The Miami Heat have had an impressive run through the playoffs. Miami has shown a lot of grit. They seem to be undermanned. The Heat have some surprising hero’s. Miami is playing the LA Lakers in the Finals. Although all of those things remind you of the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons. That’s where the similarities end.
Articles on the 2020 NBA finals have read like this: “How the 2004 Detroit Pistons and the 2020 Miami Heat became spitting images.” Detroit Free Press. “Miami Heat remind me of the 2004 Pistons” JJ Reddick. “Lakers – Heat feels a lot like Lakers – Pistons” Deadspin.
After watching Game 1 last night it’s clear these people never really watched the 2004 Pistons. All they see is a MEGA team vs “The Little Guy”.
Comparing the teams
2004 Detroit Pistons
The 2004 Pistons had everything I listed in the first paragraph. But, they also were so different. To me, the biggest difference is the type of players.
Outside of Jimmy Butler there aren’t many journey men on the Heat starting rotation. The 2004 Detroit Pistons were built of guys who were over looked, cast offs. Even though they all had talent.
Chauncey Billiups was the 3rd over all pick in Boston. The Celtics gave up on Chauncey a year later. Leading him to play for Toronto, Denver, Orlando, Minnesota, then finally finding a home in Detroit.
RIP Hamilton was a 7th overall pick in Washington. He backed up Mitch Richmond his rookie year. Then was moved to SF. The Wizards acquired some dude named Micheal Jordan, pushing RIP back to SG. Leading to and eventual trade to Detroit.
Ben Wallace an undrafted player from Virginia Union. Even though he was undrafted, he worked his way to being elite the Pistons.
Rasheed Wallace was traded from Portland to Detroit. Wallace had history with this Lakers team when he was part of the Portland team that lost to the Lakers in a memorable Western Conference Finals matchup.
The point is all these guys were savvy vets and had been looked over for many years in the NBA. They all came together and formed the greatest defensive team of all time.
The 2020 Miami heat team is a nice team. They have had a nice run. We can all agree, last night would have never happened to the fellas above. If you look at the core players for Miami their rosters do not even compare to the Pistons.
Jimmy Butler is probably the only one that I would deem “Pistons Like” He is gritty, he has been passed around, and he is a great teammate.
Outside of Jimmy, the Miami Heat are too reliant on young players.
Tyler Herro is awesome. I cant wait to watch this kid flourish in the NBA. But he’s just that, a kid. Rookies seldom are major role players on Championship teams.
Duncan Robinson is an amazing shooter. He will mature and get better. He’s just doesn’t have the girt of someone who has been in the league and passed over time and time again.
Bam Adebayo was a starter for the first time this year. He is a nice player, major upside to his game. But, he has a long way to go. With more time he can be a Ben Wallace type player.
Lets Stop comparing the Heat to the Pistons
The Heat are young, they are talented, they are the underdog. However, that does not make the the 2004 Detroit Pistons. Let alone the players the ’04 Pistons would have never let a team go on a 45-20 run. Hell, most teams count even get 80! Can we stop making that comparison now?