mainly Lebron and Wade, but a couple of enforcers laying the wood would make them think twice before going to the hole again. Plus our backcourt is superior as a unit and talent wise top to bottom and overall better roster. So I’d have to disagree somewhat with your last assessment G. 

    • Mar 27, 20131:48 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Agree, the ’90 Pistons had better bench, but I think Miami would still beat them. The 1990 Bulls took them to 7 games, and I think Miami is a better team than the 1990 Bulls.

    • Mar 27, 20133:48 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      You don’t want to play against LeBron in a league in which a lot more physicality and roughness is allowed. He’d injure three opponents on his way to the hole and still finish the shot. And, going the other way, I’d be terrified of those elbows.

    • Mar 27, 20134:04 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      Wouldn’t Haslem, Joel Anthony, and Birdman all look better in a more physical league too? And don’t get me started on Battier. Plus, as tarsier pointed out you’d be unleashing the unbelievable physical specimen that is LeBron James. That Heat team would be scary in any era.

  • Mar 27, 20132:13 pm
    by Clint in Flint

    Reply

    When judging Monroe consider the quality of his supporting cast of players and his coaches since joining the NBA. Yes, he needs to protect the ball and he needs to work on his jump shot. With the right crew and coach he may surprise you.

    • Mar 27, 20132:29 pm
      by C-Foe

      Reply

      Nice point Clint.   I think folks sometimes underestimate the effects of having complementary players as part of a team.  Complementary players doesn’t necessarily mean less talented just players who allow other players to be more effective at what they do best.  
      Hey Dan, how about we just say “The Pistons are losing and dropping in the overall standings which gets them more lottery combinations”? 

  • Mar 27, 20135:16 pm
    by TDP

    Reply

    As we all know, Dumars loves combos.  And Combos.

  • Mar 27, 20135:17 pm
    by Jay

    Reply

    If the Lakers miss the play-offs, and they get a top 3 pick…I will forever lose faith in the NBA

  • Mar 27, 20137:11 pm
    by Blocks by Dre

    Reply

    Rigged…

  • Mar 27, 20139:08 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Lets see how happy I can be today. I’m hoping Philly, Toronto, Cleveland, New Orleans, Washington, Minnestota, Phoenix and Chicago can all get up. I really don’t think i can deal with LeBron’s ego if they get the Lakers record.

    • Mar 27, 20139:27 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Oh and Sacramento too!

  • Mar 27, 201310:08 pm
    by Faris

    Reply

    I remember you posted this last year haha for people who didn’t understand it but at least that’s a good sign I’ve been reading here since 2009 or 2008 I think

  • Mar 28, 201312:18 am
    by robertbayer

    Reply

    I am sorry but the Pistons Bad Boys would: (1) control the boards by a wide margin.. and (2) put the fear of God into anyone who drove the lane … And (3) … there is no one on the Miami Heat who can hit clutch shots against great teams … with the game on the line .. and (4) without referees bailiing them out,they lose against good teams, let alone great … The Bad Boys suceeded with the refs AGAINST THEM and callling everything against them a .. The Miami Heat win BECAUSE the refs allow the Heat to get away with fouls and yet give them phantom flop calls … Point 4 alone proves the Pistons Bad Boys would destroy this Miami team .. I give no respect to this Miami team … They are not even champions IMO because of what has gone done last season .. They lost to the old Boston Celtics last season point blank and the refs held their skirts up so they wouldnt cry anymore after they were punked by a so so Maverick team in 2011 ..  Point 5 .. the Bad Boys had to fight through great teams like Magic’s Lakers, Bird’s Celtics, and Jordan’s Bulls … Those teams also would destroy the Heat of 2012 or 2013 … I agree with the comment above that even the Knicks of the 90s could beat this team .. Lakers of Shaq and Kobe also would have … No team has ever been more hyped for nothing than LBJ’s Heat …

    • Mar 28, 20131:26 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      If LeBron were allowed to play as dirty as the bad boys were, he’d be so much more terrifying.

