The Detroit Pistons have not made it to the playoffs since 2009. New coach Stan Van Gundy is looking to turn things around this season. The Pistons have lots of raw talent and potential on their squad. They have some concerns that they will eventually need to address.
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The Pistons had a quiet off-season, however, a key addition was guard D.J. Augustin. The six-year pro has bounced around from the then Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, and now the Detroit Pistons. The former first-round draft pick has averaged 10.1 points per game throughout his career. His best average came last season with Chicago, 14.9 points per game. In his career, he has averaged 4.0 assists per game.
The addition of Augustin will be able to solidify the backcourt after Chauncey Billups retired and Rodney Stuckey was lost to costless agency. Losing Stuckey and Billups will hurt the team. Without those two veterans the team may lose their way. Hopefully, head coach Stan Van Gundy will be able to adjust and help his team.
"Stan is something else," Andre Drummond said this week. "You can see how intense he is and how ready he is for the season to make a change.
"He's done so much from the day he got hired to today to change the culture in here, making sure guys are in here each and every day, lifting in the weight room and being on the court."
Detroit's biggest strength lies within their frontcourt. They have one of the most underrated big men in Drummond and Greg Monroe. Both of these men are under the age of 25 and have not hit their prime. Drummond has developed into one of the best centers in the game, and he is only entering his third season. It seems as if when Drummond gets hot, so does Monroe. They feed off each other. They have the potential to become constant All-Stars.
The biggest weakness is the Pistons defense. Last season, they ranked 27th in points allowed. There is no reason for them to be that poor when they have players who can be defensively sound, those being Drummond, Monroe, Josh Smith, and even Brandon Jennings. They are all young players who can move well and should be able to create offensive problems for opposing teams. It is all about effort and determination, which is the ultimate thing that has held the Pistons back in the recent seasons.
It is hard to know what to expect from Detroit this season. They finished last season with 29 wins. They have enough pieces to be a team that could rack up 40 wins, but it all comes down to how hard the players will want to play on both ends of the court. They are moving in the right direction and should be one of the teams fighting for the final few playoff spots towards the end of the season.