NBA season preview: Detroit Pistons

NBA season preview: Detroit Pistons


NBA season preview: Detroit Pistons

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CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: Andre Drummond #0 and Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons talk during a time out in the second half of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 106-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

STAYING: Aron Baynes, Lorenzo Brown, Reggie Bullock, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris, Darrun Hilliard, Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson and Marcus Morris.

ADDED: Henry Ellenson (Marquette), Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Jon Leuer (Phoenix), Boban Marjanovic (San Antonio), Ray McCallum and Ishmael Smith (Philadelphia).

GONE: Joel Anthony, Steve Blake, Spencer Dinwiddie (Chicago), Jodie Meeks (Orlando) and Anthony Tolliver (Sacramento).

STRENGTHS: Last season, Andre Drummond finally became the dominant center we expected him to be … If he builds on his 2015-16 performance, that’s very good news for Detroit … Strong inside-outside combo with Drummond and the up-and-coming Reggie Jackson, who played well in his first season as a full-time starter with the Pistons … We probably have not seen the best of those two yet and the same thing can be said about other members of the team young nucleus like Tobias Harris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson … Very physical frontcourt with the likes of Drummond, Harris and Aron Baynes … Overall, they have a good combination of toughness and athleticism … Terrific squad on the boards … They finished only behind Oklahoma City in rebounds last year … With a coach like Stan Van Gundy around, you know they will play hard or else … They had a taste of the playoffs last spring and it must have left them wanting more.

WEAKNESSES: In terms of star power, they pale in comparison to other Eastern Conference clubs … Talent level is good but not great … Outside of Drummond, how many Detroit players are Top 10 at their respective positions? … Offense was not a thing of beauty in Detroit with just 43.9 percent shooting from the field, which put them in the Bottom 5 in the league … Although the acquisition of Jon Leuer could help some in that regard, it’s not a good outside shooting team … Subpar ball movement … Not a great squad at scoring on the break either … They were the worst team from the foul line last season, largely because of Drummond’s inability to make his free throws … He hit a career-low 35.5 percent last year … Must vastly improve there if he wants to become a full-blown NBA superstar.

PREDICTION: 4th in the Central Division, 8th in the Eastern Conference.



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