I don’t expect this team to suddenly be great defensively, as they have too many players who just aren’t great individual defenders yet.
Even with a 19-year-old anchoring the defense (with two poor defenders behind him), two young guards who are not yet great defenders, two guys in Bogdanovic and Harris who couldn’t guard me and a rookie on the wing, Monty Williams has still stressed defense this offseason.
He may not have the roster for this team to be a top-10 defense, but they can still play smart, poised defense and dial up the intensity.
Ausar Thompson should help cover some of the flaws on the perimeter, but defense is a team effort, so I want to see coach Williams’ words turned into action on the court. They need to limit mistakes, but also use their athletic advantages to harass ballhandlers, get into passing lanes for steals and get out in transition.
The Pistons were 27th in fast break points per game last season, mostly because they didn’t get stops and were constantly taking the ball out of the net. I want to see players flying around, communicating, crashing the defensive boards, limiting wide-open shots and defensive lapses and turning it into easier transition opportunities.
Pistons fans want to see a rejuvenated dedication to defense even if the results aren’t immediately there.