Nuggets forming Detroit Pistons 2.0 in Denver to chase title

Bruce Brown #11 of the Denver Nuggets reacts with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #5 (Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images)
Bruce Brown #11 of the Denver Nuggets reacts with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #5 (Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images) /

How does a first-place team guarantee a title this season? By collecting a bunch of castoffs from the Detroit Pistons, of course!

That seems to be the plan in Denver, where the Nuggets now have four ex-Pistons after it was reported that they were signing guard Reggie Jackson on the buyout market:

The Nuggets now feature Reggie Jackson, who played with the Detroit Pistons from 2013-2019, Bruce Brown (2018-20), Kentavious Caldwell Pope (2013-2017) and Ish Smith (2016-2019).

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All of these players had decent careers for the Detroit Pistons, but weren’t part of a whole lot of wins, but it does show one of the hallmarks of that era in the Motor City.

Detroit Pistons: A great collection of role players

If the Detroit Pistons of the 2010’s were defined by one word, it would probably be “mediocre.”

The Pistons were just 24th in the NBA in wins in the 2010’s, but that didn’t stop them from trying, as the team repeated the same mistake of trying to plug mortal wounds with bandaids, something they are trying to avoid during this current rebuild, which is the first time in modern history that they’ve completely torn the franchise down and started anew.

In what I would call the “Reggie Jackson era”, the Detroit Pistons definitely had some good role players, but were never able to find a star to elevate them to the next level. Plenty of Pistons from that era went on to have very good careers, with some (like KCP) contributing to deep playoff runs and even championship teams.

Denver is hoping to lean on three of them (Ish Smith doesn’t play much) in their current run, as they currently have the best record in the Western Conference, but unlike the Detroit Pistons of old, have a superstar to put in the middle of all of these role players.

Since the Pistons are no threat to make the playoffs this season, I may find myself rooting for Denver in the playoffs, as seeing all of those familiar faces will be the next best thing.

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