The Detroit Pistons have not been relevant for a long time, ever since their championship season led by Chauncey Billups. Even after drafting their current franchise player in Andre Drummond some years ago, they have not found success in a relatively weak Eastern Conference.
But the recent addition of Blake Griffin made the team more interesting, as they made the playoffs. They were bounced in the first round, but some potential was shown with new head coach Dwayne Casey at the helm.
Coming into this season, the Pistons added some nice pieces and will look to make an impact. In fact, they have a legitimate shot at making the Eastern Conference Finals. Here is why.
The Pistons were forced to sort things out last season, with a full season of Griffin and Drummond together on the floor. While there were signs of promise, it took a lot of figuring out.
Now, they can return to the fold with a lot of experience playing together and even under the pressure of the playoffs. Not to mention, young players such as Luke Kennard had some time to develop while the entire roster began getting acclimated to head coach Dwayne Casey.
Derrick Rose and Tony Snell
The Pistons did not sign any major big names this offseason, but they did manage to snag Derrick Rose- a former MVP of the league. While Rose is older and past his prime, he is still able to push the pace and score at the basket.
Perhaps most importantly, the Pistons finally have a guard threat that can find the two-star bigs and be a major problem in the pick and roll. Even Tony Snell will help this team, as he is a very good shooter from beyond the arc.
The East is notably weak, with only a few teams expected to actually challenge for the Eastern Conference crown. Only the Bucks and Sixers have a real legitimate shot at even reaching the NBA Conference Finals.
The Bucks, specifically, have gotten slightly weaker this offseason after losing their sharpshooter in Malcolm Brogdon.
The Pistons, thanks to their improved chemistry and new additions, can be a team to join their ranks as well. When the conference is weak, the Pistons have more opportunities to win more games and progress up the standings.
For any team in the East, getting a higher seeding should be the ultimate goal since the bottom seeded teams most probably aren’t that good.
Once again, the Sixers and the Bucks are the only real threat, leaving the Pistons with a strong shot at beating the other teams including the Nets and Raptors for example.
The Pistons, if they have a strong season, can position themselves for an easy two rounds in the playoffs.
Finally, the Pistons have talent. Griffin and Drummond complement each other, thanks to their offense and defense respectively.
Derrick Rose makes this team better, and there is a shooting on the team with Kennard and Snell. If Reggie Jackson returns healthy and motivated, he is another potential impact player who can score and pass off the pick and roll.
Everyone needs to be healthy and motivated, and the Pistons can reach the ECF.