New York Times: Detroit Pistons could surprise next season

‘The national media is unfair to the Pistons’ is a common complaint from a few commenters in these parts. So hopefully they will take heed of this bit of positive national press from Jim Cavan writing for the New York Times:

But just as their now bygone golden era never packed the punch or pizazz enjoyed by big-market rivals, a new guard is setting itself up to once again make the Motor City a force to be reckoned with, and sooner rather than later.

After staking much of his early front office success on savvy veteran additions (or, on the opposite end, Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon), Joe Dumars has in the past three off-seasons relied instead on the draft for most of his roster reinforcement. In 2010 it was Greg Monroe, the versatile and cerebral Georgetown pivot now poised for a breakout year – and possible All-Star selection – as the team’s undisputed cornerstone. One year later, the Pistons added Kentucky’s Brandon Knight, a one-and-done point guard project as renowned for his intellect for his ability to break down defenses.

Then, in June, Dumars made one of his biggest gambles since 2003 – the year he drafted 18-year-old Darko Milicic ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – by taking the 18-year-old Connecticut big man Andre Drummond with the ninth pick over all. Like Darko before him, Drummond’s upside is seen as rafter high.

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