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Cheeks: Pistons better than ‘83 Sixers

Maurice Cheeks has high praise for the Pistons, comparing them favorably to the 1983 Sixers team he was a member of that won the NBA title:

That squad, which went 69-13 in the regular season and 12-1 in the playoffs, featured a starting five of Cheeks, Andrew Toney, Julius Erving, Marc Iavaroni and Moses Malone, with Bobby Jones, Clint Richardson, Clemon Johnson and Earl Cureton as the primary bench players.

Yet Cheeks, now the Sixers' head coach, admitted that the 2005-06 Pistons, who were 56-14 going into Wednesday night's game, are probably superior to the Sixers' title team.

"I think their personnel is a little better — I don't want to get my boys upset at me or anything — than [we were]," Cheeks said. "They have offensive players that can take over a game — Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton. Rasheed Wallace can stretch the defense as well as any big guy. You can't take Tayshaun Prince lightly."

One trait those Sixers and these Pistons share is they both seem to be on a mission to win the championship. Detroit earned a title in 2003-04, only to lose to the Spurs in seven games during last season's NBA Finals.

Incidentally, the comparisons don't end there: the '83 Sixers also had four All-Stars that year: Cheeks, Erving, Malone and Toney. And Jones won the inaugural Sixth Man of the Year award with the Sixers that season, an honor that a lot of Pistons fans feel Antonio McDyess should be in the running for this year.

Cheeks: These Pistons better than '83 Sixers []