As far as all-time great point guards go, Isiah Thomas is often overlooked because of his small stature, the legends who shared the court in the 80s and early 90s (Magic, Bird, MJ), and several other reasons, including the Bad Boy Pistons’ rough and controversial style.
But make no mistake about it, Thomas is easily one of the top five point guards of all-time, with a style that would go well in any era.
A few years back Thomas was posed an interesting question by TNT host and fellow Michigan hoops legend Chris Webber: How would the Bad Boy Pistons have “checked” the Golden State Warriors dynasty of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green?
Thomas breaks it all down in the video clip below, a must-watch if you’re into the old school vs. new school debate:
How would the Bad Boys compete against today’s @warriors team? ?@iamisiahthomas weighs in… #PlayersOnly pic.twitter.com/KrYSlTcocL
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 28, 2017
Thomas makes a lot of interesting, overlooked points in the video.
Many people don’t realize just how ahead of their time the Bad Boy Pistons really were. They weren’t just a defense-oriented team who won by roughing up opposing players, they also could score with anybody.
A few key points made by Isiah:
-Bill Laimbeer was a knockdown three-point shooter and elite rebounder who would have given the Warriors’ platoon of big men major problems, not to mention Draymond Green
-The Pistons brought serious firepower off the bench in Mark Aguirre (who averaged over 25 ppg four times in the 1980s yet rarely started in the ’89-’90 playoffs) and Vinnie Johnson
-Dennis Rodman was “the best athlete” Isiah ever saw in the NBA, and he’s seen a lot of basketball. ‘The Worm” vs. Kevin Durant would be must-see TV and present a challenge KD hasn’t seen in today’s NBA
Pistons vs. Warriors: Could Detroit Stop Them on Defense?
A quick glance at the head-to-head stats using the website shows what a juggernaut the 2017-2018 Warriors were on offense (see a breakdown of their matchup with the 1989-1990 Pistons here).
Golden State has a big edge on points per game and shooting percentages, knocking down 12.7 threes per game to Detroit’s 3.1 — more than four times the rate.
But where Detroit shines in this matchup is on the defensive end, as they gave up just 94.8 points in their playoff run, far and away the best mark in the league.
By comparison, Golden State gave up 105.8 points per game, no doubt a function of the fast pace at which they played.
With this in mind, who do you think takes a seven-game series between these two?
Thumbnail photos via AP/Mlive.com