2019-20 NBA Team Preview Series: Detroit Pistons
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The 2019-2020 NBA season starts October 22nd and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Detroit Pistons.
2018-2019 Record: 41-41, 3rd in the Central Division. Lost 0-4 in the first round of the playoffs.
Season Recap: The Pistons began last season with hope after the hiring of former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey and a full season with Blake Griffin on the team. Griffin enjoyed a relatively healthy regular season that saw him return to some semblance of his former self putting up big numbers including a career high in points per game. While Griffin got much of the shine, Andre Drummond had a monster season that not many people seemed to notice. The two of them formed a formidable duo inside making the playoffs, but they were no match for the Bucks in the playoffs. Griffin’s injury situation did not help and they were swept out of the first round left to wonder how they might get some help for their dominant duo.
Key Losses: Jose Calderon, G; Wayne Ellington, G; Zaza Pachulia, C; Glenn Robinson III, F; Ish Smith, G; Isaiah Whitehead, G;
Key Additions: Tim Frazier, G; Markieff Morris, F; Derrick Rose, G; Joe Johnson, F;
Preview: The Pistons enjoyed a very healthy season last year and they will need that kind of luck again if they hope to find themselves in the playoffs once again. Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will be expected to do the heavy lifting for this team and they will hope that Reggie Jackson can replicate his numbers from last season. In an effort to bolster a bench that was not great for the team last season, the Pistons went out and got Markieff Morris, Derrick Rose, and just signed Big 3 MVP Joe Johnson. Rose enjoyed somewhat of a comeback season in Minnesota and the Pistons can use his offense coming off of the bench. Luke Kennard seems poised for a breakout season and the Pistons will need his shooting if they hope to improve offensively. The Pistons finished with the 29th worst field goal percentage as a team last season and that kind of offensive efficiency is not going to get it done. They need more efficient scoring and Morris, Rose, and Johnson are three guys that can score, although they are not the most efficient bunch. Head coach Dwane Casey will get this team to defend, if they are able to become a more efficient scoring team, this team could be a challenger in the East.
Player to Watch: Blake Griffin, F
Team X-Factor: Health
Worst Case Scenario: Blake Griffin misses long stretches of games due to injury and the Pistons are not able to score enough points to win games.
Best Case Scenario: Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond enjoy career seasons and the Pistons find themselves in the thick of the race for the three seed in the Eastern Conference.
Actual 2019-2020 Prediction: 37-45, 3rd Central Division