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Short answer: Yes, but probably not a good one. Extensive statistical and match-up analysis to follow. You've been warned :D

First, let's assume that the Pistons will be the #3 seed in the Eastern conference. For them to be either higher or lower they would have to A. overtake the Pacers or B. slump badly, and neither seems very likely at this point. In round one, they would be matched up with the #6 seed, likely to be Toronto, Boston or Miami. They have excellent chances against any of those teams and would have homecourt advantage, so I'd give them an 80% chance at getting past round 1. Round 2, they'll be matched up against the winner of #2 v. #7. #2 is nearly certain to be the Nets, and it would be shocking if they lost to a second tier team considering the strength of their big three, playoff experience, and the Kidd effect come playoff time. Against the Nets, if we have a better record (which is likely) we would have homecourt advantage, and we are better than we were last year, so I'd give us a 60% chance of beating them.

Next up are the Eastern conference finals. I'd estimate the chances of the Pacers getting through as 60% since they are going to have a tough series against either the #4 or #5 seed (likely the Hornets and Bucks respectively) I'd give us a 33% chance of beating the Pacers in a seven game series without homecourt advantage, and I'd give us a 67% chance of beating either the 4th or 5th seed. Weighted to reflect the Pacers chances of getting to the ECF, if we got that far we would have approximately a 47% chance of getting through to the finals.

I'd give us a 25% chance of beating the Western Conference champ, since whoever that turns out will be a battle test team that has gone through the gauntlet. There are 4 teams out west that have clearly superior talent. (Lakers, Kings, Mavericks, Timberwolves) and a fifth that is dangerous (Spurs). The Western Conference representative would be nearly certain to have home court advantage. We'd have a chance, but I don't think it would be a good one.

What would be the statistical likelyhood of winning each of those match-ups? 5.64% (.8*.6*.47*.25=.0564). I've tried to be as objective as possible in evaluating the Pistons chances against each of these opponents, but if any of you have a different opinion as to the odds I'd be glad to recalculate using your numbers. My hunch is that even if you favor the Pistons' chances more than I do, the end likelyhood still won't be that great.

Personally, I think a 1 in 17.7 chance at a title isn't that great, and that based on that, we should be developing Darko a bit more aggressively, both because he would be critical to our success next season and because he could be potentially a valuable asset for the postseason this year. Many Western teams, and two teams from our own conference have frontcourt players that cause us serious match-up problems. Out west, Duncan, Garnett, Shaq, and Webber are very dangerous. We've had even more trouble guarding O'Neal and Martin.

Ben of course can hold his own against anyone, but using him to man up on an opposing frontcourt star exposes him to foul trouble and hinders his ability to play help defense. These factors have led coach Brown to use Memo and Campbell against elite power forwards and centers for the first 3 quarters, and half the time they get killed. Neither are quick enough to stop the Martins and O'Neals of the world. Darko is far quicker than either of them, and taller and longer besides. As a situational defensive stopper, he could provide a very useful 5-10 minutes a game by breaking the rythym of a player who had been effectively exploiting the limited lateral mobility of our other centers. He might quickly pile up the fouls, but you can bet that he'd throw those guys off their game. He may not be ready as an all-around player, but my best guess is that if Brown told him "you can play for as long as you can stop player X from scoring", he'd be an aggressive, tenacious defender. He's just as quick as those guys (Garnett excepted), and taller and longer than any of them (Shaq excepted). They may still score, but they'd really have to work for it.

Really, I doubt that this post will change any minds, but I'm hoping it will start an interesting discussion :)
 

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Originally posted by <b>JustinSane</b>!
Short answer: Yes, but probably not a good one. Extensive statistical and match-up analysis to follow. You've been warned :D

First, let's assume that the Pistons will be the #3 seed in the Eastern conference. For them to be either higher or lower they would have to A. overtake the Pacers or B. slump badly, and neither seems very likely at this point. In round one, they would be matched up with the #6 seed, likely to be Toronto, Boston or Miami. They have excellent chances against any of those teams and would have homecourt advantage, so I'd give them an 80% chance at getting past round 1. Round 2, they'll be matched up against the winner of #2 v. #7. #2 is nearly certain to be the Nets, and it would be shocking if they lost to a second tier team considering the strength of their big three, playoff experience, and the Kidd effect come playoff time. Against the Nets, if we have a better record (which is likely) we would have homecourt advantage, and we are better than we were last year, so I'd give us a 60% chance of beating them.

Next up are the Eastern conference finals. I'd estimate the chances of the Pacers getting through as 60% since they are going to have a tough series against either the #4 or #5 seed (likely the Hornets and Bucks respectively) I'd give us a 33% chance of beating the Pacers in a seven game series without homecourt advantage, and I'd give us a 67% chance of beating either the 4th or 5th seed. Weighted to reflect the Pacers chances of getting to the ECF, if we got that far we would have approximately a 47% chance of getting through to the finals.

