Making rounds on Detroit Pistons Dwane Casey’s sit down interview

Detroit Pistons Dwane Casey. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Dwane Casey. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Lets take a dive into some of the best Q&A from the Head Coach Dwane Casey interview with Detroit Pistons beat writer Kieth Langlois.

The NBA season is a month away and with the Detroit Pistons training camp set to start it looks to be the most competitive and engaging one yet. Pistons head coach sat down with beat writer Keith Langlois and talks about player development and training camp.

Lets take a dive into some of the best questions and answers from the interview.

I took some time to read the interview and there were some things that jump out to me that I believe hits home with the direction of this team under Casey. What we know about Casey is that he is extremely passionate about the game (as all coaches should be). But there is something to be said about his dedication to player development and chemistry with the team.

Here the question Langlois asked Casey about player development.

"KL: I know your development coaches and your entire staff have been in touch with players up and down your roster. Just give a snapshot of what that entailed.More from Pistons NewsWhich Detroit Pistons could save Team USA in the Olympics?Detroit Pistons could have major roster churn after 2023-24 seasonThe best Detroit Pistons to wear each uniform numberFull Detroit Pistons NBA 2K24 ratingsDetroit Pistons: Who will sign the remaining NBA free agents?DC:  “All of them had hired really qualified guys and good guys that they had been working with and didn’t want to really interrupt that, so it gave our coaches an opportunity to sit back and be with them and still spend time with them. I was in and out of L.A. all summer long, watching guys work out and spending some time with them. The NBA season has gotten a lot longer. The preparation for the season has gotten a lot longer, more sophisticated, more scientific, but I really like how hard our development coaches worked. Coach Gerg and Sean were in LA, Sid spent a lot of time with Markieff, then D.J. (Bakker) and J.D. (DuBois) and (assistant coach) Micah (Nori) all spent time rotating in and out of L.A. We had a very busy summer but for our program, the lifeblood of our program, is our player development. That’s something I truly believe in. Our G League coaches, too. Donnie Tyndall was involved in our player development, so we’ve got to continue to grow players.”"

This was only a small snapshot of what was said. We know that Casey has prioritized player development. It’s one of things he did so well in Toronto. But his detailed response tells me two things.

Casey trusts his players and he is serious about getting this organization winning again. More importantly he is not waiting on a good trade or free agent superstar but the importance of building a team from within is a sound winning recipe (San Antonio Spurs are a great example).

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Teams that looked to build and win from within are often in good state competitively and financially. Imagine building a late first round pick or second round pick into an All-Star, Draymond Green, Manu Ginobili, and Jimmy Butler being the latest examples. Casey is looking to run this thing like the MLB in minor leagues. That very same blueprint awarded Coach of the Year honors in 2018.

"KL: Bruce (Brown) made you look pretty good in Las Vegas. You said often last year you felt that point guard might be his ultimate destination. You’ve got Jackson, Rose and Frazier so maybe not this year, but did Summer League reinforce your belief that his future is at point guard?DC: “At some point. He’s so much better this year than he was a year ago. The Summer League I thought helped him tremendously, gave him a lot of confidence. But his calling card, bar none, is his defense. He’s a defensive stopper. His energy, his toughness, his persistence as a player. He made a mistake today – gambled in the backcourt, playing pickup, and before you know it he had sprinted back, got in the play and ran in the passing lane to get a steal. What I didn’t want to do – I wanted Bruce to work on his 3-point shooting, which he did all summer – but I didn’t want him to start thinking about that and forget about his calling card. And his calling card is as an elite defender. Not a good defender, an elite defender.”"

I agree that Brown is an elite defender. However, his play in the Summer League was without question a surprise. Brown’s potential is hotter than rocket fuel and Casey’s high praise only confirms that. The fact that they already see point guard as a potential position destination to match his athleticism and high motor, the sky is the limit for this kid. I expect a breakout year from Brown, one they couldn’t quite get with former Pistons, Stanley Johnson.

Related Story. How the Pistons addressed their 3-point shooting woes. light

The Pistons will find themselves in the most competitive training camp they had in a while. Last year the Pistons lacked wing depth, shooting and playmaking ability. They addressed those issue with Tony Snell, Joe Johnson and Derrick Rose. However, someone will be the odd man out. Langlois asked the question about rotations.

"KL: When you’d be asked about Bruce last season, you almost always went out of your way to mention Khyri, too, and how it was only a matter of opportunity for him. That’s a pretty crowded position right now, but what role might Khyri have in that?DC: “Defensively and shooting the ball. We have eight guys, close to eight, in that size range, maybe not all the same position. That’s a lot. Then you throw in some of our two-way guys, Lou King. That’s a tough combination, so we’re going to shake it up and see who comes out. But one thing Khyri can do is continue his defensive toughness and his ability to shoot the ball. He’s a competitor. He’s a smart kid. I promise you he knows the point guard position, the two guard position, the three position because he studied the game so much. I will say there’s so many guys at that position, the same size, and going into last year Khyri was ahead of Bruce and Bruce just kept working, kept churning. It made the team better, he got better. It’s going to be a dogfight at that position for all of those guys.”"

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Eight guys in that size range is a lot. As much as Casey loves Khyri Thomas it could become pretty clear that he will be the odd man out. However Casey is driven to determine the outcome the old school way with competition.

In case you haven’t gotten the memo, competition breeds success and Casey and crew are banking on it.

No response came bigger than the last one given in the article by Casey.

"KL: When you stand before the team to address them to open training camp this year, what do you plan to emphasize in your opening message?DC: “A sense of urgency. Our thing is, yeah, OK, we had a decent year last year, not great, decent. Made the playoffs but can’t be happy with the way we ended the year, so coming in this year with a sense of urgency, continue to get better, continue to grow and that starts with our coaching staff.”"

This response is coming from a coach who saw his former team win it all without him last year. Granted, Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol were a huge part of that. But don’t get it twisted, Casey sees an opportunity in the Eastern Conference with no Leonard or Kevin Durant. With Blake Griffin being labeled a top-20 player in the league and top-five in the East the time is now.

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Like a broken clock the Pistons have been repairing for quite some time. How fortunate for the Pistons, Casey has the urgency and tools to fix it.