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Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe: Pistons could push .500 mark next season

Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe is a fan of the Pistons potentially hiring Lawrence Frank and he expects the returning players to play better next season:

This is not to oversell Frank. The Pistons could hire Red Auerbach and sign Phil Jackson as his lead assistant, and they aren’t doing anything next season but sneaking into one of the final two or three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. But this team should win more than 30 games, and it should be far more competitive defensively next season. Given some effort and development of Detroit’s young guys (Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and Monroe), this team could push .500 next season. That’s a start.


  • Jul 22, 20112:44 pm
    by Murph


    Aren’t you guys laying it on a little thick?  Now the Pistons are going to play .500 next year…because they just hired Lawrence Frank???  (Rolls eyes.)

    I get it…Feldman, Lowe, Rosenberg, Bohnlein and Schiller all like Frank…no surprise there.  But .500?…come on.

  • Jul 22, 20114:58 pm
    by Danny


    I dont think .500 is out of the question. This team had historically bad chemistry last year, so with the firing of Keuster we instantly got a little better. With Frank, we will be at least 5 points-per-game better defensively, count on it. And lets not undersell Knight. He will struggle at times, but right off the bat he is an upgrade over Stuckey at PG. This team could do next to nothing in terms of further upgrades and still get to .500 in a very weak Eastern Conference.

    • Jul 23, 20111:02 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      If the Pistons are five points per game better on defense, they’ll win at least 48 games. That’s a HUGE improvement, especially at the slow pace the Pistons play.

      I don’t but that Knight will be better than Stuckey at point guard immediately. Stuckey has proven he’s a capable NBA starter. Maybe he’s not much more, but he’s at least that. Knight was fairly inefficient at Kentucky last year.

  • Jul 22, 20118:18 pm
    by RyanK


    Should have been .500 last season.  If they would have played hard and as a team they would have definitely made the playoffs.  Effort and attitude played twice the role as talent and coaching last season.

  • Jul 22, 20118:26 pm
    by vic


    getting jerebko back alone puts some heart back into this team.
    he’ll get the 50/50 rebounds, and we’ll win all the close games we lost off pure laziness.
    add a good coach and 500 is not too much of a stretch.

    the only issue is post defense. it all depends on how healthy Ben wallace is. if he is subpar, we will finish  probably in the same range as the last 2 years. unless the Other Mack turns into a starter, or we trade for Dalembert or Al Jefferson.

    but if not, then hopfully we’ll get lucky in the draft and end up with andre drummond!

  • Jul 22, 20119:20 pm
    by gmehl1977


    I don’t think .500 is out of the question either but you have to remember that we aren’t the only team that just drafted an effective rookie. I personally think the return of Jonas Jerebko will make more of an impact than Knight. Both however will be key parts in pushing this team closer to .500. I lost count how many games we lost after leading by double figures due to our lack of effort. It was always a feeling of how are we going to screw this big lead up so i am hoping the hiring of Frank can address that area.

    • Jul 22, 20119:22 pm
      by gmehl1977


      Whoops this post was in reply to Danny (2nd comment)

    • Jul 23, 20111:10 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      “I don’t think .500 is out of the question either but you have to remember that we aren’t the only team that just drafted an effective rookie. I personally think the return of Jonas Jerebko will make more of an impact than Knight.”

      Bingo, and although I like Knight in the long term, plenty of teams drafted players more ready to help next year.

  • Jul 23, 20111:23 am
    by neutes


    I don’t see .500 at all. I like that Jerebko is back. He’ll provide a boost along with an improved Monroe. Stuckey would have to play really well, and consistently, and Knight would have to play sparingly as a backup for .500 to become even close to a reality. Losing Prince, Mcgrady, and Wilcox is costing a lot of production. I don’t think Daye, Jerebko, and Knight are going to make up for it. I’m not counting on Gordon, Rip, or CV for anything, and I don’t think Frank instantly makes any of them more productive. If the team is scratching .500 it will be because Stuckey and Monroe become the players they have the potential to be.

    • Jul 23, 20111:24 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      I think last year’s team was capable of playing close to .500, even if they never showed that potential. But like you said, it’s scary to think how much less ability next year’s team might have if all those guys walk away. On the bright side, I think it would be easier to get behind a young team that plays hard, even if it loses more.

  • Jul 23, 20116:55 pm
    by BIG MARV


    I don’t think it will happen this year because of this lockout, already the team is behind and Brandon knight is not working with his team or coaches and that is important if hes playing PG hes gotta know his team and the plays. If the NBA gets off to a late start it will def not happen because detroit is not a Veteran team to overcome that half-season hill and trust their players to make a playoff run. With a young new floor general and a first year head coach… I see this team at least 5 games under .500 I think they will have enough good young guys to win most games off of pure talent. I think next year (if the NBA don’t miss a season) will defiantly be at .500 next year and should have a steady standing at 6-8th place. As you can see my comment is all based on this crazy lockout just like alot of these other topics

  • Jul 23, 201110:01 pm
    by brgulker


    I think .500 is overly optimistic.

    We’re losing two significant pieces of the rotation in Wilcox (presumably) and McGrady. Ben Wallace will be a year older and capable of playing less.

    Monroe will hopefully be better, and Jerebko will be back. Does that make up the above difference?  I don’t know, maybe.

    Knight won’t contribute much, and the other rookies probably shouldn’t make the team.

    Let’s remember, this is our frontcourt: Monroe, Jerebko, Maxiell, Ben Wallace, Villanueva.  The backcourt isn’t any better.

    35 wins would be very, very successful in terms of WL. .500 would be a small miracle.

  • Jul 24, 20113:09 pm
    by mubin


    they wont make .500 unless the team coaperates and proves they can comeback from games and hold leads. If the aquire Paul Milsap in a trade for rip and someone like stucky, thay will defenatly be above .500 maybee even 46-48 wins.

  • Jul 24, 201110:26 pm
    by Jodi Jezz


    I can see us being +.500 if we trade for a good center that can complement Monroe… I think if Frank gives Gordon his starting mins, Stuckey plays well as a combo guard (PG and SG), and Knight comes along well off the bench with either stuckey or gordon beside him, we will be just fine!! We just need to find a starting SF, i dont know if Daye is ready for that defensively.

  • Jul 25, 20117:26 am
    by Murph


    I doubt if we can play .500.

    The problem is that although we’re getting Jerebko back, we’ll probably be losing Prince and McGrady, who were two of our better players last year.  And I doubt if Knight or Singler will be ready to contribue in any major way this year.  What would help the most is if we’re able to sign a free agent big man who can start along side Monroe, such as Deandre Jordan, who can provide rebounding, shot blocking and intereior defense.  That would represent a significant upgrade over Wilcox.

    However, the bar was set pretty low by John Kuester.  All Frank has do to have a successful season is win more games than last year, while keeping the players and the locker room quiet and focused.

    Frank needs to approach the Pistons in the same way Woodson approached the Hawks.  If the Pistons can improve incrementally every year, under Frank, he will have success and a long tenure here.

    (Of course, all of this assumes we’ll actually play this year.)

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