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Hollinger's take
I do actually agree with some of Hollinger's sentiments. Larry Brown's Teams and Jeff Van Gundy's both do this as well. They limit the opposition's possessions by taking up most of the shot clock on offense and they make sure to rebound. Whether that is good defense, is arguable. The point of defense in my opinion is to limit points, whether you do that by stealing the ball and blocking shots or limiting possessions, is merely a matter of preference. But, I do feel the Pistons defense is a little overrated. Ben Wallace is a monster on the boards and as a weakside defender, but he is not the best on the ball defender and has size issues matching up with the likes of Shaq, Yao, Illgauskas. While almost everyone has trouble against these centers, Wallace has an almost bulletproof reputation as a defender and few point out his on-the-ball deficiencies. I feel Rasheed is actually the better on the ball defender and he usually draws the assignment against the bigs and PF's like Duncan by the second quarter. He has a wider base, longer arms, and doesn't always go for the block or steal. He just stays tall, while shuffling his feet well. Rip Hamilton plays mediocre if not bad defense and has below average rebounding numbers (3.3/game) for a shooting guard, but he does what Hollinger says. He expends the opposing shooting guard's energy on offense and it makes his job easier on defense. All in all, I wouldn't say the Pistons play defense with offense entirely, but from some angles he is right.

Posted by Eddie at 1/10/2006 2:02:00 PM
Comments (1)

Hollinger's Pace Factor...
John Hollinger has a great read on ESPN Insider that shed's some light on Phoenix's scoring. As you know they lead the league in this department, but, as Hollinger deduces, they get five more possessions a night because of the pace in which they score. By comparison, the Suns have 10 more possessions a night than do the Pistons; due to Detroit's "walk it up" style. Using Pace Factor, Offensive Efficiency and Defensive Efficiency, Hollinger makes the argument, "The plodding, grind-it-out Pistons actually have used an unstoppable offensive attack to help cover for a mediocre defense, while the blazing fast Suns are the ones winning with a suffocating defense. It's almost as if the two franchises switched rosters and decided not to tell anybody." Perception is a funny thing.

Posted by Randy Ball at 1/10/2006 1:30:00 PM
Comments (2)

The Five Points
I wrote yesterday about the five reasons why the Pistons will not win 70+ and even if they do, they should not be compared to the 1995-96 Bulls. Here are the five in summary (feel free to check out the column for specifics). 1. The Bulls blew everyone out. 2. The Bulls streaked like Will Ferrell. 3. Fewer bad losses 4. Bulls had Jordan (in hindsight this should be first) 5. Bulls had Phil, Detroit has Flip. Thoughts anyone...?

Posted by Randy Ball at 1/9/2006 7:45:00 PM
Comments (0)

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