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Potential Playoffs Matchup: Detroit Pistons

Continuing our series on Potential Playoff Matchups we look at the Detroit Pistons.  (Also see Miami Heat)

Detroit Pistons
Celtics won season series 3-1
Team Blog: Detroit Bad Boys

Pros:  Right now they are a dysfunctional mess.  They are 3-7 in their last 10 games and Allen Iverson is becoming a the distraction that all his detractors said he would become.  They don't have Mr. Big Shot (Billups) anymore, and they clearly miss his leadership.  Sheed is a shell of himself (except in the area of picking up technicals, where he's still unmatched).  Young players Stuckey, Maxiel, and Amir Johnson have not blossomed as they would have hoped.  And on top of all that, everyone knows that the Billups trade was made with an eye to future cap space and not for this year.

But other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

Cons:  Well, they're still the Pistons.  Rip Hamilton can still fill it up night in and night out.  Prince is still a plus defender.  When Sheed cares enough to show up, he can be a matchup nightmare.  Allen Iverson, when healthy, can still score in bunches.  Basically on any given day they can look like the Pistons of old.

Matchup Highlights:  It is always interesting to watch Rip and Ray go at it all game. They run each other through a myriad of screens and knock down jumpers with the tiniest of slivers of space.  As mentioned, Sheed is hard to guard for most centers because he floats out to the 3 point arc.  But if he isn't hitting that shot, he can turn translucent for games at a time.

Conclusion:  The biggest danger with this team is the fear of the unknown.  They seem like they could put everything aside for a few games and handle business like they used to.  Or they could completely implode and get run out of the playoffs in 4 straight games.  Prediction: If they play the Celtics, they'll either make it a 7 game series or they'll get swept.

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