Fans have begun to lose interest in the Detroit Pistons this season, but there’s still plenty to be excited about.
In my Eastern Conference Playoff predictions before the season started, I said that “The Detroit Pistons have the most wiggle room, up or down. A lot could go right, or a lot could go wrong.”
We can all go back and take a look and laugh at my reasonably tempered 6th seed prediction as seemingly everything has gone wrong for the Pistons this season.
Injuries to every single one of the Pistons top 5 players (Blake Griffin, Luke Kennard, Derrick Rose, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson) have kept them from doing anything but fighting for the 8th seed, again.
At the trade deadline, Ed Stefanski and the Pistons front office decided it was time for a change, and they traded Drummond for a return that left fans puzzled in order to kick start a rebuild (Or re-tool depending on what happens this summer).
Being a Pistons fan has been brutal for more than a decade, and in a dark season like this it’s hard to stay positive, but there are still a few things left to look forward to as the Pistons approach the final two months of their season.
1. The Pistons have picked a direction! A large part of the fan base has been clamoring for years for Detroit to blow it up.
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Trade everybody for anything and go get a top 5 pick. Well the Pistons didn’t have a fire sale at the deadline, but by moving Drummond they picked a definitive direction. They are essentially punting on this lost season and have cleared up financial flexibility that comes into effect this summer that this current front office regime has never had here.
The Pistons could easily end up with top 5 lottery odds this year, and will hopefully draft a cornerstone piece to help this rebuild. Draft position watch is officially in full effect!
2. The emergence of Christian Wood this season has been remarkable. He’s put up pretty amazing G-League numbers in the past and had a great stint at the end of last season with the Pelicans, however, he has never seemed to put it together due to reported concerns of maturity and professionalism.
This season Wood is averaging 10.9 points per game while shooting 39% from three-point range to go along with 5.6 rebounds in just under 19 minutes per night.
The Drummond trade opened up a plethora of opportunity for Wood to showcase what he can do given more responsibility on both ends as the 24 year old approaches unrestricted free agency this year.
3. The development of Detroit’s young players is going to be the most important thing as the Pistons enter the uncharted rebuild territory for them.
Watching how Sekou Doumbouya, Bruce Brown, Svi Mykhailiuk and even Thon Maker all progress as the season goes on could give us some hope, and will give the front office an idea of what’s possible with them as they head into the summer.
Time will tell how this all plays out, but it could be worse, the Pistons could still be fighting for a playoff spot!