I'd give us a 25% chance of beating the Western Conference champ, since whoever that turns out will be a battle test team that has gone through the gauntlet. There are 4 teams out west that have clearly superior talent. (Lakers, Kings, Mavericks, Timberwolves) and a fifth that is dangerous (Spurs). The Western Conference representative would be nearly certain to have home court advantage. We'd have a chance, but I don't think it would be a good one.

What would be the statistical likelyhood of winning each of those match-ups? 5.64% (.8*.6*.47*.25=.0564). I've tried to be as objective as possible in evaluating the Pistons chances against each of these opponents, but if any of you have a different opinion as to the odds I'd be glad to recalculate using your numbers. My hunch is that even if you favor the Pistons' chances more than I do, the end likelyhood still won't be that great.

Personally, I think a 1 in 17.7 chance at a title isn't that great, and that based on that, we should be developing Darko a bit more aggressively, both because he would be critical to our success next season and because he could be potentially a valuable asset for the postseason this year. Many Western teams, and two teams from our own conference have frontcourt players that cause us serious match-up problems. Out west, Duncan, Garnett, Shaq, and Webber are very dangerous. We've had even more trouble guarding O'Neal and Martin.

Ben of course can hold his own against anyone, but using him to man up on an opposing frontcourt star exposes him to foul trouble and hinders his ability to play help defense. These factors have led coach Brown to use Memo and Campbell against elite power forwards and centers for the first 3 quarters, and half the time they get killed. Neither are quick enough to stop the Martins and O'Neals of the world. Darko is far quicker than either of them, and taller and longer besides. As a situational defensive stopper, he could provide a very useful 5-10 minutes a game by breaking the rythym of a player who had been effectively exploiting the limited lateral mobility of our other centers. He might quickly pile up the fouls, but you can bet that he'd throw those guys off their game. He may not be ready as an all-around player, but my best guess is that if Brown told him "you can play for as long as you can stop player X from scoring", he'd be an aggressive, tenacious defender. He's just as quick as those guys (Garnett excepted), and taller and longer than any of them (Shaq excepted). They may still score, but they'd really have to work for it.

Really, I doubt that this post will change any minds, but I'm hoping it will start an interesting discussion :)
Yes, they do have a shot, but they'll need some luck. Homecourt advantage wouldn't hurt either. Of course I'm not going to let you write all of that and reply with a couple sentences. After I get back from class tonight, I'll have a much better response and reasons why.
 

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JustinSane, Great post but the success of a team can not be determined by numbers and stats and that is what makes sports so fun to watch! The key parts of basketball are talent and heart. All NBA teams are talented especially those that are in the playoffs and the difference between a great player and a really great player is tiny compared to a difference in mental toughness/motivation. If one group of talented players isn't prepared and another group of talented players are hungry to get a win then the better prepared team will come away with it. All coaches have good plays that is why they are NBA head coaches and for the most part all playoff boudn teams will have a coach well suited for its team. You are comparing a bunch of 10/10's to 10/10's they are all great and that is why they have their jobs. Who would have ever thought the Bucks are where they are? Or that the Blazers are where they are. Every NBA player is talented so don't assume the Mavericks are more talented then the Pistons because they are not.

I'm not gonna say we will win necessarily but don't just calculate out a 17 percent chance of success because it is so much more then that and as a fan you will get much more satisfaction out of the sport the sooner you realize that.
 

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Can't really argue too hard because it's all subjective. But if I were handed with the fact that the Pistons had a 1 in 17 chance of winning the NBA Championship, maybe you wouldn't, but I would go all out for it. Think about it, if you had a 1 in 17 chance of winning 10 million dollars in the lottery, would you buy a ticket?

If the Pistons are ready to compete now, and it seems like they have that chance, they should go for it. You never know when the opportunity will come around again. Next year the wheels could totally fall off, and you'd be stuck sitting there playing the "what if" game. There is no guarantee that the Pistons will be as good as they are this year, although I'd assume everybody would say there's a pretty good shot that they will be. In my opinion, planning for the future should only come up if you are deafeated. If you know there is no chance you can win, then you start planning for next year. But with that chance, as minimal as it may be, you have to hold out hope. So, I want the coaching staff to put the team in the best possible position to win basketball games.

Just because Darko doesn't play in the games at all this year, doesn't mean his season was a total bust. Look at the muscle he has put on, the shape he is in. He's much improved athletically and physically. Through practices he's run drills with one of the top teams in the NBA and some of the best players in the world. Through hard work during practice he's improved his game. This offseason I'd assume he'd partake in summer league play and more offseason conditioning. Come October 2004, maybe then he will be ready to be a contributer to this team. But as of now, he isn't. Watching him from the outside and taking an impartial view of him during game scenarios, he just isn't there yet. Will he ever be ready? Certainly, but we knew coming in this was going to be a long process. There's really no reason to get so antsy now, be happy with the record we have. Because, if Darko was playing in "important" minutes, I'd be willing to bet, a 99.5% guarantee, that we wouldn't have the same record. And we wouldn't even be thinking about competing in the finals, let alone making the finals. The prospectus of us gaining homecourt advantage, instead of fairly good, would be bleak at past.

