Detroit Pistons: 2018-2019 may have been the last ‘fun’ season for a while

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 12: Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons reacts against the Charlotte Hornets . (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 12: Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons reacts against the Charlotte Hornets . (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

With the Detroit Pistons now entering their rebuild, it could be safe to say that we’ve witnessed the last stretch of enjoyable basketball for a while.

The 2018-2019 season brought more fun memories that we’ve seen from a Detroit Pistons team in quite some time. Despite only winning 41 games, it felt as if it served as a a turning point in the franchise’s direction. In reality, it was the opposite.

It wound up being what was likely the apex in Blake Griffin‘s window with Detroit. While he could still return from injury and have a tremendous year next season, the chances of the Pistons going to the playoffs remain slim.

Assuming he, Derrick Rose and Luke Kennard are all able to stay healthy, then they have a chance at being successful, but ultimately it’s not the goal right now. Rebuilding while trying to compete is a meticulous thing to navigate.

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The ’18-’19 season showed us the significance of Reggie Jackson‘s impact when he’s able to stay healthy. After playing in all 82 games, it was clear that his doubters were being silenced. He was tremendous for the Pistons, especially in the second half of the season.

The front court of Griffin and Andre Drummond was still a bit of a weird fit, but their combined tenacity along the boards was fierce.

The first full season with Blake on the roster was an enormous point of curiosity. This, along with the fact that Detroit was under the reign of a brand new head coach and front office. Dwane Casey, the reigning Coach of the Year was tasked with bringing this team to new heights.

There were so many exciting story lines to follow for this team going into that year, and they were genuinely interesting to watch for a large majority of the year (when they weren’t plagued by injury).

It goes without say that the most fun part about the season was watching Griffin play. Constantly putting the team on his back and willing them into a playoff spot was incredible. We as Pistons fans remain adamant that had Detroit actually won more games, he’d have been in the MVP conversation.

Yes, he would have. 

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The highs were high, and the lows were lows. They lost to Milwaukee a combined eight times throughout the year, they were consistently losing crucial games by winnable margins, but hey, the Pistons did manage to beat the eventual world champion Toronto Raptors all three times they squared off!

It was about as much fun as you could have had watching Detroit in a few years. With the 2015-2016 season being a possible exception, it had been nearly a decade since the Pistons were fun to watch.

So as they head into a rebuild, it feels like any enjoyment that we had could be in the rear view mirror. You may still find yourself having fun watching them, but it’ll likely be for reasons related to specific player development. Not because they’re actually winning games.

All of this is okay, too. At the end of the day, if they’re able to stick to a solid time frame to execute necessary moves, five years from now they could find themselves in a winning situation.

Rebuilds are for the betterment of an organization, and the Pistons are off to a strong start with the salary that they’ve cut.

The NBA Draft this year will tell us a lot about their potential direction, and whether or not there are better days on the horizon.

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