When it comes to the greatest backcourt trios in NBA history, there are two groups of players that are often compared: Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Vinnie Johnson of the Detroit Pistons, and Magic Johnson, Byron Scott, and Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Lakers. While the Lakers’ trio is often celebrated for their dominance in the NBA in the 1980s, the Pistons’ trio deserves just as much recognition, if not more, for their incredible skills and accomplishments. Here are some reasons why the Pistons’ trio was a better backcourt than the Lakers‘ trio.
First, the Pistons’ trio was known for their incredible toughness and resilience. They were nicknamed the “Bad Boys” for a reason, as they played an aggressive and physical style of basketball that often intimidated their opponents. Thomas was the heart and soul of the team, known for his fiery personality and fearless approach to the game. Dumars was a steady and reliable shooting guard who could score from anywhere on the court and was a lockdown defender. Johnson, meanwhile, was a sixth man who came off the bench and provided an instant spark with his scoring ability, giving him his nickname, “The Microwave”.
Together, these three players formed a backcourt that was almost impossible to stop. They had a remarkable chemistry on the court, with Thomas and Dumars combining for a deadly one-two punch and Johnson adding a crucial scoring boost off the bench. They were also able to play excellent defense, with Thomas and Dumars frequently shutting down some of the best guards in the league.
In addition to their toughness and skill, the Pistons’ trio was also incredibly successful. They won back-to-back NBA championships in 1989 and 1990, beating old rival Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks and LA Lakers along the way. They were able to defeat the Lakers in the 1989 NBA Finals, proving that they were a force to be reckoned with even against some of the greatest players in the game.
While the Lakers’ trio was undoubtedly talented, they were not quite as dominant as the Pistons’ trio. Johnson was a transcendent talent and one of the greatest players in NBA history, but Scott and Cooper were more role players than superstars. They were both excellent at what they did, with Scott providing a scoring boost and Cooper playing lockdown defense, but they were not quite as versatile or dominant as Thomas and Dumars.
In the end, while both backcourt trios were exceptional in their own right, the Pistons’ trio of Thomas, Dumars, and Johnson was simply better. They were tougher, more resilient, and more dynamic than the Lakers’ trio, and they left an indelible mark on the game of basketball. They may not be as celebrated as some of the other great players in NBA history, but they deserve just as much recognition for their incredible skills and accomplishments.