What would happen if the Detroit Pistons faced the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA playoffs? Detroit matches up better than you think.
After a stomping of the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat, a lot of Detroit Pistons players talked about the team coming together and ready to play better.
A quick look at the current NBA standings shows the Detroit Pistons only 1 1/2 games from being in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. That would qualify them for the Play-In tournament, if they finished the season in that position.
All Detroit then would have to do is win one game, and they are in the main NBA playoffs. We know the tank for Cade Cunningham crew would not be happy if this occured, but it would give Detroit’s young players some helpful playoff experience.
Is the Pistons making the playoffs probably going to happen? Most likely not.
But if it did, they would be a No. 7 or 8 seed, which means there is probably a good chance they would face the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs.
The Nets are now basically their own all-star team, having traded for James Harden and already having Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Detroit would be heavy, heavy, heavy underdogs to Brooklyn but, it would be fun for both Detroit’s veterans and youngsters to take on what is supposed to be an unstoppable team.
Let’s break down what a Pistons-Nets playoff series would be like. You might be surprised how well Detroit matches up.
First, some assumptions will be factored in for the purpose of a proper analysis:
- The rosters each team currently have will not change much.
- There will be no major injuries, except those that have already occurred (Nets’ losing Spencer Dinwiddie, Pistons’ Killian Hayes). Both teams enter the series healthy.
- We will assume by the time the playoffs start, that at least some fans will be allowed into arenas, making home court advantage more important.
- Assume that Josh Jackson, recently slowed by injury, will reclaim his spot in the Pistons starting lineup.
Detroit Pistons vs. Brooklyn Nets starters
Derrick Rose vs. Kyrie Irving
Although Derrick Rose does not start during the regular season for tactical reasons, he is their main point guard and, in the playoffs, would get most of the minutes.
Rose will probably be playing his last games with the Pistons at this point (he has an expiring contract) so you know he will be fired up for this. His veteran leadership will be key to the Pistons being competitive.
Kyrie Irving helped lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA championship, but he then forced a trade to Boston, where it fell apart with him and his teammates. He and Durant decided to start a dynasty in Brooklyn.
Certainly one of the top guards in the league, he can score many different ways and handle the ball. Defense? Eh.
If this was the 2011 version of Rose, no question he is the better player. But Rose is 32, and with a lot of tread on him. He will provide a lot of leadership for a squad with little playoff experience. But, assuming Irving is not afraid to fall off the edge of the Earth and shows up, he is one of the most dynamic players in the league.
Josh Jackson vs. James Harden
Josh Jackson has looked more like the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft this season than the bust he had been labeled previously. Brought in as a defensive stopper, Jackson has shown surprising ability on offense.
Besides being athletic enough to drive to the hoop, Jackson has also shown a decent outside shooting touch. He certainly has not been a drag on the team on the offensive side.
We all know what James Harden can do – score. One of the most prolific scorers in modern history, he can shoot from outside or kill you (with some help from the refs) getting fouled on drives to the hoop. When he is on, he is virtually unstoppable on offense. Defense? Eh.
Jackson will contribute some on offense as well as defense (one would guess guarding Kyrie) but Harden is a scoring machine and one of the top players in the league..