The Detroit Pistons were a real powerhouse back in the late ’80s and at the beginning of the ’90s. The Bad Boys, as they were commonly known, were a defensive juggernaut that won two straight championships and three consecutive NBA finals appearances. The Pistons were known for their fierce defense, but on the other hand, they often played dirty, and they aimed to injure the opposing players. That led to them being one of the most hated teams in the NBA back in the day.
In a recent interview on NBA TV, Isiah Thomas was asked whether that Pistons team would be able to compete in today’s NBA. Thomas thinks that wouldn’t be a challenge, and he elaborated what the advantages the Pistons had back in the day that would make them a championship contender today are. In today’s NBA, most of the teams are forcing the three-point shot, and Thomas thinks the Pistons had solid perimeter players that would more than capable of defending anything the teams are running today.
“First of all, defensively we would be one of the premier defensive teams in the league because of our ability to defend on the perimeter. If everybody is shooting three-point shots, we had great perimeter defenders in terms of Dumars, Vinnie Johnson, myself, Rodman, Salley. We had bigs that could step out on the perimeter and shot the three. With no hand-checking and no bigs in the lane, I don’t have to worry about getting slapped upside the head, eyes busted.”
Thomas also believes his style would be even more fitted for the NBA today, and he thinks there is a lot of similarity in the way Tony Parker played the game and how he ran the offense. The Pistons back in the day beat the teams that had Magic, Bird, and Jordan on their roster, so in Thomas’s mind, there is no doubt they would win a championship in this era as well.
“I would probably be like Tony Parker, who led the league in field-goal percentage one year just by making layups. So we would do extremely well, and if we could dominate in that era of Magic, Bird, Jordan, I’m confident we can dominate and win championships in this era also.”