What’s better than a 3-on-3 season preview? A 3-on-3-on-3 season preview. This is the first of three 3-on-3s to preview the Pistons’ season.
Who will be the Pistons’ MVP this season?
Dan Feldman: Greg Monroe by a country mile. He was definitely the Pistons best player last year, and as one of the team’s youngest players, he has plenty of room to improve. Monroe is just as likely to expand the gap between himself and the Pistons No. 2 player as a teammate is to close the gap.
Patrick Hayes: Greg Monroe. He was their MVP last season and the season before that too. I see nothing from him or anyone else on the team so far that makes me think that will change.
J.M. Poulard: Greg Monroe will own this title by season’s end. He is the team’s best player as well as its most productive one, which in turn makes him essential to the team’s success.
Who will be the Pistons’ Rookie of the Year this season?
Dan Feldman: Andre Drummond. If you had asked me before the preseason, I would have said Kim English or maybe even Kyle Singler, who are both 24 and much more experienced. But Drummond has looked very good in the preseason, good enough that he has become the obvious choice here. Of course, it’s no guarantee Drummond’s preseason play translates to the regular season, but he’s offered enough evidence of development from his up-and-down freshman year at Connecticut that it would be foolish to pick someone else here.
Patrick Hayes: Although I think Kyle Singler will find a niche in the rotation and be solid, it’s going to be Andre Drummond. Drummond has proven to be further along than even the team and the most optimistic scouting reports originally thought, and his skillset is just to unique on this roster and vital to the team having any kind of success to keep him out of the lineup.
J.M. Poulard: Put it this way, Henry Abbott of TrueHoop predicted that Andre Drummond would be the Rookie of the Year of the NBA. So it’s really not much of a stretch to pick him to win the award for his team given the multitude of skills he flashed in the preseason. The rebounding prowess, finishing ability around the rim as well as his impressive athleticism will help him get noticed around the league, but more importantly will be factors that help the Pistons win games and develop into a good solid team.
Who will be the Pistons’ Most Improved Player this season?
Dan Feldman: Assuming we’re going by the same rules the NBA uses for Most Improved Player, and I can’t take Andre Drummond based on how much he’s improved since college, I’ll give Greg Monroe a slight edge over Brandon Knight. Knight will probably improve this season, but Monroe has already proven he’s capable of making a big year-to-year jump. Although there will me a diminishing rate of return, Monroe still had plenty of room to improve last season – mainly defense, but his mid-range game (shooting and passing) needed a little honing at the NBA level.
Patrick Hayes: Brandon Knight showed a better shot selection and better recognition of when and where to pass the ball during preseason. His ability to take care of the ball was still a work in progress, but still … if he only improves two of his three big weaknesses this season, that will still represent significant overall improvement for him.
J.M. Poulard: The point guard position is arguably the toughest one to learn in the NBA and thus rookies usually have a hard time adjusting to the speed of the game as well as the on the fly reads they need to make. Mind you, with a year under his belt, I expect Brandon Knight to become a better playmaker as well as a more efficient scorer for the Pistons, which in turn will make him the team’s most improved player.