The Detroit Pistons have drawn the Cleveland Cavaliers as their first round opponent in the playoffs. A team the Pistons "won" the season series against 3-1. However, LeBron James and the Cavaliers have so much more playoff experience than the Pistons. At the same time, Stan Van Gundy has won more playoff games than Tyronn Lue has coached... ever.
Of the Pistons' 15 players, only seven of them have been to the playoffs. Collectively they have played 3,588 minutes in 195 games. Only one of those seven players is a Pistons starter, Reggie Jackson (899 minutes in 30 games). The others are Reggie Bullock (5 minutes in 2 games), Steve Blake (1,042 minutes in 49 games), Jodie Meeks (247 minutes in 19 games), Anthony Tolliver (89 minutes in 10 games), Aron Baynes (164 minutes in 22 games), and Joel Anthony (1,142 minutes in 63 games).
James alone has nearly double the minutes played in almost the same number of games -- 7,561 minutes in 178 games. But the Cavaliers experience does not stop there. Only two players on their roster have never been to the playoffs, both rookies. Everyone else (so not including James' numbers) combines for 13,016 minutes in 537 games. That is nearly four times the minutes and three times the number of games that the Pistons players have played.
But while the Pistons players are inexperienced in the playoffs, their coach is not. Stan Van Gundy has coached in 87 playoff games and won 48 of them, a winning 55.2 winning percentage. Let's not forget that he was able to take the 2008-09 Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals. The same cannot be said for the Cavaliers' coach Tyronn Lue. Lue has only been a coach for the Cavaliers' last 41 games (27-14 in that time).
So which matters more? The playoff experience of the coach or the players? There is one thing Lue does have that Van Gundy does not, and that is playoff experience as a player. Lue played 170 minutes in 21 playoff games (no starts). Not particularly effective offensively, and a rather small sample size, there's no telling how that will or won't help Lue in the playoffs. But let's be real, Lue is not the coach, LeBron is.
I like Brandon Jennings' thinking in how this will all play out...
East Playoffs— Brandon Jennings (@thinkiminthe90s) April 14, 2016
Pistons, Pacers, Boston, Charlotte
1st Round Winners
What say you, faithful DBB fans?