Tonight, in Detroit, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Detroit Pistons, 86-84, to take a 3-2 series lead. All hail Lebron James - a master of the game, and he's only 21.
Ask yourselves this: If the young Michael Jordan had been playing with the rules as they are now (i.e. no defense allowed), how much better than LeBron would he have been even then? (Answer: a lot).
Hand-checking was allowed then, as well as other perimeter defense that isn't allowed now. It makes it easier to penetrate because people are afraid to even touch a driving player (remember the Wizards on the inbound, unwilling to cut off the baseline?). I don't LIKE those rule changes, but there's nothing you can do about them. Points per game has A LOT more to do with the no. of possessions than the defensive acumen of either team, BTW (the Suns aren't actually as terrible on D as they seem by pts allowed, b/c their pace results in more possessions than most other teams; the converse is true for Detroit).