You thought the Pistons missed the playoffs? Not at PistonPowered.
We’re honoring the 10th anniversary of the 2004 NBA championship team by examining each postseason game on the corresponding 2014 date. We’ll look back at Detroit’s performances, detail our memories of that time and provide insight from the players and coaches who were Goin’ to Work every single night.
So, stick with us this “offseason.” I have a hunch these Pistons will be playing into June.
|Chauncey Billups, PG 37 MIN | 1-10 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 2 PTSThe Pistons were terrible on offense, but none moreso than Billups. Chauncey had more turnovers than assists and buckets combined. To be fair, he did a good job guarding Jason Kidd.|
|Richard Hamilton, SG 42 MIN | 4-15 FG | 7-8 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTSKerry Kittles is no formidable adversary, but he lit up Hamilton like he was an all-star.|| |
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 23 MIN | 0-2 FG | 4-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTSPrince couldn’t get anything going on either end and was deservedly put on the bench.|| |
|Rasheed Wallace, PF 22 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTSRasheed was only tangling with Kenyon Martin for half of his time on the court. But in those 11 minutes, Martin was able to put up a better line than Rasheed did in 22: 3-7 FG, 3-3 FT, 9 pts, 4 rebs, 1 stl, 1 blk, 1 tov.|| |
|Ben Wallace, C 44 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 24 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 15 PTSBen did everything he possibly could to get the Pistons a victory. He led the team in scoring, snatched rebounds left and right, and made his man a non-factor. But this Detroit team can’t ride Ben alone.|
|Corliss Williamson, PF 17 MIN | 2-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTSWilliamson wasn’t exactly a world beater, but he played better than the guys he was subbing in for.|| |
|Lindsey Hunter, PG 9 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTSHunter may have played better than Billups, but in this game, that’s not saying much.|
|Mehmet Okur, C 14 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTSOkur didn’t shoot well, but he played hard and the Pistons were only outscored 25-22 while he was on the floor.|
|Mike James, PG 12 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTSMike James was able to create a little much needed offense. But, as with Ben Wallace, James isn’t the guy you want to rely on for that.|
|Elden Campbell, C 5 MIN | 0-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTSThere was really no need for Campbell to play in this game.|
|Darvin Ham, SF 15 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTSHam was actually touching the ball for a change. His relative aggression earned him a couple extra minutes.|
|Larry Brown, Head Coach |
Yikes, the Pistons were looking so good. That they lost this game isn’t shocking, but to get blown out after back-to-back dominating efforts? That’s unacceptable.
From the frontlines
Tayshaun Prince was not surprised the Pistons blew out the Nets twice in Detroit to start this series – with a caveat.
“We weren’t surprised if, and only if, we made them play halfcourt basketball,” Prince said. “…Playing against halfcourt basketball was going to be brutal against us.”
So, Prince knew how wide margins on the final score could swing on a single variable.
The pace numbers don’t reflect it, but those Nets really thrived on the fastbreak. Jason Kidd wasn’t the slow-but-effective guard he became just before retirement. He could really push the tempo.
Like a lot of teams that excelled in transition, the Nets fed off their home crowd when their offense clicked. In Game 3 in New Jersey, the Nets raced to a 17-2 lead and never led back.
Kidd shot just 2-for-14, but he had 12 assists to just two turnovers and really controlled the pace.
That’s why, as much as Prince understood the Pistons’ first two wins, he wasn’t surprised by their Game 3 collapse.
“It’s actually hard to do that playing in New Jersey, to make them play halfcourt the whole entire game,” Prince said.
Meet the law of averages.
After cruising to a 2-0 lead, the Pistons finally met some adversity in their Game 3 loss to the Nets. Jason Kidd did his best Point God imitation and the Pistons offense couldn’t find itself. The Detroit defense was so good in the first two games that it had to fade a bit, and it just so happened to do so on the day when the offense did much of the same.
This series was a microcosm of how good Kidd was. You look at those Nets role players — sans perhaps Kenyon Martin — and he was the sole reason why those guys were as good as they were. Richard Jefferson had a huge impact because of Kidd. Kerry Kittles had plenty of open shots because of Kidd.
The Pistons just didn’t have that great of an individual player, and as great as their team and defense were during their run, sometimes it was painfully obvious.
But hey, the Pistons are still leading the Kidd-led Nets, right? Well, at least for now.
- Brady Fredericksen