We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin! Today's team: The Detroit Pistons.
The last time the Detroit Pistons moved into a new arena was 1989, a move that came on the eve of them winning the first of back-to-back NBA titles.
Detroit is on the move once again (they will play in downtown Detroit now after having played at The Palace of Auburn Hills since 1989), but the team’s outlook for this season isn’t nearly as rosy, new home or not.
To say they have had a postseason rut doesn’t do justice to the struggles they have endured in recent years with one postseason appearance (2016) in the last eight seasons.
Forget about winning a playoff series.
Detroit hasn’t won a playoff game since 2008 when it took Boston six games to knock the Pistons off in the Eastern Conference finals.
But this team isn’t kidding itself.
They know a deep playoff run, while not out of the question, is a longshot at best. Getting to the postseason would make this upcoming season a successful one for Detroit.
And that success would likely involve a big year from Andre Drummond who has established himself as one of the NBA’s top centers.
The 7-footer averaged 13.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game last season, and has averaged a double-double in each of the last four seasons.
But the 24-year-old big man is going to need help if the Pistons are to make postseason trips a more regular occurrence than a solar eclipse.
Detroit wants to remain one of the better defensive teams in the league (last season the Pistons’ defensive rating of 105.3 ranked 11th in the NBA), but they know there’s a need to be a better scoring team.
Last season, the Pistons averaged 101.3 points which ranked 26th in the NBA and shot 33 percent from 3-point range which ranked 28th in the league.
Detroit got an upgrade in both categories with their trade of Marcus Morris to Boston for Avery Bradley.
The 6-foot-2 Bradley, one of the better two-way players in the NBA, has shown improvement in at least one phase of his game every subsequent year he has been in the NBA, a trend he’s likely to continue along this season.
Last year, Bradley averaged 16.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, both career highs.
The Pistons are also banking on a big bounce-back season from Reggie Jackson who played in just 52 games, the fewest games he played since his rookie season with Oklahoma City (45 games).
Their play will go far in the Pistons finding a way back into the postseason, a place they would love to call home.
Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Avery Bradley (Boston); Anthony Tolliver (Minnesota); Langston Galloway (New York)
Key losses: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Los Angeles Lakers)
Rookies of note: Luke Kennard.
Expectations: 42-40 (Third in the Central Division, 7th in the East)