Defense Wins Championships In 2004, Detroit Pistons

You are probably very familiar with the former coach of the mantra "defense wins championships." This statement applies to almost all major sports. A team that really illustrates this mantra were the Detroit Pistons 2004. At the time, their best player was their defensive anchor, Ben Wallace, a defensive player of the year and an All-Star. The top scorer of the team was Rip Hamilton, but he averaged a solid 17.6 points per game during the 2003-2004 season. This meant that Detroit has established a balanced offensive attack while relying on his defense brick wall to fuel his offense.

They also had a very solid bank full of role players who were also defenders themselves quite capable. They had guys like Corliss Williamson and Mike James to give them some energy bank. Many fans and analysts believe that the addition of All Star forward Rasheed Wallace was the last piece of the puzzle that Detroit needed to be in contention for the title.

Throughout his career, Wallace has earned a reputation as capable and as a defensive presence in the paint marker. With the two Wallaces (Ben and Rasheed) defense inside Detroit has become one of the most difficult in the NBA. When the team made the NBA Finals in 2004, many people see us as outsiders because they were going against a stacked Lakers team that featured four future Hall of Famers Karl Malone, Shaq, Gary Payton and Kobe Bryant. However, Detroit would shock the sports world when they took care of easily the Lakers in five games. Each victory came convincingly where they used overwhelming defense to overcome the offense in high octane Lakers.

Billups was named Finals MVP and Larry Brown finally won his first (and only) as a professional coach. Detroit Pistons 2004 will always be remembered for the use of defense and teamwork to overcome obstacles and win big.

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