Scouting Report: Nets vs. Pistons

Updated: May 3, 2004, 12:52 PM ET
By Brian James | Special to ESPN Insider
Nets' plus-minus breakdown | Pistons' 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.

Even though New Jersey has the higher seed, Detroit has home-court advantage in this series because of their better overall record. This will come into play, as I believe New Jersey could have to win two games in Detroit to have a chance to advance. Both teams are very capable of winning away from home, having each won twice on their opponent's courts in the first round.

You can only evaluate the Detroit Pistons on what they have accomplished since acquiring Rasheed Wallace. They are 25-7 with him, and the last time these teams played, in New Jersey with Rasheed wearing the Pistons uniform, the Nets were held to 71 points and didn't get their famed fast break attack unleashed.

That will be a real key for Detroit. They are a good transition defensive team, and to win this series they must value getting back and stopping the over-the-top pass by Jason Kidd. Forcing the Nets to run a half-court offense will be one of Detroit's goals. The Piston's believe they are the best defensive team in the NBA, and they might be right.