The Detroit Pistons have an undeveloped young core and a handful of veterans who provide much needed skills, experience, and knowledge but don’t fill the gaps completely. I don’t know the approach the coaching staff will take, and anything could happen to change those plans as the season gets underway. Regardless of the approach taken, fans will be watching the depth chart throughout the preseason and season as the Pistons look to compete into April.
How might the Pistons form a depth chart to try to balance on-court execution with player and team development?
The starting lineup for the first preseason game gave us a few clues. Bojan Bogdanovic, Monte Morris, and Isaiah Livers were all out with minor or precautionary issues, Livers’ ankle sprain the most serious of the bunch.
Preseason game one starting lineup
- Cade Cunningham
- Ausar Thompson
- Alec Burks
- Isaiah Stewart
- Jalen Duren
Although I don’t expect this to be the starting five going into the season, this somewhat unexpected lineup gave a sense of the team’s general approach. Without Bogey, the team turned to Burks to space the floor and took the preseason opportunity to try Beef Stew at power forward.
Beef Stew shot 1-of-6 from beyond the arc, which didn’t help the Pistons stretch the floor. While I believe Beef Stew can be a great backup big who can play either at the four or five, to do so, he probably needs to come off the bench. He’s not a starting power forward, but he’s a better defender than most bench players and has some offensive skills to keep a bench unit dynamic.
How might the Pistons address this issue with the current roster?