The Detroit Pistons have plugged all of their holes this offseason, leading many national pundits to believe the team is on the rise. However, Basketball Insiders disagrees, ranking the Pistons fourth out of five teams in the Central division.
Many think the Detroit Pistons will be a top five seed in the Eastern Conference this season. It’s hard to argue with that projection given the way the Pistons closed out last season, and the additions they made to improve their weaknesses.
But not everyone is on the Pistons’ hype train.
In fact, Basketball Insiders thinks the Pistons will finish near the bottom of their own division, behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and Chicago Bulls.
"4. Detroit PistonsThere is real talent on this roster, and the Detroit Pistons added even more of it this offseason in signing Ish Smith as backup point guard and Boban Marjanovic as part of the frontcourt rotation. Rookie Henry Ellenson was a steal almost two-thirds of the way into the first-round of June’s draft too, but none of these guys are what make the Pistons so good this season. Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Stanley Johnson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, however, finally look like they’re ready to come of age together.This was a team that finished second in the league in rebounds thanks in large part to Drummond’s contributions as an elite earner in that statistical category, but he, Harris and Aron Baynes combine to create one of the more physical frontcourts in the conference. That isn’t going away, especially with the addition of Marjanovic, who adds even more muscle to that rotation.Jackson, meanwhile, was on the cusp of All-Stardom himself last season, but he didn’t shoot all that well – and neither did the rest of the roster. As a team they shot only 43.9 percent from the field, which was one of the worst team clips in the league. Still, they’re a team on the up-and-up and could easily make even more strides this season with the group they’ve got in place. Considering this core did make the postseason a year ago as an eight-seed, any sort of improvement would suggest that they’d be right back in the mix again this time around."
Puzzling. The article does preface by saying that the Central division will be tough this year, but they also consider Detroit “on the rise”, translation “not there yet” and Chicago as “playoff contender”.
Doesn’t that sound a bit convoluted given the Pistons made the playoffs last year, retained their core, and strengthened their weaknesses, while Chicago did not make the playoffs, and had a big overhaul of their roster?
Don’t get me wrong, ranking Indiana ahead of Detroit is fair. Those teams figure to be pretty close. Chicago also has the talent to make the playoffs, but there are certainly more question marks there than on the Pistons’ roster.
This ranking feels too low. What do you guys think?