Here are some of the numbers for the last 8 NBA Champions (in 1999, there were only 50 games played): So, what does all of this mean? 1. You don't necessarily have to be a #1 seed, but top 3 is nice. 2. You don't have to sweep through every series in the playoffs. Just keep on advancing. 3. Having a top 10 offense is a good thing. 4. Having a top 10 defense is also a good thing. 5. Having an All-Star or two on your roster doesn't hurt your chances. So, do the Pistons have a chance this year? 1. The Pistons are on pace to finish 57-25. Okay. 2. The Pistons are headed toward a #2 seed in the conference. Okay. 3. At 97.8 ppg, the Pistons are scoring the 14th most points. Not so good. 4. Allowing 90.2 ppg, the Pistons are giving up the 2nd fewest points. Okay. 5. There is a good chance Detroit will have one or two All-Star reserves. Okay. The Pistons appear to be in the mix, but so are several other teams: * Dallas and Washington (yes, the Wizards) are the only two NBA teams that currently rank in the top 10 offense and top 10 defense (points per game). * Boston has the #1 defense and currently ranks #12 in offense. * There are 5 teams (Phoenix, Golden State, Lakers, Denver, Utah) averaging 105+ points per game, but when looking at the numbers, the old cliche' "Defense wins championships" appears to be more than just a cliche'. * Perhaps the biggest surprise so far this year is New Orleans. Currently the #2 seed in the West, the Hornets have the 4th best defense and the 13th ranked offense.