December 1st: ~ The Detroit news ~ Pistons overtake Nets Detroit's offense gets aggressive at the right time, preserving the best record in the NBA. Chris McCosky Coach Flip Saunders doesn't have the Pistons completely figured out yet, but there's one thing he knows for sure. "My take on this team is that it needs challenges," he said after the Pistons hammered out a hard-earned 93-83 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday night. "That's what motivates them. Sometimes it seems like they get into games and get bored. But when they do lock in, it's like a curtain goes up and you can see it in their faces as they go from fifth gear to sixth gear." The Pistons saved their best work for the final six minutes, improving their NBA-best record to 11-2 -- the second-best November in their history, behind the 13-2 start in 1990-91 -- and their road record to 7-1. Billups' road secret: We play like we're at home Guard says keeping poise and not changing styles are the keys to team's 7-1 away record. Chris McCosky The secret to the Pistons' road success? Continuity and poise. At least that's how Chauncey Billups sees it. "We are a good road team because we play the same way on the road," Billups said after the Pistons beat the Nets. 93-83, Wednesday night to improve their road record to 7-1. "A lot of teams play with more confidence at home, or they play a different style and maybe run more when they are home. We play the exact same way everyplace we go." ~The Detroit Free Press ~ Pistons cut down the Nets by Krista Latham The Pistons weren't perfect Wednesday night, but even Detroit's average game is good enough. Good enough to win despite a bad night -- as in six points -- from the bench. Good enough to win despite a combined 47 points from New Jersey's Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. Good enough to push Detroit's road record to 7-1. Rip, Billups argue over post-up games by Krista Latham Many opponents have come to the same, often ill-fated conclusion this season as they've searched for a way to slow down the backcourt of point guard Chauncey Billups and shooting guard Richard Hamilton. That plan, though, rarely has worked. Billups, at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, still has the power to get his shot wherever he wants, especially when he exploits the shooting guards' lack of experience in pick-and-roll defense. And Hamilton, a jump shooter, has turned to the post, taking his size advantage inside for easy baskets in the paint. ~ The Oakland press ~ Evans is still learning the routine by Dana Gauruder The one-handed putback slams, like the one he had against Denver last week, come easy for Maurice Evans. The routine plays, like making the correct defensive rotations, can cause confusion. The most significant newcomer on the Pistons, Evans has made a dazzling array of dunks and athletic plays and even shown surprising ability to shoot from long range. But there are still times when Evans drives his coach crazy. The troubles start, according to Saunders, when Evans worries if he's doing the right thing instead of relying on his instincts. ~ Booth Newspapers ~ November closes on high note, Pistons claim they can improve By A. Sherrod Blakely Championships are not won in the month of November. But they sure can lay the foundation for a successful playoff run, which the Pistons hope is the case after capping off one of the most successful Novembers in franchise history with a 93-83 win at New Jersey. Pistons counter Nets' inside game with 10 3-pointers in 93-83 win By A. Sherrod Blakely Tayshaun Prince wasn't talking about mismatches before Wednesday's game against New Jersey. Instead, he was talking about the matchups you wouldn't want to miss - him versus Richard Jefferson, and teammate Richard Hamilton against Vince Carter. "It ain't going to be no 2-on-2 action," Prince said before the game. "But it's gonna be some good offense and good defense played tonight." Usually when that happens, the Pistons win. ~ The New York Times ~ Pistons Asking, Larry Who? By LIZ ROBBINS Renowned for their defense under Brown, the Pistons have embraced Saunders's system - one that flourished for 10 years with the Minnesota Timberwolves - to become one of the top offensive teams in the league. "We haven't heard that around here for a long time," point guard Chauncey Billups said with a laugh. Flip, he's an offensive genius. For the last three or four years, that's the one thing - the only thing - about our team that was predictable. And I think it hurt us at times, us not being able to score points." Style Points Fall Short of Scoring More Points By LIZ ROBBINS The glittery first-half image of Vince Carter slicing through the Pistons' defense and finishing with a finger roll faded in the second half like an early winter sunset. Carter had some dazzling moves, but he and the Nets could not get past the substance of a balanced and experienced Pistons team, owner of the best record in the N.B.A. ~ The New York Daily News ~ Pistons await return of the wanderer By Mitch Lawrence As Larry Brown was busy at the Garden taking another crack at solving the Knicks, his former players were across the Hudson, delighting in the fact that they are through answering questions about their coach's plans and just about everything else pertaining to their old leader. "It's better and it's different than last year," Chauncey Billups said yesterday. "When we come in now, we don't hear about nothing like we did last year. We just hear about playing the games. There's nothing else going on. It's just winning and losing." Brown's status as yesterday's news in Auburn Hills changes tomorrow, when he brings the Knicks into the Palace. There, he will brace for what could be the rudest reception a returning coach has faced since Pat Riley came back to the Garden. Home groan for Nets Fall to Pistons in return to Swamp BY OHM YOUNGMISUK The Nets returned from their West Coast Thanksgiving trip with a renewed confidence and a two-game winning streak. Both lasted about as long as it took Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton to launch jumpers. In a game they wanted to use as a benchmark, the Nets lost, 93-83, to the Detroit Pistons at the Meadowlands.