Scouting Update: Nets vs. Pistons

Updated: May 11, 2004, 6:51 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.

The Pistons and Nets have roller-coastered through a number of momentum changes thus far, with their very different styles creating both feasts and famine at the offensive end.

Detroit dominated Game 1 and the second half of Game 2. New Jersey did the same in the first half of Game 2 and all of Game 3. Fast starts are important, although Detroit did overcome a slow start in Game 2. They couldn't in Game 3, however, when New Jersey burst to a 15-2 lead and led 31-13 at the end of the first quarter. Detroit never really recovered.

What has worked?
Each team has had long stretches were they have played to their strengths. New Jersey has to get out and run in transition for as many fast-break points as possible. When the Nets have allowed the Detroit defense to set up in the half court, they've had trouble putting points on the scoreboard.