MIAMI – Back in the golden NBA era of the ’80s, before the Bad Boys were fully formed, the Lakers and Celtics countered each other’s personnel moves every season with an eye toward better matching up with their arch-nemesis in the NBA Finals.

As the Pistons inched closer to contention, Jack McCloskey adopted the same tack. To beat the Celtics and emerge from the East, the Pistons needed a power forward to neutralize Kevin McHale, or at least to contain his damage.

The Pistons have four preseason games down, four to go. Lawrence Frank says the last two of those will be dress rehearsals for the Oct. 31 season opener. That means Thursday’s game at Miami and Saturday’s game at The Palace against Charlotte represent the last best chance for players to secure their spots in Frank’s rotation.

Frank says he’s never had an ideal number of players in his rotation and doesn’t have a magic number in mind now for how deep into his bench he’ll dip on a regular basis.

After 10 practices, Lawrence Frank scripted a plan for how players would be used over the first three preseason games. Now that they’re in the books, along with three more practices, he’s pushed the reset button.