2004 Pistons = 2011 Sixers

If you look at NBA.com’s power rankings you will seem some familiar teams in the top five. Reigning MVP Derrick Rose has the Chicago Bulls there, last year’s leading scorer Kevin Durant has his Thunder team on the list, The experienced Spurs are always there, and the big three-quarters (Miami Heat) are ranked in the top five as well.

However if you take a closer look at the top five teams in the league, you will notice a team that has not been a top five team since, Allen Iverson’s MVP season back in the 2000-2001. Yes the same season the Sixers went all the way to the NBA finals. The casual fan would not understand why the Sixers are ranked fourth in the NBA according to nba.com’s power rankings. They would look at the lineup and say “There are no stars on that team”,  a statement 76ers fans hear way too often when discussing their favorite team. But remember in 2004 there was a Detroit Pistons team that did not have a superstar player, they have very talented and unselfish players that played for the team, and not for themselves. That Detroit Pistons won a championship and defeated the heavily favored LA Lakers team which suited 4 future hall of famers ( Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’neal). That Detroit Pistons team is this years Philadelphia 76ers team.

Sixers have dominated in all 10 of their wins so far this season and they do have bright young stars. They might not score as much as Carmelo Anthony or have as many assist as Chris Paul. They are smaller stars that fit well in a constellation to form a very powerful team (eight players averaging more than 8 points per game). A team that is third in the NBA in scoring offense (101.0 points per game) second in the NBA in scoring defense ( 87.43 points per game) and first in points differential (plus 13.57 points per game).

The one difference about the Detroit and the Sixers thus far this season, is the Sixers have not had a signature win against an “elite team”. Until they get that win naysayers will continue to say that the Sixers can not compete for a title without a “superstar.” They (Sixers) will have a chance to gain some respect with games against the Hawks, and the Heat in the next couple of days. Hopefully the experience that they have gained throughout the playoffs last season and this season will payoff.


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