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ESPN projects Pistons to win 49 games

Kevin Pelton of ESPN, using SCHOENE, projected the 2013-14 season, and then ESPN writers analyzed each team in light of those projections. Bradford Doolittle:

On paper, SCHOENE thinks it’s going to work out swimmingly: 49 wins, neck-and-neck with Chicago, Brooklyn and Indiana in the race for seeds 2-through-5 in the East, a top-10 finish in efficiency on both ends of the floor.

The Denver Nuggets proved last season that you can field a highly efficient offense without a glut of floor spacers. The antidote is to attack the rim and get your looks near the basket. That’s the formula the Pistons will need to follow this year and beyond. Smith and Jennings both have reputations for shooting teams out of games, while Monroe joins them as a prolific midrange bricklayer. If Cheeks can instill the same kind of attacking mentality that George Karl brought to last season’s Nuggets, the Pistons should up the ante on the offensive end. All of those players are good passers, and a decentralized offense that features attacking, cutting, ball movement and an emphasis on offensive rebounding should work given the talent on hand.

It’ll all depend on shot selection. No team can forgo midrange jumpers, but all teams can de-emphasize them. For the Pistons, that will be the biggest factor in their ability to reach the ceiling the metrics have established. Not only will a spate of midrange Js by low-percentage shooters wreck their offensive efficiency, but because such an attack will by necessity rely on second-chance points, floor balance could be compromised. Teams are already planning to attack Detroit’s big lineup in transition, and Cheeks can’t have Jennings and Smith aiding that cause with ill-conceived long 2s.

Are there a lot of variables in this equation? Sure. The Pistons will be asking a number of frontline players to alter their games in ways they haven’t had to before. The risk of implosion is very real. However, it’s a gamble worth taking. Talent is always worth the gamble.

Like Doolittle, I see the Pistons having a high-than-average risk of implosion. There are just too many risky pieces.

But before factoring that risk, a 49-win baseline is fantastic. There’s also a “risk” of the Pistons exceeding the baseline, too.

As I’ve mentioned in the  past, two weaknesses of SCHOENE are its ability to account for fit and coaching – two areas the Pistons could struggle. Still, even if you dock a few games for those factors, that would still have the Pistons in the playoffs.

A 2-through-5 seed would be great, but don’t forget, the Pistons’ main goal is just making the playoffs.

49 Comments

  • Oct 14, 201311:21 am
    by The Guru

    Reply

    I have us winning 48 games, I think we’ll trade for Jeff Green or Wilson Chandler, I’m predicting KCP is another form of Ben Gordon, and I think Monroe will receive the first max deal in Piston history…

    • Oct 14, 201312:17 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      I like the idea of getting Wilson Chandler since he has been underutilized by Denver and I think they could find use for Stuckey (plus those contracts match up).  That might be less likely because of the loss of Andre and Brewer, which makes Chandler more necessary on the Nuggets.
       
      What is similar about KCP and BG?  Gordon is relatively undersized and a below average to poor defender who’s offense is almost completely focused on jumpshots.   KCP is big, known for defense, and can score from outside or getting to the rim.  Some things are up in the air because he is a rookie, but his play style looks nothing like BG.

      • Oct 14, 20139:01 pm
        by The Guru

        Reply

        @Huddy: Both KCP and Gordon are extremely streaky…They’re either hot or cold, there’s no median…When I said another form of Gordon I was meaning that KCP is a better defender and a bigger sized player…From everything I’ve heard about his college years, summer league, and recent play, I see future 6th man…I think Oats had a great argument saying that KCP could be a good 4th or 5th option in our starting line-up…But I personally think we’ll utilize him as our instant offense off the bench…
         
        Yeah, Wilson Chandler would be a great pick-up for us…I would trade Mithcell, Singler, and Stuckey for Chandler and Randolph…

        • Oct 15, 201311:18 am
          by Huddy

          Reply

          Being Streaky is a common NBA trait, but if that one trait is enough to make a player comparison I guess KCP could be another form of BG.

    • Oct 14, 201312:20 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      If the Pistons can get one of those guys without giving up much (any of Drummond, Monroe, Smith, Jennings, or Pope), that will greatly elevate reasonable expectations for them this season.

      That said, what’s the incentive for their teams to deal those guys without taking back any of the players I mentioned? I don’t think either team is in full-on salary dumping mode, so they’d be asking for Pope or a pick.

