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NBA 2015-16 Team Previews: Detroit Pistons – Forming A Wall

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Detroit Pistons

Our NBA 2015-16 Team Previews continues in the Central Division, next up The Detroit Pistons:

Record:  32-50, 12th in the Eastern Conference,  5th in Central Division, Failed to make playoffs

Rank: Offense: 102.3 (17)   Defense: 104.2 (21) Differential/Net: minus -1.8 (20) Pace: 95.2 (23)

2014-15

Key Stats:

  • Finished second in offensive rebounding with 12.8 per game.
  • For the 6th consecutive year the Pistons finished in the bottom half of the league in offensive and defensive efficiency.
  • Will this be the year that Andre Drummond takes the next step into becoming a super star center?

Off Season Moves

Key Areas Needing Addressing:

  • Not really an area of improvement that one could help but this roster is young and will need time to develop.
  • How long will it take this team to adjust to having Ersan Ilyasova as their power forward as opposed to Greg Monroe?
  • Stan Van Gundy’s vision offensively is a spaced out pick and roll heavy setting with shooting threats at positions one through four, but not one player on this roster is an above average shooter.

Draft:   Stanley Johnson selected 8th in first round, Darrun Hillard selected 38th in second round

Player Additions/Players Re-Signed:

Players Exiting:

2015-16

Core Players:

Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond, Ersan Ilyasova, Stanley Johnson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Key Reserves:

Brandon Jennings, Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes

Outlook

Rising Star:

Andre Drummond is a man among boys. Or a boy stuck in a man’s body. The 22 year old mammoth is a for sure double double machine and quite arguably the best offensive rebounder in today’s league. His tenacity around the rim has left opposing players hopeless, combine that with a unique touch to finish around the bucket you’re potentially looking at the most disruptive center on both ends of the floor. Although Andre has been known to get into foul trouble early, a year under Van Gundy should help ease his transition into reading defensive rotations which will keep him from being late to certain areas of the floor and avoiding foul trouble.

Although Drummond has shown improvement on his ability to hook shot a defender to death, don’t expect to see many back to the basket looks for the young behemoth. Andre’s role in this system is similar to what DeAndre Jordan does for the the Clippers, set life threatening screens on little children before proceeding to demolish everything that is between him and the rim.

On The Bubble:

What makes the Pistons intriguing to watch is guessing which Reggie Jackson will show up to the stadium. Will we see “Bad attitude Reggie” or “Action Jackson”? Bad Attitude Reggie will completely tear this Van Gundy dream apart in a spread offense. With so much freedom for a player who yearns for the loving and affection of every human being in this world Reggie can quickly turn into a ball hogging chucker who is on a do or die mission to prove that he was indeed the go to guy on OKC.  STOP IT REGGIE PLEASE.

Action Jackson is an exciting play maker who ranked among the top 10 pick and roll efficiency. Jackson is a crafty ball handler with a knack for making plays on the fly with sneaky athleticism. This version of Reggie Jackson can propel this roster into sneaking a 7th or 8th playoff, if not, coach might have to lace’em up.

X-Factor:

Rookie Stanley Johnson is a basketball player stuck in a tight end’s body. The young stud is 6’7, 245 pounds with an 8 percent body fat. A physical specimen by all means, Stanley’s NBA ready body will help him ease into the physicality that most rookies tend to struggle with. Along with his physical gifts, Johnson has a nice feel for the game as he is great in transition and attacking the basket. Through out the preseason Stanley really showcased his ability to spot up from deep which is promising for a young player of his caliber.

Johnson’s willingness to defend is what will set him apart from his draft class. Stanley is an ultra competitive player who takes pride in defending the other team’s best player and will most likely have the task of doing so on most nights. He can very well step in right away and be Detroit’s best wing defender.

Best Case: 

Van Gundy’s a great coach with finals experience. If their is anyone who can get his guys playing the way he envisions, it’s Stan. On paper the roster has an interesting but understandable feel to it. A young roster with enough size, speed and athleticism to compete on any given night. This team will go as far as the decision making of Reggie Jackson will take it and how many walls they decide to build.

First Round exit as a 7th seed.

Worst Case:

Every wall built is destroyed, Bad Attitude Reggie shows up every night and Drummond demands more back to the basket looks leading to turmoil between him and Van Gundy.

Another year gone by, another playoff missed.

Prediction:

The team is young so lofty expectations are unreasonable but theirs no reason to eliminate the talks of a potential play off birth. Reggie Jackson by now must get that his role of playing point guard is much more vital to his team than exceeding his own individual goals. Drummond is a star and will thrive in the space he is given with the departure of Greg Monroe. Stanimal is exciting and lack no confidence going to the rim, you love seeing that from a young player. Defensively he’ll get it done and that’s all you can expect from a player that young.

Van Gundy is one of the brightest basketball minds in today’s world and it’s hard to imagine that having a year under his belt with this organization  will lead to any regression. This team will improve from it’s 32-50 record and make the playoffs as the 8th seed.

Games versus the Houston Rockets

  • November 30th at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Detroit
  • January 20th at Toyota Center

Fansided Affiliate Site:  Piston Powered

Make sure you catch up on our entire Team Preview Series, our Houston Rockets Player Profile Series as well as our SCS Round Table Sessions to help you get through the early season. Start your morning with SCS Rocket Science Daily and visit us throughout the day to keep abreast of all your Houston Rockets news and updates.

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Next: SCS Complete Round Table Sessions

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