1988–89 Detroit Pistons season

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1988–89 Detroit Pistons season
First NBA Championship
Head coach Chuck Daly
General manager Jack McCloskey
Owner(s) William Davidson
Arena The Palace of Auburn Hills
Results
Record 63–19 (.768)
Place Division: 1st (Central)
Conference: 1st (Eastern)
Playoff finish NBA Champions

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television PASS Sports, WKBD
Radio WCXI
< 1987–88 1989–90 >

The 1988-89 NBA season was the Pistons' 41st season in the NBA and 32nd season in the Detroit metropolitan area. The Pistons moved from the Pontiac Silverdome to the brand-new Palace of Auburn Hills before the start of the season, which culminated in the Pistons' first NBA championship.

Draft picks[edit]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
2 30 Fennis Dembo Forward  United States Wyoming
2 48 Micheal Williams Guard  United States Baylor
3 72 Lee Johnson Forward  United States Norfolk State

[1]

Roster[edit]

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Reserve Inactive
C Bill Laimbeer James Edwards
PF Rick Mahorn John Salley
SF Mark Aguirre Dennis Rodman Fennis Dembo
SG Joe Dumars Vinnie Johnson John Long
PG Isiah Thomas Micheal Williams

Regular season[edit]

On February 15, 1989, the Pistons traded Adrian Dantley to the Dallas Mavericks for Mark Aguirre. Dantley was unhappy relegating the leadership role on the Pistons to Isiah Thomas, while Aguirre had clashed with his coaches and teammates in Dallas. Aguirre was more amenable to deferring to Thomas, and accepted his role in Chuck Daly's system.

Season standings[edit]

Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Detroit Pistons 63 19 .768 37–4 26–15 20–10
x-Cleveland Cavaliers 57 25 .695 6 37–4 20–21 19–11
x-Atlanta Hawks 52 30 .634 11 33–8 19–22 20–10
x-Milwaukee Bucks 49 33 .598 14 31–10 18–23 11–19
x-Chicago Bulls 47 35 .573 16 30–11 17–24 12–18
Indiana Pacers 28 54 .341 35 20–21 8–33 8–22


Playoffs[edit]

After finishing with the best record in the NBA, the Pistons swept through the first two rounds of the playoffs. In the Eastern Conference finals, they faced the Chicago Bulls, whom they'd defeated in the conference semifinals a year earlier. Although the Bulls were able to win two of the first three games, the Pistons' use of their "Jordan Rules" defense wore out Michael Jordan, setting up Detroit's second consecutive NBA Finals appearance against the Los Angeles Lakers.

East First Round[edit]

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (8) Boston Celtics: Pistons win series 3-0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1988 Eastern Conference Finals (Detroit won 4-2)

East Conference Semifinals[edit]

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (5) Milwaukee Bucks: Pistons win series 4-0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1976 Western Conference First Round (Detroit won 2-1)

East Conference Finals[edit]

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (6) Chicago Bulls: Pistons win series 4-2

Last Playoff Meeting: 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Detroit won 4-1)

Player stats[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game

Regular season[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Mark Aguirre 36 32 29.7 .483 .293 .738 4.2 2.5 .44 .19 15.5
Adrian Dantley 42 42 31.9 .521 .000 .839 3.9 2.2 .55 .14 18.4
Darryl Dawkins 14 0 3.4 .474 .000 .500 .5 .1 .00 .07 1.9
Fennis Dembo 31 0 2.4 .333 .000 .800 .7 .2 .03 .00 1.2
Joe Dumars 69 67 34.9 .505 .483 .850 2.5 5.7 .91 .07 17.2
James Edwards 76 1 16.5 .500 .000 .686 3.0 .6 .14 .41 7.3
Steve Harris 3 0 2.3 .250 .000 1.000 .7 .0 .33 .00 1.3
Vinnie Johnson 82 21 25.3 .464 .295 .734 3.1 3.0 .90 .21 13.8
Bill Laimbeer 81 81 32.6 .499 .349 .840 9.6 2.2 .63 1.23 13.7
John Long 24 1 6.3 .475 .000 .846 .5 .6 .00 .08 2.0
Rick Mahorn 72 61 24.9 .517 .000 .748 6.9 .8 .56 .92 7.2
Pace Mannion 5 0 2.8 1.000 .000 .000 .6 .0 .20 .00 .8
Dennis Rodman 82 8 26.9 .595 .231 .626 9.4 1.2 .67 .93 9.0
Jim Rowinski 6 0 1.3 .000 .000 1.000 .3 .0 .00 .00 .7
John Salley 67 21 21.8 .498 .000 .692 5.0 1.1 .60 1.07 7.0
Isiah Thomas 80 76 36.6 .464 .273 .818 3.4 8.3 1.66 .25 18.2
Micheal Williams 49 0 7.3 .364 .222 .660 .6 1.4 .27 .06 2.6

Playoffs[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Mark Aguirre 17 27.2 .489 .276 .737 4.4 1.6 .47 .18 12.6
Fennis Dembo 2 2.0 1.000 .000 .000 .0 .0 .00 .00 1.0
Joe Dumars 17 36.5 .455 .083 .861 2.6 5.6 .71 .06 17.6
James Edwards 17 18.6 .471 .000 .784 2.1 .7 .06 .47 7.1
Vinnie Johnson 17 21.9 .455 .417 .758 2.6 2.5 .24 .18 14.1
Bill Laimbeer 17 29.2 .465 .357 .806 8.2 1.8 .35 .47 10.1
John Long 4 2.0 1.000 .000 1.000 .0 .0 .00 .00 1.2
Rick Mahorn 17 21.2 .580 .000 .654 5.1 .4 .53 .76 5.7
Dennis Rodman 17 24.1 .529 .000 .686 10.0 .9 .35 .71 5.8
John Salley 17 23.1 .586 .000 .667 4.6 .5 .53 1.47 8.9
Isiah Thomas 17 37.2 .412 .267 .740 4.3 8.3 1.59 .24 18.2
Micheal Williams 4 1.5 .000 .000 1.000 .5 .5 .25 .00 .5

NBA finals[edit]

Main article: 1989 NBA Finals

The Pistons' overpowering play allowed them to sweep the Lakers, who struggled to fill the defensive void left by Byron Scott's injury prior to the start of the Finals. Joe Dumars was named Finals MVP. In addition, Magic Johnson pulled a hamstring early in the second game, and unable to play the rest of the series. The Lakers depleted back court allowed the Pistons to have an easy time to the 1988-89 NBA Championship.

Game Home Team Road Team series
Game 1: L.A. Lakers 97 at Detroit 109 1-0
Game 2: L.A. Lakers 105 at Detroit 108 2-0
Game 3: Detroit 114 at L.A. Lakers 110 3-0
Game 4: Detroit 105 at L.A. Lakers 97 4-0

Pistons win series 4-0

Award winners[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]