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Old 10-01-06, 03:23 AM
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Pistons' main rivals include Spurs

Eye on the enemy

*

We take a look at how the Pistons' main rivals fared in the off-season.

MIAMI

Last season: Won NBA title in six games over Dallas and eliminated Detroit, 4-2, in the East finals.

Off-season: The core is back, including coach Pat Riley, Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning.

Outlook: Worse. Dwyane Wade makes the team a title contender. But Shaquille O'Neal, Payton and Mourning appear to be slowing down. And will Antoine Walker and Jason Williams behave and be hungry enough for another title run?

CLEVELAND

Last season: Lost to Pistons, 4-3, in the second round.

Off-season: LeBron James agreed to an extension, and all of Cleveland was relieved. The Cavs added veterans David Wesley and Scot Pollard and drafted MSU guard Shannon Brown.

Outlook: Better. James nearly beat Detroit last season. This year, the supporting cast must improve enough under second-year coach Mike Brown to surpass the Pistons.

SAN ANTONIO

Last season: 2004-05 champs lost in the second round to Dallas.

Off-season: The core of the team -- Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili -- returns. Duncan, who struggled with a sore foot last year, should be healthier. The team replaced Rasho Nesterovic and Nazr Mohammed at center with Francisco Elson.

Outlook: Same. The Spurs will be a contender again, though some of their supporting cast (Brent Barry, 34, and Bruce Bowen, 35) is past their prime. .


DALLAS

Last season: Had Miami on the ropes in the Finals, but collapsed in four straight games.

Off-season: The Mavs might have added good role players in MSU's Maurice Ager and veterans Devean George and Austin Croshere.

Outlook: Better. They're the No. 1 contender. They have to hold off resurgent Phoenix. And Dirk Nowitzki must recover from an awful NBA Finals.

CHICAGO

Last season: Baby Bulls put up a strong fight before losing to Miami in the first round.

Off-season: Ben Wallace is the key addition. Ben-esque center Tyson Chandler was shipped to the Hornets for better-scoring veteran P.J. Brown.

Outlook: Better. Could contend with Pistons for division title, and some are calling them a championship contender. But tying up millions of dollars in a one-dimensional player like Wallace is a gamble.

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Old 10-01-06, 09:42 AM
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Isn't San Antonio on almost EVERY teams rivsl list? I swear, anytime there are clips of other teams, the Spurs are usually playing defense, same with basketball cards back in the early 90's. Am I the only one who notices, or am I crazy?

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Old 10-01-06, 11:49 AM
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Are the Pistons themselves a rival anymore? Don't think so.
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Old 10-01-06, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sith Lord View Post
Isn't San Antonio on almost EVERY teams rivsl list? I swear, anytime there are clips of other teams, the Spurs are usually playing defense, same with basketball cards back in the early 90's. Am I the only one who notices, or am I crazy?

Sith
I have noticed that to it seems like the spurs are in every highlight reel when it comes to highlights of opposing teams or players.
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Old 10-01-06, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnac The Magnificent View Post
Are the Pistons themselves a rival anymore? Don't think so.
I tend to agree with you Carnac, but we'll just have to wait and see for sure.
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Old 10-01-06, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnac The Magnificent View Post
Are the Pistons themselves a rival anymore? Don't think so.
I'd tend to agree. But it's early.
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Old 10-02-06, 01:45 AM
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Ben Wallace was their backbone. Now he's gone. They'll be good, but not the threat they were before. I always thought the key to their success was Larry Brown and Ben Wallace. Both are gone. We'll see how they are. there aren't too many dominant teams in the NBA anymore.
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