      • Oct 14, 20139:05 pm
        by The Guru

        Reply

        I think an incentive could be to give Hamilton more playing time and make room to pay Faried…Also remember that Hamilton is cheaper and still on his rookie deal…We offer Singler to take Chandler’s place, give them Stuckey to fill the 2 and 1 role, and throw in Mithchell as a sweetener…Sound like a decent deal??.

        • Oct 15, 201310:38 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Perhaps, but then you have to recognize that means that the Pistons don’t get a solid FA next summer. instead they have Chandler. I don’t know if he is worth that opportunity cost.

    • Oct 14, 201312:57 pm
      by jamesjones_det

      Reply

      I hope you are right about KCP because right now he’s struggling outside of 15 ft from the basket.  He’s a hell of a defender but shooting wise I can’t even say he looks streaky.

      • Oct 14, 20133:13 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Well he was 84-225 (.373) from three in college last year. He was 7-31 (.226) in summer league. Now he is 1-16 (.063) in preseason. That’s pretty brutal. But I doubt it’s an accurate reflection of his actual ability.

        • Oct 14, 20133:45 pm
          by gtg2013

          Reply

          “Well he [KCP] was 84-225 (.373) from three in college last year…”
          He may be having trouble adjusting to the pro 3. Maybe he can work it out in pre-season. If not… bad news all around.

  • Oct 14, 201312:12 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    “A 2-through-5 seed would be great, but don’t forget, the Pistons’ main goal is just making the playoffs.”
     
    Um, WTF? I’ve criticized your suspect journalism before and you never say a damn word, so I suspect you won’t address this either, but this is a bizarre loser’s mentality and I think you’re WAY off base. “Just making the playoffs” would have been a reasonable aspiration last season, because it meant they did SOMETHING right and there was tons of room for improvement. But this was your “swing for the fences” summer and Joe basically shot his wad. You can probably add one more significant piece next summer, but even then you’re flirting with luxury tax territory before your team has proven itself a contender.
     
    If this team has a playoff experience similar to their last one (a merciless beating at the hands of the #1 seed) the season will have been a tremendous disappointment. Guys like Monroe and Drummond obviously have room to improve, but it’s not like any of our major pieces are total projects, in which case you have a lot to look forward to in their development. They may not be finished products just yet, but I think our core players are pretty close to who they’re going to be as players. At the barest of minimums, they need to put up a serious fight in the first round and establish themselves as a team you don’t want to face in the playoffs. To me, THAT is the main goal.
     
    We heard a lot of bluster about how Moose and Dre can fit together if they’re surrounded by shooters (not that I was convinced), but the team did not add a single proven NBA shooter. Not one. Their biggest acquisition is a guy most people think is an odd fit, to put it very gently. And it’s hard to imagine you’re making the most of your assets when two of your three best players are starting out of position. So you’d damn well better hope things mesh together well enough to do more than make an embarrassing token playoff appearance and hope Gores has very low standards. Because if you’re not well on your way to contention this year, you’ve pretty much set a ceiling of being the Atlanta Hawks forever.

    • Oct 14, 201312:22 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Jennings and Billups are not proven NBA shooters?

      • Oct 14, 201312:24 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Also, you overestimate “proven in the NBA”. Datome is a proven shooter (although his other skills may not be sufficient for him to get on the court). Pope hasn’t yet had the opportunity to prove himself in the NBA. But there is no reason to believe he won’t be at least a decent shooter.

        • Oct 14, 201312:38 pm
          by Huddy

          Reply

          I wish the site updated live, you beat me with that argument and I didn’t even realize.

          • Oct 14, 20131:28 pm
            by tarsier

            I’ve done the same thing myself a couple times. I think it’s kinda fun comparing independent posts that use similar arguments.

      • Oct 15, 20131:51 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        Jennings shot the worst percentage in the league among players with 800 or more attempts last season, and Billups is 37 years old and has been battling injuries since his last run here. KCP is a rookie and Gigi hasn’t proven himself in this league. Maybe I should have said dead-eye shooter.