      The one thing that everyone could agree on about James even during his most criticized summer of 2011 is that he is basically the perfect physical specimen for the game.

      You think he’d be afraid of the likes of Laimbeer? He’d bulldoze them. 

    • Mar 28, 20131:33 am
      by jerrific

      Reply

      You realize Lebron is 6’8″ and at least 250 lbs with all the athleticism of Micheal Jordan in his prime, right? I’m sorry, but even if they played with the 90′s rules Lebron isn’t going to get pushed around by anyone. If anything that could just make him more dangerous. And as other commenters have already pointed out, this Heat team isn’t lacking for bruisers. Plus their athletic advantage would be insane. No great players that can hit clutch shots? I remember Dwayne Wade hitting quite a few against the Pistons during the Heat’s title run. What about Ray Allen? He might not create for himself anymore, but with Lebron playmaking he doesn’t have to. Anyone that can hit any open three can be a clutch shooter on this team because Lebron and Wade are just so dangerous off the dribble. Fyi, teams get foul calls because they have superior athletes that force defending players into bad positions, not because the refs are afraid to hurt grown men’s feelings.  

      • Mar 28, 20131:35 am
        by jerrific

        Reply

        By Dwayne Wade’s clutch shots I of course mean the Heat’s title run with Shaq, when Dwayne Wade has his way with a pretty good Piston’s defense. 

    • Mar 28, 20131:37 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      1) True, but the Heat don’t care who wins the rebounding battle. They’re all about winning the turnover battle. They got out-rebounded by 25 this year and still won by over 20.

      2) Already responded to this. Why do people always forget that these things go both ways? Yes, if the Bad Boys were allowed to play their brutally physical style but the Heat had to play by today’s standards, I’d pick the Pistons to prevail. But that’s like saying they’d win if they were playing 5 on 4, it’s irrelevant.

      3) Ummm, just about every player on the team has extensive experience with doing just that, especially James, Wade, and Allen. Unless the Pistons that James dropped 25 consecutive points on in the playoffs weren’t a good team.

      4) The Heat are having their best season yet. And they aren’t getting to the line all that often. And LeBron is built so much like a tank that the refs often miss hits on him because they bounce right off. In the past couple decades, only Shaq and Howard have suffered more from this.

      5) No championships are easy, and the Bad Boys had to fight off some good teams. But they had their timing perfect too. They weren’t good enough to beat Magic’s Lakers, Bird’s Celtics, or Jordan’s Bulls in their primes. But they managed to snatch a couple titles anyway by peaking at just the right moment in the Lakers’ and Celtics’ declines and the Bulls’ ascension. Props to them, not many teams would have been good enough to beat those guys even at that point, but it is fallacious to imply that the Bad Boys got theirs at the expense of three of the best teams of all time.

      • Mar 28, 20131:40 am
        by oats

        Reply

        Apparently you made a lot of my points just before I did.

        • Mar 28, 201310:05 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Haha. Are you sure you’re not my separated-at-birth twin?

    • Mar 28, 20131:37 am
      by oats

      Reply

      I disagree with most of this, but I’ll try to be succinct.
      1) I will concede the Bad Boys crush the Heat on the boards, but lots of team’s do that.
       
      2)LeBron and Wade don’t seem to get intimidated, so the Bad Boys won’t make them afraid to go the hoop.
       
      3)This is so stupid that I almost don’t know how to respond to it. Wade, James, and Allen have all hit tons of shots, even clutch ones against great teams. James dismantled the Going to Work Pistons so badly they traded Chauncey Billups, and we’ve all watched as the team has crumbled in to the mess we have now. That was years ago and he’s gotten better since then. James also completely took over last year’s playoffs, crushing the Pacers, Celtics, and Thunder. He then took the off season to improve his play in the post and he added a 3 point shot. He’s just a force of nature now. At some point it becomes incredibly stupid to think he can’t hit clutch shots. That time has past. If you still think James isn’t clutch then you are either an idiot, delusional, or Skip Bayless (who might be both).
       
