2003–04 Detroit Pistons season

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2003–04 Detroit Pistons season
Third NBA Championship
Head coach Larry Brown
General manager Joe Dumars
Owner(s) William Davidson
Arena The Palace of Auburn Hills
Results
Record 54–28 (.659)
Place Division: 2nd (Central)
Conference: 3rd (Eastern)
Playoff finish NBA Champions

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television Fox Sports Net Detroit, WKBD
Radio WDFN
< 2002–03 2004–05 >

The 2003–04 Detroit Pistons season was the 63rd season of the franchise, the 56th in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the 47th in the Detroit area. The Pistons were able to finish 2nd overall in the Central Division, behind the Indiana Pacers. Led by new coach Larry Brown and boosted by the trade deadline acquisition of forward Rasheed Wallace, the Pistons advanced to the 2004 NBA Finals, where they defeated the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers in the four games to one, winning their third overall championship and first since 1990.

Draft picks[edit]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 2 Darko Miličić Forward/Center  Serbia and Montenegro Hemofarm Vrsac (Serbia and Montenegro and Adriatic League)
1 25 Carlos Delfino Guard  Argentina Unión de Santa Fe (Argentina)
2 58 Andreas Glyniadakis Center  Greece AEK

Roster[edit]

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Reserve Inactive
C Ben Wallace Elden Campbell Darko Miličić
PF Rasheed Wallace Mehmet Okur
SF Tayshaun Prince Corliss Williamson Darvin Ham Tremaine Fowlkes
SG Richard Hamilton
PG Chauncey Billups Lindsey Hunter Mike James

Regular season[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Indiana Pacers 61 21 .744 34–7 27–14 20–8
x-Detroit Pistons 54 28 .659 7 31–10 23–18 17–11
x-New Orleans Hornets 41 41 .500 20 25–16 16–25 14–14
x-Milwaukee Bucks 41 41 .500 20 27–14 14–27 15–13
Cleveland Cavaliers 35 47 .427 26 23–18 12–29 14–14
Toronto Raptors 33 49 .402 28 18–23 15–26 11–17
Atlanta Hawks 28 54 .341 33 18–23 10–31 10–18
Chicago Bulls 23 59 .280 38 14–27 9–32 11–17
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Indiana Pacers 61 21 .744
2 y-New Jersey Nets 47 35 .573 14
3 x-Detroit Pistons 54 28 .659 7
4 x-Miami Heat 42 40 .512 19
5 x-New Orleans Hornets 41 41 .500 20
6 x-Milwaukee Bucks 41 41 .500 20
7 x-New York Knicks 39 43 .476 22
8 x-Boston Celtics 36 46 .439 25
9 Cleveland Cavaliers 35 47 .427 26
10 Toronto Raptors 33 49 .402 28
10 Philadelphia 76ers 33 49 .402 28
12 Atlanta Hawks 28 54 .341 33
13 Washington Wizards 25 57 .305 36
14 Chicago Bulls 23 59 .280 37
15 Orlando Magic 21 61 .256 39

Game log[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

East First Round[edit]

(3) Detroit Pistons vs. (6) Milwaukee Bucks: Pistons win series 4–1

Last Playoff Meeting: 1989 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Detroit won 4-1)

East Conference Semifinals[edit]

(2) New Jersey Nets vs. (3) Detroit Pistons: Pistons win series 4–3

Last Playoff Meeting: 2003 Eastern Conference Finals (Detroit won 4-3)

East Conference Finals[edit]

(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (3) Detroit Pistons: Pistons win series 4–2

Last Playoff Meeting: 1990 Eastern Conference First Round (Detroit won 3-0)

NBA Finals[edit]

Series summary[edit]

Team/Game 1 2 (OT) 3 4 5 Wins
Los Angeles (West) 75 99 68 80 87 1
Detroit (East) 87 91 88 88 100 4

(OT) denotes a game that required overtime.

The Finals were played using a 2-3-2 site format, where the first two and last two games are held at the team with home court advantage. This is only used in the Finals, all other playoff series are held in a 2-2-1-1-1 format (the team with home court advantage starts).[1]

Aspects[edit]

The Lakers had a lineup of stars such as Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O'Neal - their offensive capability was expected to overpower Detroit's defensive-based gameplan.

Payton and Malone also added to the publicity of the Finals. Perennial All-Stars who had both previously reached the Finals, Payton had led the Seattle SuperSonics there in 1996, while Malone had led the Utah Jazz there in 1997 and 1998.[2] However, Michael Jordan and the Bulls denied their championship rings a total of three times. By the time of Jordan's retirement in 2003, the two veterans were aged and failed to lead their teams deep into the playoffs.[2][3] Thus, this Finals series was seen as the last chance for two of the greatest players in NBA history to finally become NBA champions (Later on, Malone retired while Payton became a champion as a key bench player for the Miami Heat).

Game One[edit]

Sunday, June 6, 2004, 14:30 at the Staples Center.

Considered to be a stunning upset by most of the NBA world, the Detroit Pistons managed to defeat the Lakers with imposing defense.[4] Defensively clamping down on everyone but Bryant and O'Neal, the Pistons managed to hold everyone else to a total of 16 points.

The Pistons trailed the Lakers 41–40 at halftime, but a 10–4 surge capped by Billups's 3-pointer gave the Pistons the lead. O'Neal's foul trouble furthered the scoring gap, with the Pistons leading by 13 points early in the fourth quarter.

