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Pistons’ youth movement might not pay off immediately, but it’s still welcome

Sitting eight rows of media back from NBA draft stage, I glanced at the NBA-provided quote sheet for Andre Drummond‘s news conference.

Transcribing is literally the worst part of my job as a journalist. I think quotes should be presented verbatim, but actually typing them from a recording is an excruciatingly awful task. So, any time someone wants to help me with that, I will never turn them down.

But as grateful as I was for the sheet, I couldn’t help but laugh at how the transcriber – again, a sincere thank you! – had worded the first question to Drummond:

NBA DRAFT

June 28, 2012

Andre Drummond

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q.  André, if you can start with some opening comments about being drafted by the piss sons.

Piss sons! I immediately shared the mistake with the TrueHoopers sitting near me, and collectively, we snickered.

But the real joke is on the Pistons.

The error isn’t entirely inaccurate. The Pistons certainly have played like piss the last few years. But, at least in metaphorical terms within the NBA universe, the Pistons have been more like fathers than sons.

In the last few years – zero total playoff victories – Detroit has ranked 18th, 21st, 17th and 27th among the NBA’s youngest teams by age weighted by minutes played. The Pistons were also old during the previous seven seasons – 25th, 28th, 26th, 25th, 18th, 24th and 26th – but there was nothing wrong with being old when it came with so much playoff success.

Being old and being bad stinks.

Thankfully, the Pistons seem to realize that, reflected by their roster changes. Apparently out are Ben Wallace (37), Damien Wilkins (32), Walker Russell (29). Apparently in are Andre Drummond (18), Khris Middleton (20), Kim English (23) and Slava Kravtsov (24). Another swap – Ben Gordon (29) for Corey Maggette (32) – is more about providing the cap room to acquire a younger player next summer.

These moves might make Detroit worse in the short-term, but that’s OK. Fans invested in a team for the long term often fail to realize how much better veterans are in the short term, though that’s hardly a worthy consolation for being stuck where the Pistons have been lately.

We’ll get a taste of this new era shortly, as Detroit opens its summer league schedule against the Jazz at 3 p.m. on NBATV. It might not look pretty yet, but it’s progress.

The last time the Pistons ranked among the top half of the NBA’s youngest teams was 2000-01, when they finished 30-52. There could very well be more of the same for the Pistons this season.

But even if they still play like piss, at least they’ll be closer to the NBA’s sons.

28 Comments

  • Jul 9, 20123:26 pm
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    Drummond swished his shot and even has a block in the opening minutes…so far so good!

  • Jul 9, 20123:40 pm
    by Apple3

    Reply

    Watching the Summer league game, I seen one thing. Austin Daye is horrible.

  • Jul 9, 20124:00 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    The Pistons can’t make a shot to save their lives. They are shooting around 29%. Daye still looks very timid and had the deer in the headlight look while on defense. Lots of movement by Utah and the Pistons aren’t setting screens on offense and it’s a mad scramble near the net each offensive possession.

    I’m loving Singler’s intensity and Drummond’s athleticism!

  • Jul 9, 20124:04 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    Wow! Drummond’s first free throw was embarrassing.

  • Jul 9, 20124:08 pm
    by Apple3

    Reply

    Hopefully this is as bad as its gonna get for Andre, not really impressing.

  • Jul 9, 20124:17 pm
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    Hey guys, here you have the mini-recap for this first half: Singler has been the best Piston so far. He has been intense on both ends, scoring and defending. He looks like a second or third-year player. My MVP so far. English has been good too, productive at both ends, two charges. Daye as usual, if he’s not hitting shots he’s a dead body on the court. And last but not least Andre Drummond: two horrendous free throws (airball included), a fadeaway and little else.
    Oh, just forgetting something: our last minutes of first quarter and most of the second have been totally crap. We couldn’t even make a single field goal…hope it gets better after the halftime.
    We’ll be back. Stay tunned…

  • Jul 9, 20124:24 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    PistonPowered should use some of that new bandwidth to create an open thread for each of the summer league games for the wannabe bloggers and scouts ;)

    • Jul 9, 20124:34 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I think that’s what this post was intended to be, Dan just didn’t label it ‘open thread.’ But we’ll try and have something up around game time each week for that purpose.

  • Jul 9, 20124:25 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Steal and another fadeaway for Drummond that had the announcer comparing him to Olajuwon and Ewing.

  • Jul 9, 20124:28 pm
    by bvpiston

    Reply

    Singler is playing great, I love it. Also, i really like AD’s step back jumper, didn’t know he had that in his limited offensive arsenal. His free throws are indeed horrendous. We have to get used to the idea he’ll probably never be better than 50% from the line. Oh well, so be it. He’s also got some quick hands, very Monroe-like.

  • Jul 9, 20124:32 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Nice Drummond dunk followed by another airball free throw.

