The Detroit Pistons will tip off the 2023-24 preseason today at Little Caesar’s Arena vs. the Phoenix Suns.
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Detroit is trying to flip the script from the last four seasons, which all ended with them at or near the bottom of the league.
A big part of this season will be health, in fact, you could say that the words “if healthy” will be two of the most important for the Pistons.
“If healthy” the Detroit Pistons have hope to climb out of the basement of the Eastern Conference, but that hope has already taken a hit.
Detroit has already lost Isaiah livers for 6-8 weeks with a sprained ankle and may have also lost Bojan Bogdanovic.
Pistons vs. Suns injury update: Is Bojan Bogdanovic going to play?
Unfortunately, Bojan Bogdanovic has already been ruled out for the first preseason game with a calf strain:
I’d like to think this is not serious and the Pistons are just being cautious with their veteran sharpshooter, but I’ve seen too many of these evaluations turned into months on the bench in street clothes to be optimistic.
Damion Lee is the only Phoenix player listed on the injury report, so it will be interesting to see if the Suns run their full cast against their former coach.
Even though this is just preseason, losing two players before the action even starts is a big blow to the Pistons, who need everything to go right for them to have a chance to compete in the East.
This is a young team that needs reps with its full complement of players, so even if Bogdanovic’s injury is minor, it is still costing the team valuable minutes and reps to evaluate.
Who will start for the Pistons?
With Bogdanovic out, Detroit will likely turn to rookie Ausar Thompson at the starting small forward position unless coach Monty Williams goes with one of the veterans like Alec Burks, Joe Harris or Monte Morris.
I’m hoping to see the rookie in there, as Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart and Thompson are the five they are building around and they may as well get started now with Bogdanovic out.
Bojan’s absence will put increased pressure on Stewart to start hitting shots right away, especially if Bogdanovic has to miss any of the regular season.
It’s not an ideal way to start the year and the Pistons’ depth will be tested right away.