OUR PREDICTIONS

MITCH ALBOM The tune you’ll hear

Experience will carry them. But inexperience will factor in, too – with some of the young guys in the postseason.

Who’ll top the charts

Rasheed Wallace

It’s his contract year. And he’s the MVP half the time already.

The Pistons will finish in the:

Division: Second.

Conference: Third.

Playoffs: East semis.

The finals:

East: Cleveland over Boston.

West: L.A. Lakers over San Antonio.

NBA: Cleveland over L.A. Lakers.

VINCE ELLIS

The tune you’ll hear

I guess I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. After being around the team in the preseason – and looking at East rosters – the prediction here is the Finals.

Who’ll top the charts

Chauncey Billups

He hasn’t gotten a lot of ink in the preseason, but he looks to be in the best shape of his life. His numbers might be down as the team gives more time to younger players, but he is the Piston that the team can’t afford to lose.

The Pistons will finish in the …

Division: First.

Conference: Second.

Playoffs: NBA Finals.

The finals:

East: Detroit over Boston.

West: L.A. Lakers over New Orleans.

NBA: L.A. Lakers over Detroit.

MICHAEL ROSENBERG

The tune you’ll hear

People say the window is closed. I’ll believe it when I see it. This will be the most interesting season since 2006 because we’ll get a hint of the next 10 years. In the meantime, don’t be shocked if they make the Finals.

Who’ll top the charts

Rip Hamilton

Picking an MVP for this team is always hard. But I suspect Hamilton’s numbers will look a lot like they did in recent years, even with the expanded rotation.

The Pistons will finish in the:

Division: Second.

Conference: Third.

Playoffs: East finals.

The finals:

East: Cleveland over Detroit.

West: L.A. Lakers over New Orleans.

NBA: L.A. Lakers over Cleveland.

DREW SHARP

The tune you’ll hear

They waited a year too late in breaking up the band. If Stuckey and Johnson become contributors, they might provide a spark. If the Pistons struggle, don’t be surprised if they deal ‘Sheed.

Who’ll top the charts

Tayshaun Prince

Prince is steadily evolving into the face, the voice, the conscience of this team. His participation on the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic basketball team only further fueled his confidence.

The Pistons will finish in the:

Division: First.

Conference: Second.

Playoffs: East semis.

The finals:

East: Boston over Cleveland.

West: L.A. Lakers over Houston.

NBA: L.A. Lakers over Boston.

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