  • Jul 9, 20124:33 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    Drummonds defense is the real deal. Freethrows horrible, but the step back J is good:-) Maybe he should step- back on his free throws.

    BK – I’m so glad he got his “split the d” back like he used to do in HS. He’s really creating some opportunities with that. He seemed a little hesitant to do it last year. 

    Singler is the truth. confident, skillful, strong. We should trade half of our Small forwards. 
    please.

    • Jul 9, 20125:10 pm
      by CNA5

      Reply

      Free throws sometimes take a while for bigs to get down.  I expect he’ll struggle with this in the near future for sure.
       
      Hopefully they’ll work with him between now and the season to develop a good routine to where he can be comfortable.

  • Jul 9, 20124:33 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    Somewhere Ben Wallace and Shaq are feeling good about their free throw skills after Drummond’s last 3 free throws.

    Daye is looking confident and aggressive in the third quarter.

  • Jul 9, 20124:41 pm
    by John V

    Reply

    Impressed with English and Singler so far

  • Jul 9, 20124:57 pm
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    Deron Washington looks like a skinny Micheal Beasly lol

  • Jul 9, 20125:02 pm
    by Victor

    Reply

    English doing a really nice job. Can’t say the same about Middleton… D-League is waiting if he keeps ike this. Singler is just doing what he did in Spain.

  • Jul 9, 20125:18 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    Singler needed to bring back the “Ball Don’t Lie” taunt after Washington’s trip to the charity line.

  • Jul 9, 20125:26 pm
    by Brendon

    Reply

    I didnt see the actual game, but from a statistical perspective I thought Andre Drummond and Kyle Singler, apart from AD’s FT attempts, looked good on the offensive side. I did see they had foul trouble, but Kyle Singler had only a +1 point differential with him on the floor and I was wondering if he was just paired in the lineup with some of the bench players who got killed offensively or if he is all that much of a defensive player?

    • Jul 9, 20125:28 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      There were stretches when Singler wasn’t playing with any of Knight, Drummond, English or even Daye.

      • Jul 9, 20125:30 pm
        by Brendon

        Reply

        That’s kinda what I thought it was, but nonetheless I like good 1-0 start for the summer league!

  • Jul 9, 20125:26 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I’m officially putting my Singler animus to rest.

    • Jul 9, 20125:33 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      singler can play.  period.
      he looked like a guy who will play in the nba for a decade, either as a starter or as a guy who gets regular rotation minutes.
      excellent pick by joe last year.

  • Jul 9, 20125:27 pm
    by @GPMasters

    Reply

    Nice work changing the headline of this post Dan – the original one kinda sucked! ;)

  • Jul 9, 20125:32 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    drummond looked exactly like lots of us – excluding certain idiots over at certain unnamed pistons’ fans’ sites – expected him to look.
    athletic, great hands, great feet, excellent lateral mobility, an nba body at 18 years of age…absent an injury or some sort of catastrophic brain freeze, he looks like he should be a very positive addition on the defensive end.  
    who knows what he’ll ultimately bring to the offensive end – 5 dunks a game?; 0-10 at the free throw line? – but who cares.  he can change games with his defense. 
    singler? i’ll be pleasantly surprised if he is not glued to the bench…except for a 10-15 minute look each game because the precious prince needs his 35 minutes a game to loaf around the court.   too bad.  prince is helping to kill the team’s progress.  singler is ready to play 25 minutes a game.

    • Jul 9, 20128:24 pm
      by James Jones

      Reply

      Personally my hope for Drummand is 80% of Ben Wallace and so far that’s what he’s looking like.
       
      I think having any higher expectations is just setting yourself up for disappointment.  So few of these “raw” guys ever really develop.
       
      So far I’m happy with what I see, and if he turns out to be more that’s just a bonus.

  • Jul 9, 20125:37 pm
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    Well, the game is over and we got the win. Singler or English should be the MVP, both had a great game. Both look ready for being inserted into the rotation: Prince-Singler at SF (with Jerebko playing the SF/PF spots) and Stuckey-English. Very solid at both ends and with confidence, I really like them. Drummond played better this second half and almost scored in double figures. He rebounded and defended better but had another airball from the line…No problem…we have a Shaq project in progress, hehehe. Hard to tell if he’ll ever get to the .500 from the line, as someone pointed out above…On Middleton, well, he was missing in action, barely present. I can remember only one made shot from him. Anyway, my biggest dissapointment of the game was Macklin. He wasted one of his chances to prove something. He missed two uncontested dunks, couldn’t belive it. No progress so far on his game (no post moves, no jumpers, no defensive presence, no dunks) what makes me understand why didn’t we take the team option on him. He keeps as raw as his first game as a pro. Good move by Joe D, no question.

  • Jul 9, 20125:50 pm
    by @GPMasters

    Reply

    Yep Vernon will clearly be elsewhere (anywhere if he’s lucky) when training camp rolls around, the two bunnies he missed were shocking

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