Forward Greg Monroe and rookie center Andre Drummond give the Pistons a talented, young tandem inside – and maybe make them a surprise playoff contender in the East.
Rallied from last season’s 4-20 start to finish 21-21 with Greg Monroe, their new hope, and Rodney Stuckey moving to shooting guard alongside Brandon Knight. The key to moving up further is Andre Drummond, the 6-10 rookie who fell to them at No. 9 and is promising but raw.
Whether or not teams are already regretting passing on him in the draft, Andre Drummond looks like he could be pretty good some day. He’s already fun towatch. And how did those boxing workouts work out for Charlie Villanueva? Well, he shot 9-for-41 (1-for-17 from 3-point range) in the preseason.
"Oppa, Drummond Style!" Strong candidate for a sleeper team, even this low on the list.
The Pistons are going big, literally, by building around Greg Monroe (6-foot-11) and rookie Andre Drummond (6-foot-10). Brandon Knight showed promise at point guard last season, but this season will likely be determined by the play of Rodney Stuckey. Some expected Stuckey to make the jump last season but the guard plateaued, averaging 17.8 points per 36 minutes for a second straight season. Detroit needs the 26-year-old Stuckey to break out if it wants 2012-13 to count for anything more than a rebuilding year.
Here’s a team still too busy digging itself out from under some contracts to be fully invested in winning immediately. On the other hand, they’ve got a surplus of splendid young big men, a weird and wonderful backcourt of Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight, and Lawrence Frank in charge. Remains to be seen how minutes get distributed with such an odd blend of veterans/expiring contracts and genuine young talent.
Bold prediction: Detroit will not start 4-20 again. Whether the Greg Monroe-led Pistons can win more than 30 games for the first time since 2008-09 remains to be seen, but there’s some cautious optimism bubbling in Motown after Andre Drummond’s promising preseason.
Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond provide a potential future Big Three. Key word there, of course, is “future.”