2014-15 Detroit Pistons: Three Positive Things


Coming off back-to-back 29-53 seasons, Detroit Pistons fans have a legitimate reason not to expect a lot from the team this year. In an Eastern Conference that saw improvements to the Cleveland Cavs, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors. Pistons fans have to wonder what to expect from their team.

Last season proved to be a major disappointment even with the acquisitions of Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, but with new coach and President, Stan Van Gundy and off-season signings, there is some room for optimism for this year’s Pistons team.

Here are three keys to be optimistic about this year’s Pistons:

Stan Van Gundy

He has a regular season record of 371-208 (.641) and has reached the NBA Playoffs seven times, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2009.

 He takes over a team that has an overall record of 179-297 since 2009 and has seen six different head coaches during that span.

It won’t be an easy task but Van Gundy does have some young pieces to work with, starting with center Andre Drummond.

In Orlando, Van Gundy was able to run the offense through All-Star Dwight Howard by surrounding him with shooters. It looks as if he has the same plan for Drummond, given the acquisitions of Caron Butler, Jodie Meeks and D.J. Augustine.

With that formula he was able to get the Magic to the Finals. Now, a trip to the Finals is a bit premature, but if this is the direction Van Gundy chooses to go, then the playoffs aren’t completely out of the question.

Three-point shooting

Last season, Detroit shot 32% from three-point land last season, giving them a league rank of 29th. The problem was due to Josh Smith hoisting 265 attempts and the rest were due to lack of outside shooting.

Adding veteran shooters like Jodie Meeks (out for first 8 weeks), Caron Butler (44.1 w/OKC) and D.J. Augustine (41.1 w/CHI) help provide the spacing the team needs.

Emergence of young talent

It all starts with Andre Drummond. The 21-year-old has seen his numbers grow in his first two seasons and has quickly become the defensive anchor of the team. With increases in points, rebounds, field goal percentage, blocks and PER, all signs point to Drummond having a big year.

We’ll also get see the performance of second year, athletic guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The 6-1 guard was arguably the best defender for Detroit last season but struggled to find his rhythm offensively. With a year under his belt and a proven head coach, Pope should have a breakout second season, especially with Meeks sidelined.

Positive reports out of Pistons camp about second round pick, Spencer Dinwiddle, who has shown flashes of having a promising future.

Even with the new pieces, there are a few concerns regarding the Detroit Pistons.

Areas of concern:

How will Van Gundy address the spacing issue that plagued Detroit last season? Can the team fix the chemistry issues that followed them last season? With all of the offseason additions, how will Van Gundy properly manage playing time?

To expect Van Gundy to have the lineup figured out by November 1st is a bit unrealistic. He hasn’t even figured it out yet, telling Mlive.com:

“There are a lot of things to consider and I’m not sure I have the answer.” Van Gundy said. “And I’m not sure I’ll have it by Nov. 1, either. Obviously, we’ll put a lineup out there Nov. 1, but that’s going to take some time. Our whole lineup thing is going to take some time to figure out.”

Record Prediction: 40-42; 8th in Eastern Conference