These aren't your father's Pistons. Heck, if your baby brother was born 10 days ago, he wouldn't recognize this Detroit team, either.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers and guard Ray Allen warned against taking too much from Boston's 88-76 win in Detroit on Dec. 9.
“We definitely were glad that we won,” Allen told reporters before the game. “We don’t feel as though we played great, but to be able to win was the icing for us...You knew they were going to get better,"It took getting comfortable with Allen (Iverson) and Allen getting comfortable with the system. What they did, with wins over the Cavaliers and over the Lakers, was very impressive."
Rivers said there's something very different about these Pistons.
"I was yelling, ‘Get back,’ the entire game [on Nov. 9], and I hadn’t done that in the previous years with Detroit," said Rivers. "And that bothered me, that worried me. Even in that game, even though they didn’;t take avantage of it. Iverson puts so much pressure on your transition defense. One of the things we try to do is make teams play against our half court defense. When we set it, we’re pretty good. But he gives them that other element."
But while the Celtics aren't counting that last meeting as a glimpse of the real Pistons, Detroit coach Michael Curry isn't making excuses for his team.
“You take that they kicked our tail,” said Curry. “You don’t throw nothing away. Then you’re not learning from it…they came in and did what they do.”
Allen said he expects to see the Pistons more than just the three times these teams meet during the regular season.
“Either way we’re going to see them in the playoffs,” said Allen. “It doesn’t matter how. We hope to have home court advantage, but we’re going to see them. They have veterans on their team, playoff experience, they have guys who know how to win games.”