By Dan Jenkins
The Detroit Pistons are getting some national love in a new list of the top guard duos of the modern NBA era (post-1976 merger).READ MORE: Michigan Matters: The Political Road Ahead
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton concocted a formula involving WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player) and number of All-Star appearances to come up with the rankings. The Portland Trailblazers’ backcourt of Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler came in at the top spot (even though they never won a championship), while the Pistons Hall of Fame duo of Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars ranks fourth.
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“No guard teammates combined for more All-Star appearances together than Dumars and Thomas, who are both Hall of Famers. Subjectively, those honors plus a pair of titles would put them near the very top of most backcourt rankings. Dumars doesn’t score as well by WARP, though, and that costs Detroit’s duo on this list.”
Surprisingly, another Pistons combo rounded out the list at No. 10 — Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton, who played six years together in Detroit and won one championship in 2004.
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“Like their Detroit predecessors, Billups and Hamilton fare better in terms of All-Star appearances (Dumars/Thomas was the only other backcourt where both players were All-Stars at least three times while playing together) and titles (one, in 2004) than advanced stats. Hamilton’s game, which depended heavily on midrange jumpers and featured few box-score contributions besides points, hasn’t held up well in this regard.”
Fans know Thomas’ and Dumars’ accolades (retired numbers and Hall of Fame inductions), but it will be interesting to see going forward how Billups and Hamilton compare to the legendary Bad Boys duo within Pistons lore.