Both iterations of championship Detroit Pistons teams boasted an elite defense. The Bad Boys and the Goin’ to Work Pistons were two of the top five defensive teams of all time. In this new era, the Pistons have the potential to add a third defensive juggernaut to their storied history and that starts with the guards – Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.
The Bad Boys and the Goin’ to Work Pistons both possessed an elite interior anchor and lock-down wing defenders, flanked by relentlessly tough guards.
In addition to defensive player of year Dennis Rodman, the Detroit Pistons had Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, two of the scrappiest and strongest guards in the league at the time. Despite being lethal on offense, both Thomas and Dumars didn’t leave anything on the table on the defensive end.
In a league that featured some of the best perimeter players of all time, the Bad Boys had many complaining around the league that their style was “too physical” or “not real basketball”.
In the same spirit, the early to mid-2000’s Pistons strung together years of deep playoff runs and a championship on the back of the best defense the league has ever seen. Another defensive player of year anchored the interior, Ben Wallace, but both Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton made things difficult before even entering the paint.
While shouldering a bulk of the offensive duties, Billups and Hamilton hounded other guards and smothered some of the best wings we’ve ever seen. The league was forced to take corrective action against hand checking and other advantageous defensive tactics after the Pistons allowed league low 79.7 points per game after acquiring Rasheed Wallace.
We could do a whole piece covering the defensive excellence of this team.
So what do these two teams that are multiple eras removed from the present have to do with today’s Detroit Pistons?