11 Bold Predictions for the Detroit Pistons season

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Detroit Pistons talks to Blake Griffin (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Detroit Pistons talks to Blake Griffin (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons kick off the NBA regular season tonight. So it’s time to make some bold, wacky and wild predictions.

It all starts for real with the Detroit Pistons opening the regular season in Minnesota. Here are 11 predictions on how it will go.

1. Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose will finish the season in Pistons uniforms.

Starting with possibly my boldest take, especially in the case of Rose, who is an expiring contract of reasonable size. The Pistons braintrust loves both players, and the Pistons secretly hope they overachieve and can keep Blake long-term to build around him.

Rose has a hand-shake agreement with his old agent Arn Tellum to not be traded unless he wants to, and owner Tom Gores likes having a big name like Rose around.

Basically this comes down to the Pistons overachieving enough that, at the deadline they convince themselves they have a shot at the playoffs (which is now a larger field with the play-in games) and decide to go for it.

A secondary prediction here is that, if they trade Rose, the return will be disappointing. They will only trade him to a good situation due to the hand-shake agreement, and he would be a rental.

2. The Josh Jackson Revival is a revolution.

I watched Jackson in the G-League last year. He looked great. I’ve seen a lot of guys look great there, though. Darrun Hilliard may be the best G-Leaguer I’ve ever seen. Then Jackson showed up this season and displayed his new shooting prowess and ball-handling confidence in preseason.

I’m all in. Jackson is hyper talented and if he hits even 35% of his threes at decent volume, he will be the Pistons best wing player by a country mile.

3. Killian Hayes has a dud rookie season

To emphasise, this doesn’t mean I think he will go bust. But it’s clear he doesn’t have the athletic tools to make the game easier for him, if he’s going to be great it will be with guile and instinct. That takes time. He will have his moments of good play on both ends of the floor, but he doesn’t have the superior athleticism to help cover his mental mistakes like many rookies do.

Related Story. Detroit Pistons: Don’t Worry About Killian Hayes’ Shooting. light

4. The “Jerami Grant: shot creator” experiment doesn’t survive the season

Grant is a good player who can thrive in the right role. I’ve never felt as convinced of something based on preseason as I am that Grant cannot dribble or see the floor well enough to take on the larger role he wants.

Hopefully, this results in the Pistons finding better spots for him, but coach Dwane Casey has never been good at that. Grant will brick away in isolation for a few months before being effectively demoted back to role-player status, where he will be very good again.

5. Jahlil Okafor becomes a highly important cog

The Pistons have spacing and shot creation issues. Okafor can bully his way through crowds to score. On nights where Griffin and/or Rose are out, he may suddenly find himself as the Pistons best offensive option. His defense is brutal but his skill-set on offense will carve him out a bigger role on this team than people think.

6. Svi falls out of the rotation

Probably second boldest prediction. I remain highly concerned about Svi’s defense. Casey doesn’t play guys who don’t defend and, unlike last season when Svi became a rotation piece, he has real competition.

Essentially four wing spots should be locked up by Wright, Sekou, Grant, and Jackson. Even if Grant flexes into the 4 spot some, I think either Bey or McGruder wins those minutes over Svi.

A couple of qualifiers here.

First, this is when the Pistons are healthy. If/when Blake and Rose get hurt, Delon Wright is playing point and Grant is at the ‘4’, so Svi is playing by default. Secondly, I am not endorsing this, simply acknowledging that Casey has a long history of choosing guys who will defend.

7.  Mason Plumlee takes the crown of “least deserving hated player”

Plumlee is already a meme for the contract he got and he doesn’t score a lot or block a lot of shots. You know, the basic stuff that casual fans look for.

He will be the dead fall guy for many fans all season, despite the fact that his ability as a passer, screener, roller, and communicator will make the team better, and help young players build good habits.

8. Sekou arrives

Another guy I am all in on based on flimsy evidence of preseason and instagram videos. Sekou Doumbouya has bulked up and looks hungry. The Pistons excellent passing big-men will find him when he cuts, and even though I think he will struggle, Hayes looks most ready as a passer.

If injuries decimate the Pistons creators, it will hurt, but as long as Sekou isn’t drawn into creating for himself too much, he will put himself in contention for most improved player.

9. Isaiah Stewart averages more than 8 fouls per 36 minutes.

Ok this isn’t even that bold. Stewart will not play a ton, but he is out of control. Often in a good way, but still out of control.

10. Dwane Casey is fired at the end of the season.

It’s time for this. The Pistons will be close enough to a play-in berth that Casey won’t be able to resist playing his veterans heavy minutes. but they will still miss the cutoff.

At the end of the season the Pistons will have missed the playoffs and also not gotten the time and development for their young guys they wanted. In addition, Casey will be on the back-half of his contract. General manager Troy Weaver finally puts his stamp on the team and hires his own coach.

dark. Next. Can the Detroit Pistons really make the playoffs?

11. Blake Griffin opts out after the season and re-signs with Detroit.

Yep. Gores loves Blake, and the free agent market looks very different for next summer than it did a month ago. Griffin will opt out and the Pistons will commit to him with a 4-year $130 deal.