The weight room will be key to the Detroit Pistons season

Cade Cunningham (L) #2 and Isaiah Livers #12 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham (L) #2 and Isaiah Livers #12 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

It’s no secret that for the Detroit Pistons to make a leap as a team next season, they first have to stay healthy.

The Pistons led the NBA in games missed last season, which led to a whopping 17 wins and the worst record in the league.

Cade Cunningham missed all but 12 games, and Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III, Isaiah Livers and Alec Burks all missed significant time with injuries. In the cases of Bogdanovic an Burks, these were more of the “tank” variety as Detroit was throwing games late in the season, but the rest of these guys were legitimately injured, which was a huge problem.

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If the Detroit Pistons don’t get healthy seasons out of these guys next year, we can expect more of the same, so staying healthy will be key. In order to do that, several players are hitting the weight room, and so far the results are obvious.

The weight room will be key to the Detroit Pistons season

Cade Cunningham had plenty of time to work on his body while he was recovering from shin surgery and the results already show, as he looked stronger and more muscular as he dominated Team USA in a recent scrimmage.

Hopefully Cade’s shin injury was a one-off and that putting on some extra strength will help him endure the rigors of a full 82-game season. Cunningham is going to take a lot of fouls and being able to absorb and play through contact will be key. But it all starts with staying on the court, and that extra strength should help.

Same for Isaiah Livers, who has played just 71 games in two seasons. In a recent article in the Detroit Free Press, Livers talked about how staying healthy is the key to his season and that he was really focused on taking care of his body, starting in the weight room

"“I’ve built a new friendship with the weight room,” Livers told the Free Press on Friday, outside of the Pistons’ Midtown practice facility. “I feel a lot more explosive, bouncier, and I feel more in control of my body. It’s no secret, the No. 1 thing about me is just avoiding injuries. It’s been some small injuries. I tweaked my workout plan to the point where I won’t have those wear-and-tears, those nagging injuries.”"

Livers could end up being an important part of the Detroit Pistons rotation next season, as they need another forward who can play both spots and stretch the floor. Livers has shown he can be the 3-and-D forward that they need, but first he has to avoid all of the nagging injuries that have submarined his career so far.

But Livers is also on an expiring contract, so failure to stay healthy this season might be his ticket out of the league.

Though the stakes aren’t as high for Cade Cunningham, his health will dictate how far this team can go next season.

We’ll be harping on it all year, as availability is an ability the Pistons have not had, but one that is vital to success in the NBA.

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