        • Oct 15, 201311:53 am
          by Huddy

          Reply

          The worst percentage in the league among players taking 800+ shots isn’t indicative of his shooting ability as it is needed on this team.  His 3P% is above average and his overall FG% is lowered because of poor shot selection inside the arc.  Dwight Howard has the highest FG% among players taking 800+ shots, but that doesn’t make him a proven shooter.  The proven shooters in question are outside shooters that can spread the floor because of the Piston’s abundance of inside players and Brand Jennings has above average shooting ability from outside.
           
          Despite the team adding 4 players that for their own reasons have potential to be good shooting options on the team you are arguing that how “proven” they are cancels all other factors out.

          • Oct 16, 20131:52 pm
            by Otis

            As to your second point, yes that pretty much sums it up. This team went screaming and shouting into this offseason talking about how Greg and Andre can fit together if there’s lots of good shooting around them. (Personally, I was not convinced that was the case, but that Monroe himself had to spread the floor with legitimate outside shooting or else it wasn’t going to work. I watched these two diminish each other’s talents last season enough to be highly skeptical about their fit.) Potential doesn’t equal good shooting. I’d be much more comfortable if they’d added the kind of dead-eye shooting they were talking about adding. Not a rookie, a 37 year old, and a Euro player who doesn’t project to be a good enough defender to stay in the rotation.
             
            And besides, most of our best shooters aren’t currently in line for minutes. Assuming a healthy roster, your rotation seems like it’s going to be Jennings/Bynum, Stuckey/Billups, Smith/Singler, Monroe/Jerebko, Drummond/Monroe or something like that. If you think that’s enough shooting to get by, you’re in for a fun surprise! Perhaps KCP, Gigi and CV can play their ways in, but between being either a rookie or a defensive liability, I question how many minutes any of them will get, and you’ll certainly be losing something (defense/hustle) in the trade-off.

        • Oct 15, 20131:20 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          “Jennings shot the worst percentage in the league among players with 800 or more attempts last season”

          So DeAndre Jordan is a better shooter than Stephon Curry because he shot a higher FG%? That’s absurd. Jennings is terrible at converting at the rim and he doesn’t go there often, hence his low FG%. So if the Pistons were lacking people who could go to the hole and just had a bunch of shooters with poor discretion on the team, he’d be a terrible fit.

          But Jennings was average or better from virtually every spot on the floor apart from at the rim. And he was able to do that on a lot of shots and off the dribble. That is exactly what the Pistons need. I question Jennings on the overall talent level. But his fit in Detroit should be superb:
          http://stats.nba.com/playerShotchart.html?PlayerID=201943 

          • Oct 16, 20131:33 pm
            by Otis

            GLUG! Well let’s just see how this jumbo formula works out. KCP, Gigi, Charlie all look like they’re outside of the rotation in favor of veterans who defend well (Stuckey) and hustle (Jonas). So let’s all hope Jennings and Chauncey and Singler can shoot the lights out or else a lot of people are going to be shocked and disappointed this season.
             
            And let’s not lose sight of the fact that my whole rant was based on this notion that “just making the playoffs” is an acceptable goal. We didn’t scrape along for five seasons, squander every asset the team had, and dump a first round pick so that our overhauled roster could limp in and get laughed out. If that happens, you’re going to hold onto Monroe and give him the biggest contract in team history based on what sounds like a relatively disappointing season and poor chemistry (since the whole would obviously be less than the sum of its parts) and risk being locked into mediocrity, or get fleeced in a sign-and-trade and still be mediocre. This team needs to figure it out at some point before they’re in that position.

          • Oct 16, 20133:48 pm
            by Huddy

            I don’t think anyone is losing sight of your typical rant…they are pointing out flaws in your specific argument about added shooters that you have no real response to.  What is your assertion that KCP and Datome are already out of the line up based on?  The Pistons giving up on their first round pick because of a slow shooting performance in preseason?  Datome not playing because of short-term injury?  Arguing that the team doesn’t have enough shooting because they have shooting, but will choose not to use it makes little sense when the season hasn’t even began.  IMO your guidelines for what a proven shooter is (age, injury, exp) and given who was even available in FA makes for VERY few options that would have made your cut anyway.  Maybe Korver, Wright, Morrow, Webster?  Korver was expensive and got a contract into his aging years, Wright over preformed in a contract year, Webster basically same story as Wright, Morrow probably would have been a nice cheap option.
             
