Skip to main content

2004 low-scoring, shallow-depth Pistons won the Title - Can the 2020 Celtics do it?

Many NBA analysts feel that the current Celtics squad lacks the depth to be a legitimate Championship contender. They may be correct, but a look at two NBA Champions, the 2004 Pistons and 2008 Celtics, may add some interesting comparisons.


The 2004 Detroit Piston featured Chauncey Billups (6'3"), Rip Hamilton (6'7"), Tayshaun prince (6'9"), Ben Wallace (6'9") and Rasheed Wallace (6'11"). In the Finals match-up, Detroit faced the heavily-favored Los Angeles Lakers led by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Despite being underdogs, the Pistons won the series in five games.

The Pistons basically went 8-deep in the Finals with players logging double-digit minutes. The five starters all averaged double-digits in points, going from Prince's 10.0 PPG to Hamilton's 21.4 PPG. Beyond the top-8 players, no Piston supplied significant contributions. The five starters averaged only 77.0 points per game, and the three primary bench guys contributed 11.2 points/game. But the players were tough defensively, and that won the series for them. How good were they defensively in the 2004 post-season (per Wikipedia):

The 2004 Pistons had a Defensive Rating of 92.0 in the Playoffs.

This is the lowest Defensive Rating any team has had in a Post-1st Round Playoff run in the 3-point era (1980–present)

The composition of the Champion 2008 Boston Celtics was different. That team went 10-deep, with 6'11" Kevin Garnett, 6'7" Paul Pierce, 6'1" Rajon Rondo, 6'5" Ray Allen and 6'8" James Posey leading the way. Boston took the series away from the Lakers in six games. Los Angeles was led by Kobe Bryant and Paul Gasol. Despite only averaging 8.9 minutes per game, Leon Powe contributed 6.2 PPG and 3.2 RPG, so I included him in the 10-man rotation.


Now we fast-forward to 2020 and the current Celtics Squad. Brad Stevens is still fiddling with his lineups, attempting to fabricate a mix of starters and back-ups that can go far in the post-season. When healthy, the starters have generally been Daniel Theis, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward, with Marcus Smart the main guy off the bench. Enes Kanter, Semi Ojeleye and Grant Williams have all logged time as substitutes.

It is obvious that this current crew will not have the depth of the 2008 group. Pierce and Company had P. J. Brown, Eddie House, Kendrick Perkins, Sam Cassell and Powe as back-ups. They were solid one-through-ten. Those five subs contributed 26 points per game in the Finals. Particularly if Kanter doesn't see a lot of time on the floor, that won't be happening this post-season for Boston.

The five starters for Boston are currently averaging 91.9 points/game, 14.9 points more than that Pistons squad put up in the Finals. And they are sound defensively, currently ranked fourth in the League at 105.9 points-allowed per game. The positive factors for the playoffs for Boston are that they are a very good defensive team, and they have four starters that can score a lot of points. The downside right now is the shallow bench. Brad Stevens seems focused on getting his crew healthy, but banking on a full contingent for the postseason is a risky proposition.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook









Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Elm Street Nightmare

 A true-and-suspenseful horror tale of haunting, homicides and the hunt for triple-murderer, Daniel Laplante - as told by the cops that were there By Lt. Thomas Lane (Ret.) and Off. Steven Bezanson (Ret.) Daniel Laplante - cold, calm, clever, calculating- Photo: YouTube   Elm Street  surfaces on four occasions in the Laplante saga: 1.) He  resided on Elm Street  in Townsend, Massachusetts 2.) He  kidnapped a woman  at gunpoint on  Elm Street, Pepperell , Massachusetts 3.) He was arrested and transported to Massachusetts State Police Barracks on Elm Street in Concord . 3.) He was  tried, convicted   and sentenced for the murders at  Superior Court , corner of  Elm Stree t and Gorham Street, Lowell, Massachusetts. When evil and cleverness reside in the same mind, the stage is often set for true horror. Such was the case with triple-murderer, Daniel Laplante . As a 16-year old , he quickly transitioned from: Minor thefts and breaking into homes To: Taunting and threatening a father and

Sign the Petition! Let's honor Tommy Heinsohn

  No longtime Celtics fan can watch games this year without a somewhat heavy heart. For the last 50 plus years, we have been blessed as a franchise to have Tommy Heinsohn, Mr. Celtic himself, as a part of the organization. Whether it be as a player, coach, or commentator, Tommy has been an instrumental figure for the green, and his presence is missed on every broadcast. Nobody embodied what it meant to be a Celtic more than Tommy, and I know I miss his energy and ferocity every time Scal claims the refs "made the right call" against the Cs. While Tommy obviously belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics, he is often overlooked in his place among the greats of NBA history. Looking back upon his life, one would be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger impact on NBA basketball than Mr. Celtic. For those who are unfamiliar, let's do a quick review. Tommy is one of 2 people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and coach (the other being the indomitable Len

Using trade exception to acquire Aaron Gordon needs consideration

The Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon was taken fourth-overall in the 2014 NBA draft, two spots before Boston picked Marcus Smart at #6. I felt at the time that Danny Ainge would have taken Gordon with the sixth pick if the 6'8" power forward was still on the board. Well now, with a $28.5 million trade exception in his hands, it may be time to consider adding the super-athletic wing. Here's why: Brad Stevens feels you can't have enough mid-sized wings Brad Stevens does not favor the "little guys" because they often get mis-matched on defense by taller opponents. He also is not fond of the old-school, big centers. In his mind, they just can't be effective on his switching, perimeter defensive strategies. Gordon's salary fits the trade exception Aaron is set to earn $18.1 million this season and $16.4 million in the 2021-22 season. His salary was front-loaded, and that relatively-low $16.1 million figure kicks in when Jayson Tatum's max contract goes