The Detroit Pistons really shook things up this past offseason. Genuine improvements in terms of overall talent should make this team much more competitive in the Eastern Conference and the NBA at large.
A great franchise for six years from 2003 through 2008, the Detroit organization has become a laughingstock in recent times. However, they might have the man who can engineer a revival. That man is Maurice Cheeks, the former guard for the great Philadelphia 76er teams of the early 1980s who has become an NBA coaching lifer. Cheeks has spent almost seven full seasons as a head coach (slightly more than three and a half seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, slightly fewer than three and a half seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers). He spent the past few seasons as an assistant coach to Scott Brooks with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Almost 57 years old (he will be 57 by the time the season begins), Cheeks should be prepared for this situation. Nothing should fool him this time; he should be able to do a lot better than he did in Philadelphia or Portland.
In addition to a new coach, the Pistons went out and got Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks. Yes, the contract for Smith is expensive and probably more than Smith is actually worth, but Smith is still a decent NBA player, one whose package of skills will certainly upgrade the level of talent the Pistons can put on the floor. He will not win many playoff series – NorthBet analysts would readily concur with such a line of analysis – but Smith could get Detroit to the playoffs, and if the Pistons achieve that this season, they’ll be happy.
Bringing in Brandon Jennings from the Milwaukee Bucks was this team’s other big player pickup. Jennings in tandem with Smith could make Detroit a very fun team to watch. The Pistons might be able to outscore enough opponents that their defensive issues might not matter.
The Pistons still carry a lot of dead wood in the form of noticeably unproven players. Charlie Villanueva, Rodney Stuckey, Jonas Jerebko, and Andre Drummond must all improve if this team is to get to the playoffs. The fresh blood injected into the franchise is valuable, but the old blood that’s left behind could hold the Pistons back. The Pistons do have more playmaking ability compared to last season, but they need to show that they can run crisp halfcourt sets. Josh Smith is known as a killer of flow and continuity in halfcourt offense. Cheeks and the rest of the Detroit staff must be able to hold him accountable and get him to play within a structured offense. It will be fascinating to see what combinations Cheeks prefers as the season goes along. He has to experiment with his lineups and bench rotations so that he creates the right fit for his team. It will be a long and difficult process.
Odds At NorthBet To Win The NBA Championship: +20000
Are They Worth A Shot On The Odds At NorthBet To Win It All?
Just making the playoffs would be a tremendous accomplishment for Detroit… and that’s hardly guaranteed. That’s the Northbet opinion, and basketball fans can follow the Northbet Twitter page to stay in the loop with you favorite teams.