NBA Off Season Preview: Detroit Pistons
Record (44-38) Not only did the Detroit Pistons have a winning record of the first time in eight years, but they also made it back to the playoffs for the first time in that span. This is a big step up for Detroit, especially for being in the same division with the Cavaliers and the Pacers, who are always playoff contenders. However, the season for the Pistons ended prematurely when the Cavaliers knocked them out of the first round of the playoffs in a clean sweep. There is no reason the Pistons cannot go back to the playoffs next year, but they need to add some pieces to their defense if they want to get farther than the first round. Detroit had a bounce back year after a losing season last year. A big part of the reason that the Pistons became playoff contenders this year is because of the dominance of Andre Drummond. Drummond is a force on both sides of the court, averaging 16.2 points per game, and 14.8 rebounds per game. While his shooting leaves something to be desired, he racks up the points when he is down low in the paint. Another big scorer for the Pistons was Reggie Jackson. Jackson scored a team high 18.2 points per game and was accurate when it came to shooting free throws, making 86.4 percent of them. While the Pistons have many prolific scorers, their defense leaves much to be desired. Drummond was the only player on the team to have double digit rebounds per game. Tobias Howard was the next rebound leader on the team, but only had 6.7 boards per game. The Pistons need more help on the defensive side of the court and could look for some help in filling that position with the upcoming draft. With the 18th pick in the draft, the Pistons could look to pick up a player who could help improve the power forward position, the point guard position, or they were thinking about trading their pick away. The depth of talent in the draft this year is lacking in the area of point guards, and the Pistons definitely need help on the defensive side of the ball. Detroit would be wise to take a forward with their pick, but they could also trade their pick and pick up a veteran forward coming off of free agency. Detroit tried to trade their pick away earlier this year to get Donatas Motiejunas, but they rescinded the trade after they found out about his back health. The Pistons are still a playoff caliber team heading into the next season, but they need some help on defense if they to even get close to reach the Finals. Drummond can’t be only one playing both sides of the ball, and they have a need for someone who can score and defend as well. The Pistons offense can only take them so far and they won’t be able to keep up with teams that can consistently score, especially from three-point land. If the Pistons can fix the holes they have on defense, this team could be headed to the Finals next season.
NBA Off-Season Previews
Atlantic Division: Boston Celtics – Brooklyn Nets – New York Knicks – Philadelphia 76ers – Toronto Raptors Central Division: Chicago Bulls – Cleveland Cavaliers – Detroit Pistons – Indiana Pacers – Milwaukee Bucks Southeast Division: Atlanta Hawks – Charlotte Hornets – Miami Heat – Orlando Magic – Washington Wizards Southwest Division: Dallas Mavericks – Houston Rockets – Memphis Grizzlies – New Orleans Pelicans – San Antonio Spurs Northwest Division: Denver Nuggets – Minnesota Timberwolves – Oklahoma City Thunder – Portland Trail Blazers – Utah Jazz Pacific Division: Golden State Warriors – Los Angeles Clippers – Los Angeles Lakers – Phoenix Suns – Sacramento Kings