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Blazersedge 2008-09 NBA Season Preview: The Pistons

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DETROIT PISTONS

Record:  59-23, 1st in Central Division, 2nd in Eastern Conference

 

Statistical Comparisons

 

Notable:

1st in opponent scoring (90.1 ppg)

2nd  in ppg differential (+7.4 ppg)

3rd in opponent field goal %

3rd in blocks

1st in turnovers

 

Others:

16th in the league in scoring (97.5 ppg)

13th in field goal % 

13th in three-point % 

22nd in free throw attempts per game

13th (tie) in free throw percentage

10th in assists

17th in steals

18th in opponent turnovers

Good offensive rebounding team

Average defensive rebounding team

 

Movement

 

Significant Additions:  Kwame Brown, Will Bynum

Significant Subtractions:  Jarvis Hayes, Juan Dixon, Theo Ratliff

 

Roster

 

Coach:  Michael Curry

 

Key Players

PG:  Chauncey Billups, Rodney Stuckey

SG:  Rip Hamilton, Aaron Afflalo

SF:  Tayshaun Prince

PF:  Rasheed Wallace, Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson

C:  Antonio McDyess, Kwame Brown

 

Comments

 

As I recall from comments made after the Pistons were ousted from the Eastern Conference Finals by the eventual champion Celtics, this was supposed to be the summer where Joe Dumars made major moves to get his team back over the hump.  I would say Kwame Brown qualifies as majorly underwhelming.  In fact you look at that whole Detroit bench and go, “Maxiell is a nice undersized power forward, but still…eewww?”

 

Nevertheless, the Pistons are suffering from the predictable tendency of fans and media alike to bury any team that finishes almost, but not quite.  As long as their starting unit stays healthy they’re still a very nice team.  You don’t get a +7.4 point differential by accident.  Their defense is great and their offense is smart.  These guys have all been there before and they’re not going to fall apart.  I don’t think they’re a serious threat to get to the Finals just because of their depth and age (something is going to go wrong somewhere and their backup plan isn’t great) but I could easily see them posting another season that 25 teams in the league would envy.  And, by the way, this is the Eastern Conference.  Out West if one of the leaders falls they’ll immediately be set upon by eight or nine jackals eager to carve out their carcass.  If Boston somehow loses a key player (or their drive or their minds) it’s a dead race between two or three teams to supplant them.  Detroit is one of those teams.

 

I’m curious to see how new coach Michael Curry affects this squad.  Maybe he peps them up and gives the grizzled veterans reason to play again.  On the other hand it could be a disaster.  The thing is, disaster for Detroit is probably 48 wins and an exit before the third playoff round.  For most teams that’s a successful year.  That’s why they’re still the Pistons.

 

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)