Season preview: Detroit Pistons

Season preview: Detroit Pistons


Season preview: Detroit Pistons

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STAYING: Reggie Bullock, Andre Drummond, Henry Ellenson, Langston Galloway, Blake Griffin, Reggie Hearn, Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson, Luke Kennard, Jon Leuer and Ishmael Smith.

ADDED: Bruce Brown (University of Miami), Jose Manuel Calderon (Cleveland), Keenan Evans (Texas Tech), Zach Lofton (New Mexico State), Zaza Pachulia (Golden State), Glenn Robinson III (Indiana) and Khyri Thomas (Creighton).

GONE: Dwight Buycks, James Ennis (Houston), Eric Moreland, Jameer Nelson and Anthony Tolliver (Minnesota)

STRENGTHS: On paper, Detroit has an elite big man duo in Andre DrummondBlake Griffin … Drummond is one of the biggest lob threats and greatest rebounders in the NBA right now … He’s also extremely durable, having missed only seven games in the last five seasons … The Pistons surely hope Griffin can get his mojo back … Although far from his best, he was one of just four players to average 20-plus points, 7-plus rebounds and 5-plus assists last season … This team probably needed a new voice in the locker room and Dwane Casey, who did a terrific job in Toronto, brings that … Detroit has been an above-average defensive squad for several years now and that shouldn’t change … Making the playoffs in a very weakened Eastern Conference is not going to be super hard.

WEAKNESSES: There’s a dearth of talent around Drummond and Griffin … Reggie Jackson might be the only other Piston who’s Top 20 at his position … They need a lot of players to step up … Clippers and Pistons were only a little better with Griffin on the court in 2017-18 … His prime years are probably behind him … Spacing might be a problem … Neither Griffin nor Drummond shoot great percentages away from the rim … That’s especially true for Drummond, who hasn’t displayed much of a perimeter game so far … The Pistons center shot 48.4 percent from the field in 25 games next to Griffin last year … That’s not an auspicious start considering Drummond has made 54.5 percent of his attempts as a pro … Griffin has not distinguished himself for his durability … He’s missed 32.6 percent of games in the last four regular seasons.

PREDICTION: 3rd in the Central Division, 8th in the Eastern Conference.


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