Another good piece from Derrenmatts on CG. I can see more parallels with the more current Detroit team than with the previous one. The one thing we are lacking is their complete dedication to defense. A team can win without superstars if they have great chemistry and a dedication to defense. Doc is going to have to commit to defense and stress it in practice if we are to win a championship. Teams can win it all without a super star but no one will win if they don't play tough defense.
Interesting to look at both Pistons eras that won a championship over the past 20 years. The one in the late 80's won without a true superstar, and so did the most recent one a few years ago. It is definitely a challenge to win a championship without having at least one of the game's best players on the team, but both Pistons versions have been able to accomplish this feat.
Actually, there are some parallels that can be made with our current team and both versions of championship Pistons teams.
Pistons: Isaiah Thomas and Joe Dumars Celtics: Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West
I'm not sure, at this point, who is going to be our starting SG. It could be Wally, it could be Tony Allen. Or it could be Delonte West. But for the sake of this comparison, lets look at Delonte at the starting 2 spot. Both the Pistons backcourt and our current backcourt are dimunitive in size. Telfair and Isaiah are both sub 6 footers and quick as lightning. Dumars and Delonte are both short SG's with terrific shooting ability. In both comparisons, you have terrific ball handlling floor generals who are capable of creating offense for the team, as well as for themselves, and you have terrific complimentary players on the opposite side who can score from the perimeter and act as secondary PG's. Its not the prototypical way you'd construct your backcourt, but the Pistons have proven that you can assemble a short backcourt that can be highly effective.
The Rebounding Big
Pistons: Bill Laimbeer Celtics: Kendrick Perkins
The Pistons' main anchor was Bill Laimbeer. There were other big men who helped solidify the rebounding up front, like Rick Mahorn and Dennis Rodman. But Laimbeer was the most prevalent. He wasn't athletic and he didn't run any faster than Babe Ruth circling the bases after a homerun. But he was an important cog in the Pistons system because he used his rugged body and relentless effort to grab as many boards as he could. Perkins is very similar to Laimbeer, though currently not as experienced or wily.. He also uses his bulk and strength to gain positioning like Laimbeer did, and he has a mean steak in him that could very well stir up some future brawls on the court. Perkins may not turn out to be a star, but like Laimbeer, he knows his role is to rebound and play rough and tough. Its dirty and often unappreciated, but someone has to do it.
The Scoring Power Forward
Pistons: Rasheed Wallace Celtics: Al Jefferson
Turning to the new Pistons era for this comparison, we see that Rasheed Wallace was a key piece to the puzzle for the Pistons run at the title in '04. It was the trade that brought Wallace to Detroit that enabled them to get over the hump. He brought a big mismatch to the table because he could score from the inside and outside. Teams could not load up on Chauncy, Hamilton or Teyshaun because Rasheed was right there waiting to stick the dagger in them. He made it hard for teams to plan their defensive strategies. We also have our own scoring PF, though right now he's still under development. We are currently waiting to reveal the finished product, and we will wait in hope and anticipation because he is blessed with amazing physical gifts. Al Jefferson has the raw talent to put the ball though the hoop. At this point, he relies on quickness and catching players off guard to get his points, but he's been working hard on his footwork and positioning to become a better post player. With the right mindset and the right coaching, Jefferson should give us what Rasheed gave the Pistons--a big scoring option at PF.
Deadly Wing Scorer
Pistons: Richard, "Rip", Hamilton Celtics: Paul, the "Truth", Pierce
Its not fair to Rip Hamilton to put him in the same league as Pierce, but on the Pistons' team, he plays just as an important part in their success as Pierce does for the Celtics. Without his shooting and clutch scoring, the Pistons are not the same team. Pierce is one of the league's top scorers and is one of the best at getting to the free throw line. His scoring is vital for the Celtics' success.
Pistons: Vinnie, the "Microwave" Johnson Celtics: Gerald, the "Smooth Assassin" Green
Alright, I pulled that nickname out of my hat without much thought, and I'm sure there are nicknames that will be much cooler. But Gerald is definitely a smooth assassin with his slick athleticism. He can turn out to be a scoring punch off the bench, much like Vinnie Johnson was for the Pistons back in the 80's. Its an important role because as a bench player, Gerald won't be on the floor for long periods of time. So when he does get into the game, he needs to be instant offense and give teams a different look on defense.
The Pistons were able to win 3 titles without a true superstar. This goes against conventional wisdom that says that there needs to be at least one Gold Medal player on a team in order to have a good chance to win a championship trophy. I do ascribe to this thinking, because statistics prove that Gold Medal players are the magic ingredient for almost every championship team in league history. But I certainly like the team we have now and the players Ainge has accumulated, and would love to see this team win it all going against the grain. source:Celtics Green - Derrenmatts
I think our chances of winning a championship with this group of players we have on the team right now are good, if these "IF's" become reality.
-Perkins becomes a top 5 rebounder -Jefferson averages better than 18 ppg -Telfair (or Rondo) average 10 apg -We have a strong bench that goes 4 ~ 5 deep -4 out of 5 players in the starting rotation average double figures in scoring -We become a top 7 rebounding team -We become one of the better defensive teams