After stumbling out to an underwhelming 4-8 start to the season, the revamped Detroit Pistons are now 9-10 after winning three straight games — including an impressive 10-point toppling of the Miami Heat in South Beach. The Pistons came into the season with high expectations having acquired electric point guard Brandon Jennings and the athletic swing man Josh Smith, to go alongside the up and coming front court of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.
Now that we’re in December , and this team finally seems to be getting it together in an exceptionally weak Eastern Conference, the youthful Pistons can easily be one of the most exciting teams to watch. Why? Because the Pistons have the makings of a TEAM that can beat the likes of a Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.
Here is a breakdown of the players crucial to Detroit’s success, and why all of these players have the potential to make for must see TV.
Brandon Jennings, PG – One of the fastest players int he NBA, Jennings is the type of talent that can make everyone look better with his fast break dishes and drives and kicks — that is, if he can keep his head on straight. And it looks like that may be starting to happen, seeing as Jennings is fifth in the league in assists, averaging 8.4 per contest.
Rodney Stuckey, SG – The team’s leading scorer now comes off the bench, and provide an outside scoring threat to compliment the team’s strong inside presence. Stuckey was always considered to have the potential to be a solid player, and might be finally coming into his own.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG – Some experts say he has Rookie of the Year potential, and while he’s not on that level yet, Caldwell-Pope could be making a name for himself as an elite perimeter defender. We’ll see how he does against Paul George and LeBron James in the playoffs — yes, we’re going to pencil them into a playoff spot because, you know, Eastern Conference.
Josh Smith, SF – The once high flying, shot blocker, monster dunker is still that guy, but he’s beginning to develop into more of a does-a-little-bit-of-everything type player. Smith is still in the midst of developing an outside game, but the stat that pops out are his 3.5 assists per game. The team’s success is going to depend on Smith’s emergence as an elite player.
Greg Monroe, PF – Monroe is doing what he does, providing the low post scoring threat. The guy is only 23 and the sky is the limit.
Andre Drummond, C – The versatile center is averaging a double-double in points and rebounds per game (his last five games: 17.6 points, 15.6 rebounds), and is well on his way to an All-Star bid. And, he’s only 20. Let me repeat that: Andre Drummond is only 20 years old.
And there you have it, the Pistons are beginning to show some life, and with an energetic young squad, they’ll make some noise in the East this season.