Can the Pistons go the distance? All five of their regular starters played at least 2,600 minutes during the regular season. Over the last 30 years, only two other teams had five 2,600-minute players: the 1983-1984 Washington Bullets and the 1993-1994 Denver Nuggets.
The Pistons' regular starting lineup (Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace) played 1,397 minutes together this season --more than any other five-man combination on any NBA team.
Are they peaking at the right time? 76ers have won seven of nine and 10 of 15 to climb into the playoffs and save their season. They are dangerous offensively with multiple weapons, but will their recent change of personnel, adding Chris Webber, be enough to win in 1st round?
These are the defending champs because defense is important to them and they play unselfishly at both ends. They have no individual star on offense, move the ball from side to side and make the extra pass. But is their second unit good enough this year?