A New Season and New Beginnings for the Detroit Pistons:
What is the game plan for the unbalanced, unpredictable Detroit Pistons this upcoming season? They made little news during the NBA’s busy offseason this summer, but their biggest acquisition has to be Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin back in January. The Pistons thought that Griffin and their all-star Andre Drummond would form a powerful and intimidating frontcourt duo for the rest of last season and for the future. The duo didn’t lead to the anticipated success the Pistons had in mind. Their Head Coach, Stan Van Gundy, ended up losing his job late last season, they lost their future lottery pick in a future NBA draft, and the team quickly ran out of cap space.
After Gundy’s departure, Ed Stefanski was hired to re-invent the team; the Pistons chose to appoint Dwayne Casey as head coach. This was a bold, but important move for the organization, as Casey is well-respected throughout the league and is the reigning Coach of the Year in the NBA from his success with the Toronto Raptors. The team has pieces in place for this season, but will to continue to grow as one unit and learn to play together.
The Start of the 2018-2019 Season in Detroit:
Top Matchups This Season
Los Angeles Clippers: Saturday, January 12th 2019
It’s been reported that the Clippers mentioned that their All-Star power forward, Blake Griffin, would be with the team his entire career. That promise, however, didn’t pan out. Griffin is now a Piston and with the Clippers matching up with the visiting Pistons, we can expect some mostly positive attention from the fans and media.
Clippers fans should embrace Griffin. He was a perennial All-Star and the face of the team during his time with the team. The time he spent on the court with teammate, and fellow All-Star, point guard Chris Paul made the duo two of the most well-known players in the rebuilding franchise’s history.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Thursday, October 25th 2018
LeBron James’ arrival in Los Angeles in joining the Lakers organization makes the arrival of the Pistons at the Cleveland Cavaliers an intriguing and fairly even matchup at the beginning of the season. The Pistons should look at themselves as a possible playoff contender this season, if they come out and beat the Cavaliers this early in the season.
They will be able to see if they can compete amongst the crowded Eastern Conferences with other teams like Detroit, Miami, Charlotte, and, yes, Cleveland competing for a final playoff spot by season’s end.
Their matchup against the Cavaliers, without James, is a solid litmus test for fans and coaches alike to see whether the Pistons can compete for the playoffs in the deep Eastern Conference. They should be able to come out of their game(s) victorious with the Cavaliers, who also experiences major front office and lineup changes of their own this offseason. The Pistons’ Griffin matching up against the Cavaliers’ All-Star power forward, Kevin Love, is an anticipated battle that fans can look forward to enjoying. The Pistons’ contests against the Cavaliers will be important, if they are to have any chance of making the postseason, but don’t expect fans to be marking these matchups on their calendars or rushing to the box office to purchase tickets.
The Pistons flat out are an unbalanced team. They do reside and play in the Eastern Conference, however, which for them is a positive. The Eastern Conference is a divided mess which is also good news, if the Pistons are able to contend and achieve a decent record and if, of course, their frontcourt duo of Griffin and Drummond remain healthy all season.Those are two big if(s) in such a stratified and talented Eastern Conference.
Even if their draft picks, Stanley Johnson and Luke Kennard also help to make an impact, will their play along with the Pistons power up front be enough for them to contend? Or even contemplate a trip to the second-round of the playoffs?Detroit will undoubtedly try mixing up their nightly lineup and eventually make moves in the organization, with Stefanski at the helm.