Next up, the remodeled Pistons.
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It’s been a rough few years for Detroit (both the city and the team). GM Joe Dumars has been in the doghouse with the fans â€” if there are any out there…Detroit had the league’s worst attendance numbers â€” since 2008 when he traded Chauncey Billups away and officially hit the reset button only to waste massive amounts of money on the likes of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, who were coming off huge seasons for Chicago and Milwaukee, respectively. They had officially hit rock bottom.
Things have slowly been getting better. Draftees Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond both look like building blocks going forward for Detroit. After flashing some potential as the season progressed, the Pistons went into this past offseason with the mindset “Enough is enough.” They went out â€” after literally begging someone to take the last two years of Gordon’s contract of their hands, willingly giving up a first round pick in the process â€” and used their cap space to sign the second best free agent on the market (Josh Smith) and flip Brandon’s – gone is Knight, in comes Jennings – the latter of whom agreed to a sign-and-trade paying him $8 milion a year after striking out in free agency.
They brought back Chauncey Billups for a farewell tour, and signed the Lega Basket Serie A MVP, Luigi Datome, to shore up the bench. They drafted guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to provide some much-needed three-point shooting and defense. Now, suddenly, Detroit has one of the best “on paper” rosters in the league. But will the lack of shooting prove to be a downfall? Will there be any space when Smith, Monroe, and Drummond are all on the court? Is Monroe on the trade block?
With Detroit’s very own Eminem making a comeback this year, will the Pistons do the same? This team could prove to be one of the more exciting to watch this season. Yes, Detroit is on the rise! Fill the stands with “Stan” fans, the Pistons are watchable again! Lets get you in the proper mindset:
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The Continued Development of Andre Drummond
By now we all know the story: Drummond, arguably the most physically-talented member of the 2012 Draft, slid to No. 9 where Detroit gladly scooped him up. They brought him along slowly, he only averaged about 20 minutes per game last year, but by the end of the season fans were begging for more. Why? Because his 48-minute numbers are outrageous: 18.4 PPG, 17.6 RPG, 3.7 BPG, and 60.8 percent shooting. He runs the floor, he blocks shots, and he dunks on everyone. Sure, he shoots free throws worse than Dwight Howard (37.1 percent from the line), but Detroit will only go as far as Drummond’s broad shoulders can carry them.
Chauncey Billups Returns
Once upon a time Chauncey Billups led an underrated Detroit team to an incredible upset over a highly favored Lakers team to win the 2004 NBA Title. After stints in Denver, New York, and Los Angeles, Billups returns. Is he the same player he was in 2008 (his last season with DET)? Of course not, but for a Pistons team in need of leadership and clutch shooting, Billups will be a key member of the team. With Brandon Jennings and Rodney Stuckey both out with injuries, Billups might even be a starter at beginning of the season. Mr. Big Shot’s return provides a steady presence for this team, and while he isn’t the player from his first stint in Detroit, Billups isn’t washed up just yet, averaging 11.5 PPG and 3.1 APG with the Clippers when he wasn’t injured. Now, finally healthy, Billups is once again the leader of Detroit.