Wednesday, January 18, 2006


So, yesterday we reviewed Chicago's record-setting '96 lineup... now, as promised, it's time to look at the '06 Pistons.

A full decade later this Detroit Piston team is, at the very least, threatening to tie Chi-Town's 72-10 1996 mark. There remains a very real chance that the boys from Mo-Town could even break MJ's 72-10 record! With Wallace and 'Sheed pulling down the 'boards, and Rip' Hamilton and Chauncey Billups burying baskets in bunches... this Detroit team could very well go 70-12.. or dare I say it? I dare, I dare... 73-9. Breaking the '96 Bull record would be an unparalled achievement. Perhaps the only other record that is so outrageous? Wilt Chamberlains 100 point game. The Lakers' Kobe Bryant or 76'ers Allan Iverson could conceivably accomplish this heady feat.

Chauncey Billups: Taken by the Celtics with 3rd overall pick in the '97 draft, Billups has led a nomadic Hoopster lifestyle. The upside of Billups' journeyman career? The savvy Point' immediately blossomed under the tutelage of then Piston coach Larry "Travellin' Man" Brown. Chaunce' leads the team in Assists with 8.6 per game, Free Throw % shooting 92.5% from the 'stripe, and in 3-Point accuracy, draining 42+% of his long-distance dial-ups.
A fantasy dream for all Roto-rooters, Billups has recorded insane Assist numbers of 19, 16, 14, 12, and a whole buncha' 10 and 11 dime' days.
A late-bloomer Billups, at 29 years of age, still has 3-4 solid seasons remaining at the Point. Even then, an athlete with Billups' skills and court-vision might be able to thrive at the 2 spot.
With his leadership skills, Basketball IQ, and ability to communicate with a variety of personality types... coaching could even be in Chauncey's future.

Richard Hamilton: Rip' was drafted by the Washington Wizards with the 7th pick of the '99 draft. A sharp-shooter, Hamilton can be clutch much like Jordan was...and as flexible and versatile as Scottie Pippen. Hamilton is deadly from beyond the arc, draining almost 46% of his attempts. This is a marked improvement over last season's ghastly bad 30.5% 3-Point accuracy. In addition, Rip' buries a whopping 50% of his shots from the floor and hands out a trio of dimes' a night.
Few NBA'ers have Hamilton's sugar-sweet shot and form. If the "Jumper" is becoming a lost art... and many believe it is, than Hamilton is Basketball's answer to Rembrandt! Richard Hamilton is an "elite" Jump shooter.
With Billups slashing to the hoop and kicking it out to Rip'... the Pistons are at their most dangerous.

Ben Wallace: There may be no more intimidating paint presence, but at age 32... "Big Ben" may be winding down. At 6-9/240, Wallace seems much larger. Could be that, because he's got the 'Fro kickin' LIVE, he exceeds 7 feet in height. Whatever, few Point Guards are inclined to dart into the lane when Wallace is patrolling it. A Rebound and shot blocking "specialist," Wallace "cleans the glass like Windex" (almost 13 'boards per) and plays Volleyball with incoming shots (2+ No-No's a night).
Ben has at least 1 swat in every game but 4, and 4 or more "spikes" in 7 tilts. In addition, the hybrid PF/C has notched 2- 20+ rebounds games... and has pulled-down fewer than 10 boards in but 8 games!

Tayshaun Prince: Taken late in the 1st round (24th) of the '02 draft, Prince plays a BIG Small Forward. It's not that Prince is so tall, because at 6-9/215 he's on the pretty average, to slender side. No, it's that the 6' 9" athlete has the wing-span of a 7-Footer! Prince has these... tentacle-like arms that can wipe down the glass and spike shots into the $1,000 floor seats. Prince isn't the shot-swatter Utah Jazz PF Andrei Kirilenko is... nor is he the Rebounding force team-mate Ben Wallace is. Some might say that T-Prince is an under-achiever. Maybe he is... but if so, Prince's "under-achievements" are the envy of many pro Hoopsters. The Piston SF is currently posting a line of 14.4/4.6/2.4, and shooting 45+% from the floor.

Rasheed Wallace: The Piston Power Forward was taken by the "Washington Bullets" with the 4th overall pick in the '95 draft. Posting a line of 15/6.5/2.6, 'Sheed pairs up with Big Ben to form a "Twin Tower" tandem. A big man at 6-11, Wallace has a nice shot that belies his size. Without doubt, Wallace is unafraid to shoot from long-range. The top of the key being his favorite spot, Wallace buries 42% of his 3's and has 15 in his last 10 games.
Part enforcer part rebounder part shooter, 'Sheed IS versatility itself.


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