      4) Chauncey is good at getting to line, it’s a skill. James gets to the line and the refs are bailing him out. This is asinine. James and Wade are two of the best at drawing contact, so they also happen to be two of the best at getting to the line. This is their doing, not the refs. They so frequently blow by their guy that defenders are constantly committing fouls to try to slow them down. That’s why I can’t buy in to your assertion they can’t win without getting calls, they deserve to get those calls and it is part of how they win.
       
      5) How in the hell can someone that criticizes the Heat for not being clutch back Patrick Ewing’s Knicks? That team was always a few pieces short and couldn’t beat elite teams. The Heat would own the Knicks, and it wouldn’t be close. I mean, if any team embodies wilting under pressure it’s Ewing’s Knicks.
       
      By the way, the Pistons also kind of hit a sweet spot. The Lakers and Celtics were fading by the time Detroit won it all, and the Bulls might not have been quite ready yet. I do think the Heat would beat those specific Lakers, Celtics, and Bulls teams. The Lakers and Celtics a few years earlier or the Bulls a few years later is a different matter, but the teams Detroit actually had to go through would lose to the Heat. Don’t get me wrong, what the Pistons did was still really impressive and I’m not trying to take anything away from that team. They were a historically great team. The Heat just went through a declining Celtics and a not quite ready Thunder. It’s actually pretty comparable. The Heat are also a historically great team because they have LeBron while he is playing as well as any player to ever play the game.

      • Mar 28, 20138:28 am
        by G

        Reply

        Haha! Yep, those ’90′s Knicks? Not good in the clutch.

        I think anybody claiming LeBron still shrinks from the moment hasn’t been watching much basketball lately.

        You’re clearly not objective on this and your hate for the Heat is clouding your judgement, so I don’t know that there’s an argument that could convince you. This Heat team is WAY more athletic than the ’90 Pistons.

        Picture the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals – Chicago vs. Detroit (which went 7 games, as I mentioned before), except Jordan is built like Karl Malone. He still does Jordan things – dunks on everyone, plays shutdown perimeter D, but he’s built like Karl Malone. All that “Jordan Rules” crap that you’re saying would work DOESN’T WORK, because Jordan is the size of Karl Malone. LeBron isn’t Jordan, but he does a LOT of Jordan things, and he’s the size of Karl Malone. Think about that.

  • Mar 28, 20135:43 am
    by Moparguy

    Reply

    OK the problem here is that you are failing to look at how the teams would be matched up. I agree that James is going to be the best player on either team. But the Heats strength isnt as profound as you would think.

    Wade and James would most likely be guarded by Dumars and Rodman. Two HOF who are famous for their extremely good D. And they were both the cleanest defenders the Pistons had by a wide margin. And while in many ways the Rodman/James pairing would be mismatch the Dumars/Wade one isnt much of one. 

    On the other side you would have Laimbeer/Mahorn and Thomas  vs Haslem/Bosh/Chalmers. Thomas would absolutely dominate, Laimbeer would still have been a very good re bounder in any era with an ability to hit shots.  And frankly Bosh simply cannot handle players who are physical in TODAY”S NBA. How he would handle Mahorn is actually kind of depressing to think about.

    The Pistons would clearly outrebound the Heat.  The problem I see for the Heat is that they rely on the mistakes of opposing teams to create scoring opportunities.  The main problem is the Pistons had no weak link at guard.  Thomas/Dumars/Johnson all were extremely good ball handlers and scorers also. Their presence along with the extreme versatility of Rodman would allow the Pistons to match up well against the Heat when they went with a small line up also.

    Are the Heat a bad team?  Clearly not.  They are the cream if todays NBA crop.  But they are a very unbalanced team. Bigger teams this year have given them their biggest challenges and it doesnt get much bigger than the 89 Pistons. While James clearly is a huge talent and a great sidekick in Wade. The Pistons simply were bigger and had players in better positions to limit the Heats stars. Ad in the low turn over rate and the much more balanced Pistons attack I still dont see how James overcomes it. 

