Scouting Report: Pistons vs. Bucks

Updated: April 16, 2004, 6:36 PM ET
By Brian James | Special to ESPN Insider
Pistons' plus-minus breakdown | Bucks' plus-minus breakdown

Brian James, a former assistant coach with the Pistons, Raptors and Wizards, spent the 2003-04 season scouting for the SuperSonics. Insider tapped his NBA expertise to break down each playoff series.

This first-round matchup is surprising for a couple of reasons. Before the season, many people felt Milwaukee had no chance at getting into the playoffs. But the Bucks over-achieved all season with exciting play and great coaching from rookie head coach Terry Porter and were on the verge of sewing up home-court advantage in the first round. Then, just when everyone thought they were headed for the No. 4 seed, they lost a fourth-quarter lead for the third straight game and fell all the way to No. 6.

The reward is opening the playoffs against blue-collar, defensive minded Detroit. The Pistons enter the playoffs having won 20 of their last 24 games. Be ready for low-scoring affairs. It is a rarity now when teams surpass 80 points against the Pistons' attacking defense. They have held opponents below 80 points 23 times, with 11 of them held below 70 points.