Garrett talks Pistons!

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At 17-7 the Detroit Pistons currently possess the second best record in the NBA’s Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics. Thus far the Pistons have looked like, well the Pistons. They still have the tendency to play to the level of their opponent. They still seem to play a little relaxed when they play at the Palace, and there hasn’t been one player that has been completely consistent.

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With all that said, the Pistons are still among the NBA Elite. One glaring difference between this years’ team and last is the fact that Flip Saunders is utilizing his bench. This is the reason why this team still has one of the best records in the league. Even with the inconsistent play, the fact of the matter is that the Pistons are arguably the best team in the league on paper. There are not many teams in the league that have a legitimate backup at each position.

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It is extremely beneficial to have the luxury of being able to play two different styles. When the starters are in the game, they can play a tough half court game, where their sets are being run to perfection. The bench is loaded with energy guys that still exhibit hard-nosed play, but possess more athleticism than the starting group.Â

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Jarvis Hayes has been a good addition to the roster, because of his willingness to play defense, and ability to knock down the open jumper. Flip Murray is an extremely skilled player, who I think should get more time, but it seems apparent that he won’t be in Detroit for that much longer. Aaron Afflalo is a solid player that just knows how to do everything well. Jason Maxiell has arguably been the Pistons’ best big man this season. He is an absolute beast that plays reckless, but in control all the time. The production of the bench will increase when Rodney Stuckey (who I think will become a star) returns from his hand injury to add more scoring punch.

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In order for this team to return to the Finals, the veterans will have to play at a high level on a consistent basis, considering the improved competition in the Eastern Conference. Even though I don’t trust him, Flip Saunders must trust his bench and continue to play them adequate minutes in order to give their opponents different looks and to rest the starters. As always, it is up to Rasheed Wallace to be productive.  His play directly correlates with the play of the rest of the team.

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So with just over a quarter of the season in the books, the Detroit Pistons are currently in a good spot. They are floating under the radar, with all of the attention being given to the 20-2 Boston Celtics. Wednesday night, we’ll get a chance to see the Pistons against those Celtics in what is likely to be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.

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