            Your rant about whether the team will resign Monroe and how everyone will fit and needing to make some decisions before signing an extension is well noted over and over and over again and it is more and more tiring considering we are so close to being able to actually see how this team plays together in the regular season.  Maybe you could pay for a an ad on the site that says “Otis doesn’t think the teams roster will fit together and they will need to make serious roster decisions before signing Monroe” so you can be sure everyone gets it.

    • Oct 14, 201312:36 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      I don’t see how this is suspect journalism.  The Pistons organization has made it pretty clear that making the play offs is the goal.  I’m pretty sure Feldman is just reporting based on what the Pistons have communicated and not putting forth his own opinion about what the Piston’s should have as a goal.  (obviously not a mind reader so I could be wrong, but it is at least worth noting that saying that the Piston’s main goal is making the playoffs is accurate regardless of your opinion on if it is the right goal or not.)  He also specified how risky the current roster is, which seems to match up pretty closely with your long-winded concerns about fit.
       
       
      I do agree though that making the playoffs should not be the goal, because a 7-8th seed means a MUCH different playoff experience for this young team.  Possibly playing the Heat is not a great goal because it means the worst chance of a highly competitive first round (barring injury).  a 2-6 spot could really make for a pretty winnable first round.
       
      Not adding any proven shooters is inaccurate.  Billups is a clearly proven shooter.  Jennings is more up for argument, but is at least an average 3pt shooter.  IMO its easy to dismiss the Datome signing because you can say he isn’t proven in the NBA, but especially when looking at just proven shooting ability (not overall) its a little unfair to act like signing him is completely irrelevant to adding shooters to the team because he is unproven.  If a player is the best 3pt shooter in college and a team drafts him do you they get zero credit to improving their 3pt shooting because their is risk?  I don’t think so.   I get that you said proven (not that I agree because of billups) but saying that misleads the argument. 

      • Oct 15, 20132:02 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        Making the playoffs has been the stated goal of the organization every single year since the last time they were there, but I think most people would have said that didn’t represent reasonable expectations. At this point, after dumping a 1st round pick to get rid of Gordon and splurging on Jennings and Smith, it’s not just “reasonable” to make the playoffs, you had better do more than scrape your way into and get laughed right out of the playoffs. Greg Monroe is due a FAT extension, there are decisions coming up. This team needs to find an identity fast.

    • Oct 14, 201312:52 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      This rant by Otis as a reaction to this article is typical of his response to every article and includes most if not all of the wholly glass half full points he is constantly repeating.   Why doesn’t he just write one post in his word program and just copy and paste it whenever he wants to respond to something? 

      I don’t know why I’m even responding to him myself but quickly; Drummond can get a lot better and will have to get a lot better if he is going to fulfill anyone’s high expectations at this point.   That said, if he can play over 30 minutes and match his per 36 from last year he will be well on his way.  There are also several other players who can make big improvements in the coming years like KCP and there is no reason why the Pistons can’t come up with some players out of nowhere in the future to fix whatever issues they have whether they have money or not—see Danny Green.  

      Perhaps more importantly though, the Pistons need to gather chemistry and experience before they can truly contend and the true contenders for this year will mostly be done contending by the time the Pistons are ready.   Miami is a big roadblock for everyone right now but does anyone expect them to be anything in 2-3 years?   

    • Oct 14, 20131:10 pm
      by Merwin

      Reply

      Otis, you are the most negative poster who ever lived. 
       

      • Oct 15, 20131:53 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        Sorry. Never mind. I’ll be just so happy to say “we made the playoffs!” if we get wrecked by an elite team, are badly outclassed and have to hope the right pieces come along next season? There’s a BIG Monroe extension looming. Sorry we can’t all be pie in the sky.

        • Oct 15, 20131:28 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          The problem is not your lack of a “pie in the sky” attitude. I am often very harsh on the Pistons. But you claim they didn’t address their shooting need when they added 4 guys (and who were 4 of their 5 biggest acquisitions) to the team, who, if you had to list their skill sets, would have shooting at or near the top of the list.

          • Oct 16, 20132:02 pm
            by Otis

            I addressed this a few posts above, but the only experienced, proven shooter is Jennings who shoots an overall NBA-worst percentage. Then you have a rookie, a soft European and a 37 year old. This team didn’t exactly go out and get JJ Redick. Maybe some of these guys pan out, maybe they don’t. Maybe they don’t even play their way into the rotation when you have a coach singing the praises of non-shooters like Bynum and Stuckey. A whole lot of good three point shooters like Charlie, Gigi and KCP are going to do you if they can’t crack the rotation. We don’t have a starting caliber SG or SF anywhere on the roster (and by “starting caliber” I mean “not Rodney Stuckey” and by “SF” I mean “Josh Smith is a starting caliber PF any day of the week but should probably play SF very selectively”).
             