Chris Bosh, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony are all getting playing time and shining. But, the reason for that is they don't have the talent in front of them at their respective positions. With Larry Brown's system Memo, Elden, Ben, and Corliss are playing the bulk of minutes at the 'big' positions. I don't think anyone would argue that any one of those players isn't ahead of Darko, right now (well, maybe <i>rainman</i> ;) ). Zelly Rebraca is a different story. He hasn't been getting many more minutes than Darko since the start of this calander year, so I don't see the need to really bring him up. As far as the Cleveland game, I hold by my hypothesis that putting Darko up against Illgauskus would have been a bad idea. But, I certainly hope Memo is back against the Hornets so we don't have to worry about this anymore.

Good post, though. I like the Pistons, you like the Pistons. We both want championships, but have different ideas about how the Pistons should conduct business. Can't fault anyone for having an opinion, if they can back it up.
 

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Originally posted by <b>jvanbusk</b>!
Can't really argue too hard because it's all subjective. But if I were handed with the fact that the Pistons had a 1 in 17 chance of winning the NBA Championship, maybe you wouldn't, but I would go all out for it. Think about it, if you had a 1 in 17 chance of winning 10 million dollars in the lottery, would you buy a ticket?

If the Pistons are ready to compete now, and it seems like they have that chance, they should go for it. You never know when the opportunity will come around again. Next year the wheels could totally fall off, and you'd be stuck sitting there playing the "what if" game. There is no guarantee that the Pistons will be as good as they are this year, although I'd assume everybody would say there's a pretty good shot that they will be. In my opinion, planning for the future should only come up if you are deafeated. If you know there is no chance you can win, then you start planning for next year. But with that chance, as minimal as it may be, you have to hold out hope. So, I want the coaching staff to put the team in the best possible position to win basketball games.

Just because Darko doesn't play in the games at all this year, doesn't mean his season was a total bust. Look at the muscle he has put on, the shape he is in. He's much improved athletically and physically. Through practices he's run drills with one of the top teams in the NBA and some of the best players in the world. Through hard work during practice he's improved his game. This offseason I'd assume he'd partake in summer league play and more offseason conditioning. Come October 2004, maybe then he will be ready to be a contributer to this team. But as of now, he isn't. Watching him from the outside and taking an impartial view of him during game scenarios, he just isn't there yet. Will he ever be ready? Certainly, but we knew coming in this was going to be a long process. There's really no reason to get so antsy now, be happy with the record we have. Because, if Darko was playing in "important" minutes, I'd be willing to bet, a 99.5% guarantee, that we wouldn't have the same record. And we wouldn't even be thinking about competing in the finals, let alone making the finals. The prospectus of us gaining homecourt advantage, instead of fairly good, would be bleak at past.

Chris Bosh, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony are all getting playing time and shining. But, the reason for that is they don't have the talent in front of them at their respective positions. With Larry Brown's system Memo, Elden, Ben, and Corliss are playing the bulk of minutes at the 'big' positions. I don't think anyone would argue that any one of those players isn't ahead of Darko, right now (well, maybe <i>rainman</i> ;) ). Zelly Rebraca is a different story. He hasn't been getting many more minutes than Darko since the start of this calander year, so I don't see the need to really bring him up. As far as the Cleveland game, I hold by my hypothesis that putting Darko up against Illgauskus would have been a bad idea. But, I certainly hope Memo is back against the Hornets so we don't have to worry about this anymore.

Good post, though. I like the Pistons, you like the Pistons. We both want championships, but have different ideas about how the Pistons should conduct business. Can't fault anyone for having an opinion, if they can back it up.
thanks for the chapter in your little book there. let me touch on the original thread that asked if they could win a title. yes they could but i dont see it. the pistons are the type of team that plays close games every night. the fact that they cant get any easy wins is actually a bad thing. i dont see enough scoring come playoff time to beat a really good team. i like the pistons but they arent better than the nets or the pacers, of course thats just my opinion. as for our favorite serbian rookie i have a differant take(surprise,surprise). i think he would have been much better at this point if he had played more. so what if it costs you a couple of losses,although i'm not sure that it would have. one could make the argument that they would have had a couple more wins. i think people tend to foget that most of these kids that come into the league arent ready. what usually gets them going is confidence. i would have looked at darko as a raw rookie that would pay dividends come playoff time. to that end i would have worked to get him ready, obviously the coaches either dont share that opinion or they think others are better. i have seen enough of elden campbell and zelly rebracca to know these are guys that he could have easily suprassed. hey its their decision there i just think its the wrong one.
 
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