Spurs at Pistons: Contrast in franchises

Essentials

  • Teams: San Antonio Spurs (37-14) at Detroit Pistons (21-29)
  • Date: February 10, 2014
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons are heading in vastly different directions this season, and one could say this was to be expected. Both respective franchises have operated in contrasting ways over the last few years, and well, only one team has benefitted from it all: the Spurs.

Gregg Popovich has been the head coach of San Antonio since the 1996-97 season, whereas the Pistons will unveil their 11th coach in the same timeframe tonight. What’s more, the Spurs defeated the Pistons in the 2005 NBA Finals and have kept the same core of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

San Antonio opted to keep their aging roster and simply tweak around it to ensure they remained competitive. Since meeting Detroit in the finals, Duncan and Co. have captured another title, lost in the title round and been to two conference finals.

On the flip side, Detroit was bounced from three consecutive conference finals and then blew up the roster. They managed a postseason berth in 2008-09 thanks to Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace, but LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers swept them out of the first round.

The Pistons have not been back to the postseason since. Detroit was supposed to bounce back in 2013-14 with its new and improved roster featuring the newly acquired Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, but things have not gone exactly as planned.

The Pistons are one game out of the eighth spot, but they hardly look like a team with an opportunity to win a playoff game or even provide any type of competition in the postseason should they make it.

San Antonio on the other hand has been a model of consistency since these teams met in the finals, and figure to continue being the envy of almost every other franchise for another year or two.

Consider this little nugget: The Spurs practically have as many road wins (19) as the Pistons’ total amount of victories (21) this year. The Pistons franchise is heading on a different path…again.

They fired Maurice Cheeks, and now must wait to see what the results will be with another headman steering the ship. Fair or not, it would appear as though Detroit is simply hitting the reset button, and that the same decisions will get made over and over again by the front office.

Interestingly enough, San Antonio evolved in concert with the league’s changes while Detroit did… we are not quite sure. In a nutshell, those are your two basketball clubs that will face off tonight.

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