            It’s a bit like the Tigers who went ALL-IN on starting pitching but don’t have a starting caliber left fielder or a single shut-down bullpen arm. You’d be hard pressed to find championship teams that aren’t well balanced. Even the Heat, despite all that talent, didn’t break through that first year.

          • Oct 16, 20132:04 pm
            by Otis

            One more thing: I’m not really worried about what’s at the top of anyone’s list of skillsets. Charlie’s top skill is shooting. Enough said. I’m concerned with how they stack up against the league, and if they can’t defend, Cheeks isn’t likely to play them.

          • Oct 16, 20133:20 pm
            by Max

            Funny you bring up the Heat, Otis.   Gave me the thought that if you had been a Heat fan when they got James and Bosh that you would have been screaming about their lack of a starting caliber center and point guard and that they’d be the worst rebounding team in the league.   These points about the Heat are all true but they’ve won anyway so teams can overcome a lack of balance and an extreme weakness in a single area that is traditionally thought to be required while starting players who wouldn’t start for nearly any other team in the league or maybe all of them.  

        • Oct 15, 20132:18 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          I think Otis is actually reframing his arguments so that if the Pistons have a good season he can still say they didn’t and was right about how badly they suck.   It’s like someone who is always saying some team is the worst who reacts to their improvement by putting the yardstick for success above their ceiling so he can always claim the team is a failure.  

    • Oct 14, 20133:49 pm
      by Jon

      Reply

      sounds like someone is jealous they aren’t the one who is writing this blog.  otis, your posts are the same not just on this website but on every pistons related blog that exists. do you realize you turn every single response into an attack on monroe, smith and dumars? every. single. one.

      • Oct 15, 20131:54 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        Don’t be a baby, Jon. It’s not like you.

  • Oct 14, 201312:41 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Was anyone else thinking Dumars should have hired Karl while reading this article? 

    • Oct 14, 20131:34 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Karl… or Hollins or Budenholzer or Joerger or Shaw. Or Sloan or Jackson if he could swing it. There were lots of great options and the Pistons got Cheeks. :(

  • Oct 14, 201312:50 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    a 49 win is possible of george karl is our headcoach

  • Oct 14, 20131:53 pm
    by Whoneedsastar

    Reply

    Tarsier, you just depressed me. Add “pound for pound” Larry Brown to the list.

  • Oct 14, 20132:22 pm
    by Ryank

    Reply

    49 wins…very possible. It’s hard to say with this team and it’s experience level.  If CBill is healthy and plays a big role, I think the chances of 50 wins greatly improves.  Without CBill and Sheed here, I think it’s a lot to ask of Cheeks to coach this team to that level.

    Drummond is a lot meaner this season…he roughed up Lebron the other night, enough to get a long stare from him.   If Drummond is going to be an enforcer in the paint and take it personally when someone gets and easy bucket, 50 wins is very likely.

    This is a new team, so it’s hard to predict how it’s all going to work together.   

  • Oct 14, 201311:05 pm
    by sc8581

    Reply

    I agree with everything I’ve seen Otis post at this point so I’m just going to assume the rest of you are homers basically.

    • Oct 16, 20132:06 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Psst. I’m your secret admirer.
       

  • Oct 15, 20131:58 am
    by jayp

    Reply

    just making the playoffs is not the main goal, winning is the main goal no matter what.  what’s the point of getting to where you want to go without giving everything you have.  playoffs is definitely a goal, but the main goal is winning every game we are in.

    • Oct 15, 201310:42 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Winning every game they play is not a smart goal for the Pistons (or anyone else) because it is not realistic. If you have no shot at attaining your goal, then it doesn’t matter if you fall short and the goal is pointless. The entire reason to set goals is to drive yourself toward realizing them. So, in order to be beneficial, goals should be attainable.

