The 2004 Detroit Pistons were a unique championship team without a flashy superstar and built around defense.
Comparing teams from different eras is always tough (and somewhat foolish), but that’s exactly what Draymond Green did on a recent episode of his podcast.
Draymond is no stranger to hot takes himself and talked about how his Warriors teams would have beaten the 1998 Bulls by double digits and that year’s Utah Jazz team by 40.
I continue to find it hilarious how many modern players want to take shots at Michael Jordan and underestimate just how good he and those Bulls teams were, but it’s hard to argue hypotheticals, especially when the game has changed so much since then.
That’s especially true of the “Goin’ to Work” era Pistons, who existed before a lot of the rule changes that morphed the game into the offensive spectacle you see now.
That’s why Kendrick Perkins’ response to Draymond caused a whole lot of argument.
Kendrick Perkins and the 2004 Detroit Pistons
Here is what Perkins had to say in response to Draymond’s nonsense about blowing out Michael Jordan:
There is a lot to unpack here, which is why the comments below devolved into heated debate pretty quickly.
I do think the 2004 Detroit Pistons have an argument for being the best defensive team of all time. I you just look what they did to teams in the playoffs that season and how they shut down a Lakers team with prime Kobe and Shaq, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a team that was better at stifling an opponent.
They held the Lakers to 80 or fewer points in three of the five NBA Finals games that year and held playoff opponents under 80 points 12 times overall in that playoff run, including a few games played in the 60’s and one where they held the Nets to 56 points.
If the rules were the same as they were then, I do think Kendrick Perkins is right. It would be hard for anyone to beat a team that only needed to score 80+ points to win a Finals game.
The rules have changed, and I am not sure that the 2004 Detroit Pistons had the offensive firepower to beat anyone, evidenced by the fact that they only won one title in that era.
I’d say the1988-89 Pistons were actually a better overall team, so the Goin’ to Work squad might not even be the best Pistons team from any era.
I applaud Kendrick Perkins for brining up this team and I agree with him in some ways, but probably wouldn’t go quite as far with the accolades.