In 2004, the Detroit Pistons shocked the NBA world. The team, which comprised of Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace as the starters, defeated the heavily favorited Los Angeles Lakers in the finals and won the NBA championship title. They were able to take down the NBA’s juggernaut because they played a team game –they helped out on defense and passed the ball around on offense.
This Pistons team is considered to be one of the best to have ever played in the NBA. Though they only won one title, in the years that they played together, they were consistently competing for the top spot.
Late last week, Hamilton and Prince told CBS Sports' NBA Crossover that their team could beat this season’s Golden State Warriors in a seven game series…with one caveat. They said that their team’s defense could stop the Warriors. However, it depends on the rules, because if they played with today’s rules, then their physical defense would get them into foul trouble.
"It would be no comparison." Hamilton said. "We can guard every position. Every guy from our point guard to our five, can guard any position. We were big. We were long."
"It depends on what the rules are," Prince said. "Because back when we played, we could play hands-on, physical. As you can see from the Pacers rivalries and all of the rivalries we had back in the day, we were scoring in the high 70s, low 80s. We were physical. So now if you play this style of play, where they're running and gunning and touch fouls and things like that, all of sudden we would start getting in foul trouble because back when we played, we were very, very aggressive on defense."
A lot of past champions have been coming out and making these similar claims. Like Scottie Pippen, who earlier this year said that the 95-96 Chicago Bulls would sweep the Warriors. And why should they not? They’re athletes, they’re competitive, and this is a sport, and it’s a fun discussion to have. But could any of these claims be true? We’ll never know, but it’s still fun to speculate.
So, do you think the 2004 Pistons could beat the Warriors in a seven game series (with today’s rules)? Let me know in the comments below.