    • Mar 28, 20137:51 am
      by oats

      Reply

      I remain unconvinced. Dumars was a great defender, but it isn’t like you can really just shut down a guy like Wade. LeBron is still LeBron, even if Rodman is one of the two best matchups on him that I can think of (The other being Pippen. The Heat would be owned by the Jordan/Pippen/Rodman Bulls). The Heat’s best lineups are just a matchup nightmare for the Pistons. Bosh, James, Battier, Allen and Wade is one of their best lineups. Whoever Thomas checks just gets demolished, and frankly even with Chalmers in for Allen he’d still shoot over Thomas quite a bit. Wade will still be effective, Lebron will continue to be the best player on the court, Bosh shoots well enough that you can’t totally collapse the paint, and their 3 point shooters are constantly waiting. I love the Bad Boys, I’m just not convinced they’d defend this team that much better than the best current defenses do. They might if given their rules, but those same rules would allow the Heat to amp up their defense too so that’s kind of a wash.
       
      Mahorn wouldn’t be guarded by Bosh that much. The collection of their other big men would get some of the work. Anthony, Birdman, and Haslem all match up well on him. The main defender on Mahorn would likely be James and Battier rotating on to him. I’m just not convinced that he’d be all that effective. I mean, we’re talking about a guy that averaged a 7 and 7 on that championship team. Bosh would primarily guard Laimbeer. Wade guards Thomas, Ray Allen or Chalmers takes Dumars, Battier locks down Aguirre, and James is free to free lance in help defense while Rodman’s on the court. If Dumars starts getting too out of control they put Allen on Aguire and Battier on him. Or, they just put LeBron on any Piston who is playing well. The Heat don’t capitalize on mistakes, they create turnovers because they are one of the best defensive teams of all time. The reason for that is simple, they have 2 very good perimeter defenders in Battier and Wade, plus they have LeBron who is one of the best non center defenders ever. They would absolutely give Detroit fits. The Pistons didn’t play against the swarming defenses of today, and no one back then could throw out the kind of defensive lineups the Heat are capable of. The Pistons were 11th in the league in turnovers, they’d turn it over enough for the Heat to do their thing.
       
      Let’s look at starting lineups for a second. LeBron is taller than Rodman, Battier is taller than Aguirre, Wade is taller than Dumars, and Chalmers is the same as Thomas. I actually suspect Thomas wasn’t really 6’1″ because there always appeared to be more than a 2″ difference between him and Dumars, and that would actually make Chalmers taller. How much bigger are the Pistons exactly? Yeah, they use big lineups more frequently, but the Heat have a stable of big men that matches up well against Detroit if they feel they need to. The Pistons would absolutely own the boards, that isn’t debatable. They’d still be thrown off by the type of defense the Heat throw at them. Plus, I haven’t touched on it much, but the Bad Boys style of offense is terribly inefficient. We have years of studies that show the best way to score is to jack up 3s or get in the paint. That Pistons offense was an old school offense that really used a lot more mid range jump shots. In 89, the year they both won and had Mahorn, the Pistons took 400 3 point attempts and hit 30% of them. The Heat have taken 1500 of them and make 39% of them. Yeah, I’d take the Heat in this series.

    • Mar 28, 20138:54 am
      by G

      Reply

      I look at the match ups and I see better athletes on Miami’s team almost across the board. Again, check out Zach Lowe’s article. They fire the ball around the perimeter like crazy, LeBron’s mere presence can break down even the really good defenses, and they’re fantastic defensively.

    • Mar 28, 201310:18 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Do you realize that Thomas averaged 4 TOs per game without ever dealing with anyone who could jump a passing lane like James or Wade? He was a great player, but TOs will kill anyone against the Heat.

      That said, the most comparable team today to the Bad Boys is the Bulls with a healthy Rose. I’d pick the Heat over them, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see it go the other way. The key would be whether LeBron is too overworked to shut down Rose/Thomas. 

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    by autocom cdp

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