      • Oct 16, 20132:15 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        I’m somewhere in between, but I’m WAY more in the “winning is everything” camp than the loser’s mentality that we can all breathe a sigh of relief just as long as the playoff drought is over. I’d rather go five more years without a playoff berth and actually have a CHANCE when we get there than to make a token appearance, get laughed out, and be the Milwaukee Bucks forever. We didn’t wallow in misery all this time while Joe sat on his hands so that our ceiling could be the Milwaukee Bucks. “The playoffs” is Joe’s goal. Not mine, shouldn’t be yours, shouldn’t be Gores’. A reasonable goal is to scare the pants off of our first round matchup so that (A) we know the formula is working and/or has potential, and that Moose/Dre/Smith make each other BETTER, (B) we can attract that “final piece” type of free agent to get us over the hump, and (C) nobody wants to have to face us the following year, regardless of seeding. THAT is meaningful, realistic progress. I’m not asking for a championship right away, but simply making the playoffs means nothing. This team should do more than that or it’s not even sniffing the potential of their talent.

    • Oct 15, 201311:57 am
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      I agree completely, that in the players mind, every time they walk on the court they think they have a chance to win the game.  If they didn’t, then they wouldn’t be playing in the NBA.  That does not mean that they think that they will win all the games, but they at least they think they have a chance to win every one.  If that is the mind set, they their ultimate goal is to win the NBA Championship, not just make the playoffs.

      • Oct 15, 20131:10 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        But the Pistons don’t have a chance to win the championship this season. Making the second round would be an incredibly improbable goal. But it’s at least on the outskirts of reality. 50 wins would also qualify as a very high but vaguely realistic goal.

        • Oct 15, 20132:14 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Tarsier is right.   If the Pistons achieved either the goal of 50 wins and a decent first round showing or less than 50 wins but a 2nd round playoff appearance the season would be about as successful as anyone could reasonably hope for.  

        • Oct 16, 20133:17 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Even I can’t say with 100% certainty that this team doesn’t have “a chance” at a championship. It’s safe to assume they won’t, but we haven’t seen them play a minute of meaningful basketball. Who knows, maybe they win all 82 games and sweep their way to a championship. But if you think the second round is so highly improbable, how can you possibly advocate keeping this unit together? Where is the improvement coming from? (Drummond, Monroe, Pope, sure, but the first two are well on their way to the players they will be in this league, and I don’t think anyone is projecting KCP to be an All-Star.) Most of these players are who they are, and simply extending Monroe without adding anything is going to eat up the bulk of our cap room.
           
          If you had the same projections about the fraudulent “young core” of Knight, Monroe and Drummond, and you had a nice open cap situation, I can see why you’d be satisfied with a first round exit. If that team could get that far, I’d accept that their future might be bright with the right additions. But this roster? They need to do more than that. Smith, Jennings, Stuckey, Bynum, Chauncey, Jonas, Singler… these players are all who they are. Monroe probably doesn’t have much farther to go, and Drummond is already pretty damn dominant ahead of schedule. This isn’t an Amir Johnson situation where his development is stunted by not being able to stay on the floor. He was our second best player in his rookie year.
           
          Now that you went and shot your wad on Jennings and Smith, this team needs to do more than just make the playoffs. They need to be well on their way, with avenues to improve, or they’ll never get any farther than that. If that’s all you’ve done, you would have been better off cashing in Monroe at the deadline when his value was at its peak. There’s too much overall talent on this team to set our sights so low.

          • Oct 16, 20133:24 pm
            by Max

            I didn’t say a second round appearance is highly improbable.   I said it was about as successful as one could reasonably hope.   A reasonable hope is not something highly improbable.   

            I do agree with you though that it is not impossible to think they could win the title and my reasoning on that is that I think it’s possible Drummond will be the best center in the league this season–I do think it’s somewhat improbable though.   

          • Oct 16, 20135:00 pm
            by tarsier

            Well, Otis, it would seem that my opinion on the Pistons’ upside for this season is lower than yours but that my opinion on their room for growth is higher.

            Drummond has a lot of room for improvement. Monroe, Jennings, and Pope (probably) all have significant room. The Pistons could conceivably add a pretty major piece next offseason, and there is almost certainly room for the team to improve just from gelling and being more used to playing together.

            This roster seems more like the 2010-11 Heat (not in terms of overall talent) than the 2007-08 Celtics. Those Cs just fit together perfectly and won it all off the bat. The Heat still feel like they’re sorting out new ways to get the most out of their skillsets that aren’t the most orthodox fits.

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