Detroit Pistons: NBA All-Time Starting Fives

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Detroit Pistons: NBA All-Time Starting Fives

The Detroit Pistons have an interesting identity. Despite having some fantastic offensive players throughout the years, this is a franchise in which individual achievement has had little correlation with team success.

Not one of the Pistons’ nine all-time leading scorers (by scoring average, minimum 100 games) possesses a ring from one of the franchise’s three championship seasons (1989, 1990 & 2004). In their title runs, the Pistons have been defined by toughness, rebounding, and defensive intensity. The franchise was led in the late 80's by Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer, perhaps the most hated player in league history, and later by defensive stopper and workhorse Ben Wallace.

The Pistons’ biggest offensive threats-Dave Bing, Bob Lanier, Baily Howell, Grant Hill, among others- never had the kind of team success that their defensive-minded counterparts enjoyed, while the likes of Rick Mahorn, John Salley, Dennis Rodman, and Ben Wallace— hard workers but hardly super-skilled—have achieved the ultimate team success and a remembered as champions.

While the past two seasons (and probably a few to come) have been less-than-stellar, thanks to the epic failure that was the Darko Milicic era, choosing Rip Hamilton and Rodney Stucky over Chauncey Billups, and some lackluster free agent signings (what would Isiah, Laimbeer, and Mahorn have thought of Charlie V??), the Pistons have put together a pretty solid legacy.

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