A Pistons-Suns Finals?

Updated: December 20, 2004, 9:28 AM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider

There's one thing we can say for sure about preseason predictions. They are about as reliable as the seven-day forecast over the Bermuda Triangle.

After all the offseason moving and shaking, after the preseason games had been won and lost – you look at teams, on both paper and in truncated versions on the court and ... well ... you guess.

Sometimes the guesses make you look like a genius. Sometimes ... eh, not so much.

Now that we are nearly a third of the way through the season, here are Insider's "educated" NBA predictions. Out with the Tarot cards. In with the game film.

The good

Detroit Pistons: The defending champs are 12-11. They've suffered bad losses to the Hawks, Bobcats, Grizzlies and Bucks. They were blown away, on their home floor, by the Pacers. They've been embroiled in scandal and lethargy. Their lock-down defense – the same one that won them the title last year – has on recently reared its nasty head. Their lock-out offense, however, has been on permanent display.

So how can the Pistons still be atop of our list of teams with a chance to win it all? I'll let a rival Eastern Conference GM put it into perspective.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer