It’s another basketball season and with it comes a host of questions you would already expect.
Will this finally be the year the Detroit Pistons break through and qualify for the playoffs? Will Lebron James bring a title to the Cleveland Cavaliers? Will Kobe Bryant make it through the season injury free? Or will this be the Lakers star final season?
Speaking of the Pistons, Detroit has reloaded with a host of new players. But what’s left to be seen is if that will pay dividends and translate to success on the court.
On the surface, Detroit appears vastly improved at nearly every position other than power forward, where ultimately their system in itself could be an upgrade.
This time last year the Pistons were relying heavily on Brandon Jennings to run the point. Now Jennings is a wild card as he battles back from an achilles tendon injury.
Reggie Jackson has been handed the keys to the franchise at the position and could benefit from being in Stan Van Gundy’s system for a full season. Last season he proved to be dynamic and averaged nearly 20 points per and 10 assists per game.
At shooting guard, Kentavious Caldwell Pope could be a breakout player as he enters his third season. He is said to have improved on both sides of the floor and will be pushed by Jodie Meeks, who is in his second season with the team. Meeks is finally healthy after suffering a back injury last preseason plagued him all year.
The two shooting guards should combine to give the Pistons a dynamic one-two punch.
Detroit is vastly improved at small forward after drafting Stanley Johnson, who could be the steal of the draft and also trading for Marcus Morris. Together they provide the Pistons grit, position flexibility and also stability the team hasn’t had since Tayshaun Prince was in his prime.
The power forward position is in question. Gone is Greg Monroe, who is now with the Milwaukee Bucks. He will shift back to his more familiar position of center and give way to Ersan Ilyasova, who was acquired from Milwaukee via trade. He will give the Pistons the stretch power forward they have been looking forward.
But Ilyasova has battled injuries and inconsistency and will need to be a breakout performer for the Pistons to have success.
At center, Andre Drummond is a mainstay and now the face of the franchise. The Pistons are hoping he takes the next step and becomes a dominant center.
All things told, things are looking up for the Pistons. What they do about the opportunity remains the biggest unanswered question to date.
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.