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Detroit 22 18 24 23 87
Los Angeles 19 22 17 17 75

Game Two[edit]

Tuesday, June 8, 2004, 15:04 at the Staples Center.

The second game was close throughout the first half, but in the third quarter Detroit would score 30 points, cutting the deficit 68–66. However, at the end of the fourth quarter, Kobe Bryant's 3-point shot at 2.1 seconds to go would tie the game at 89–89. The Lakers and Pistons would then go to overtime, with the Lakers outscoring the Pistons 10–2.

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. OT Total
Detroit 16 20 30 23 2 91
Los Angeles 18 26 24 21 10 99

Game Three[edit]

Thursday, June 10, 2004, 14:31 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Pistons beat Los Angeles by 20 in their first NBA Finals appearance together at The Palace of Auburn Hills since 1989[5] to take a 2–1 lead in the series. The 68 points scored by the Lakers set a (post-shot clock) franchise record for the fewest number of points scored in a playoff game. (Even Jay Leno was upset, saying in his Tonight Show monologue: "68 points? 68 is a great score...if you're playing golf!")

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Los Angeles 16 16 19 17 68
Detroit 24 15 24 25 88

Game Four[edit]

Sunday, June 13, 2004, 14:49 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Again, the Pistons defeated the Lakers, although this time by eight, to take a 3–1 series advantage.

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Los Angeles 22 17 17 24 80
Detroit 21 20 15 32 88

Game Five[edit]

Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 14:32 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

In Game 5, the Pistons won their first championship since 1990, and Larry Brown finally won a title as an NBA head coach. The Pistons defense had overcome the high-scoring Laker offense, winning the game by 13, winning the series 4-1, and also ending a long Laker dynasty that lasted for many years. The game saw the end of Phil Jackson's first run as the coach (he returned for the 2005-06 season), and saw O'Neal, Payton, and Malone's last games in Laker uniforms (O'Neal and Payton were both acquired by the soon-to-be NBA Champions Miami Heat and Malone retired).

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Los Angeles 24 21 14 28 87
Detroit 25 30 27 18 100

Player statistics[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

Season[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Chauncey Billups 78 78 35.4 .394 .388 .878 3.5 5.7 1.08 .10 16.9
Elden Campbell 65 27 13.7 .439 .000 .685 3.2 .7 .32 .77 5.6
Tremaine Fowlkes 36 0 7.3 .313 .125 .722 1.5 .4 .25 .08 1.2
Darvin Ham 54 2 9.0 .493 .500 .600 1.7 .3 .24 .15 1.8
Richard Hamilton 78 78 35.5 .455 .265 .868 3.6 4.0 1.32 .22 17.6
Lindsey Hunter 33 8 20.0 .343 .280 .625 2.0 2.6 1.18 .18 3.5
Mike James* 26 0 19.7 .401 .364 .844 2.2 3.7 1.00 .04 6.3
Darko Miličić 34 0 4.7 .262 .000 .583 1.3 .2 .21 .44 1.4
Mehmet Okur 71 33 22.3 .463 .375 .775 5.9 1.0 .51 .89 9.6
Tayshaun Prince 82 80 32.9 .467 .363 .766 4.8 2.3 .77 .84 10.3
Ben Wallace 81 81 37.7 .421 .125 .490 12.4 1.7 1.77 3.04 9.5
Rasheed Wallace* 22 21 30.6 .431 .319 .704 7.0 1.8 1.09 2.05 13.7
Corliss Williamson 79 0 19.9 .505 .000 .731 3.2 .7 .38 .25 9.5

* Statistics include only games with the Pistons

Playoffs[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Chauncey Billups 23 23 38.3 .385 .346 .890 3.0 5.9 1.35 .09 16.4
Elden Campbell 14 0 8.9 .286 .000 .556 1.8 .7 .43 .64 2.1
Darvin Ham 22 0 4.9 .500 .000 .000 .6 .0 .14 .18 .7
Richard Hamilton 23 23 40.2 .447 .385 .848 4.6 4.2 1.17 .04 21.5
Lindsey Hunter 23 0 11.9 .292 .233 .917 1.4 .9 .78 .17 2.4
Mike James 22 0 8.9 .396 .429 .563 1.2 1.1 .23 .00 2.6
Darko Miličić 8 0 1.8 .000 .000 .250 .4 .1 .13 .00 .1
Mehmet Okur 22 0 11.5 .470 .400 .692 2.8 .4 .23 .41 3.7
Tayshaun Prince 23 23 34.6 .410 .265 .745 6.0 2.3 1.09 1.35 9.9
Ben Wallace 23 23 40.2 .454 .000 .427 14.3 1.9 1.91 2.43 10.3
Rasheed Wallace 23 23 34.9 .413 .243 .767 7.8 1.6 .57 1.96 13.0
Corliss Williamson 22 0 14.9 .364 .000 .809 2.2 .7 .27 .14 5.7

Award winners[edit]

Transactions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Basketball: NBA Playoffs 2007 preview". betinf.com. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  2. ^ a b "Utah Jazz". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  3. ^ "Seattle Supersonics". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on 26 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  4. ^ "Billups, Pistons Swipe Home-Court Advantage". NBA. Retrieved 2007-09-04. Led by their trademark daunting defense 
  5. ^ "DETROIT PISTONS HISTORY". Basketball Tickets. Archived from the original on 6 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 

External links[edit]