The Detroit Pistons are clearly trying to build around their defense and it is working.
Dwane Casey recently said that his goal for next season was for the Pistons to have a top-ten defense.
Considering the Pistons are 17th in defense this season, it seems like a lofty goal, but if you take a closer look at the numbers, the Pistons are well on their way there.
They have been much better since jettisoning Blake Griffin, climbing five spots in that time and have tightened things up even more over the last ten, allowing just 108 points per game, which would put them in the top-6 if carried over a whole season.
I predict that the Detroit Pistons will absolutely have a top-ten defense next season. Here’s why.
Detroit Pistons: Defense will get better with rookie growth
The Detroit Pistons have been starting three rookies over the last several games and all three have shown signs of being plus defenders.
Killian Hayes is averaging nearly two steals a game in his last ten and has played smothering defense at times. Saddiq Bey has been versatile on the perimeter all season and came into the league with a solid defensive resume that has only gotten stronger.
Isaiah Stewart might be the best rookie defender in his class, is leading all rookies in blocked shots and is one of the most switchable big man defenders in the league already.
He’s been getting some attention for his ability to defend point guards, and when you factor in Jerami Grant, Josh Jackson and Hamidou Diallo, the Pistons are loaded with versatility and talent on the defensive end.
The rookies are doing this without the benefit of much of an offseason or training camp, so they are going to be even better with another year of growth and learning in an NBA system and working with NBA trainers.