Latest News, NBA / Oct 8, 2009 / 5:11 pm

Detroit Pistons ’09-10 NBA season preview

(photo. Tom McKenzie)

(photo. Tom McKenzie)

Last year we debuted the “Highs and Lows” system — previewing the NBA season by predicting the respective ceiling and basement for each team. Same theme, different season…

Added: Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye, Chris Wilcox, Ben Wallace, DaJuan Summers, Jonas Jerebko

Lost: Rasheed Wallace, Allen Iverson, Antonio McDyess, Arron Afflalo, Walter Herrmann, Amir Johnson

Ceiling: Playoffs, 7th-8th seed
At different points during the summer, I wrote that the Pistons are a team without an identity, a group without a defined go-to guy, and a franchise with an uncertain (at best) idea of which direction they’re headed. Those questions can be answered early this season, but not without some experimentation. New coach John Kuester has already been tinkering with different lineups in the young preseason: Last night he rolled out one where Will Bynum played the point, Ben Gordon the two, and Rodney Stuckey was at small forward. Kuester has been starting Ben Wallace at power forward while new acquisition Villanueva is out injured, and — while the coach says it’s simply to rest their legs for later — veterans Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton seem to be slowly drifting away from their longtime roles as V.I.P.’s in Detroit. It makes sense on paper to hand over the scoring reigns to Gordon and everything else to youngsters like Stuckey and rookie Austin Daye and kick off a period of rebuilding, but in real life it’s more complicated, seeing as the Pistons are a mix of kids who want to play and older guys with well-deserved egos who are owed some respect. If Kuester can get these parts working together, he has potential for a quality team with potent offensive and stingy defensive ability, playoff experience, athleticism, depth, and crunch-time poise. The regular trips to the Eastern Conference Finals are no longer a realistic outlook, but avoiding the Lottery shouldn’t be too hard to manage.

Basement: 9th-10th seed, no playoffs
The pessimist (or maybe just the Pacers fan) in me says Rip is done, Tayshaun is running on fumes and due to shatter at any moment, Kuester is wet behind the ears, Gordon will let his jacking get in the way, Daye isn’t ready yet, and Stuckey is overrated. He also says the frontcourt depth and talent pool is a sorry sight: Villanueva is soft and fragile, Wilcox is maddeningly inconsistent, Wallace is an artifact, and if you offered Joe Dumars Frankenhood in exchange for Kwame Brown, Joe D would take the deal ASAP. Jason Maxiell is a player, but he’s one of those guys who is infinitely better on a good team rather than a mediocre one. The pessimist then looks at the fact that Detroit’s most entertaining player — and from what we’ve seen since the ’09 playoffs — arguably their best and hardest-working guy, Bynum, makes less than $1 million. He says that’s not a good thing.

*** *** ***

10/7 — Memphis Grizzlies
10/6 — New York Knicks
10/5 — New Orleans Hornets
10/2 — Atlanta Hawks
9/30 — Sacramento Kings
9/29 — New Jersey Nets
9/28 — Denver Nuggets

* Follow Austin Burton on Twitter: @AustinatDIMEmag
* Follow Dime on Twitter: @DIMEMag
* Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • the cynic

    this team needs a center. someone like Darko

    Austin, is Orlando next on the NBA preview list? I think I got 1 more crappy Darko crack in my back pocket, but I might forget if Orlando isn’t next to complete the 7 degrees of Darko team previews

  • johnny

    You coulda gave them a 4th seed ceiling and a 12th seed basement. Who the heck knows with this squad or with Kuester?

  • Nic

    I’m ready to pull out my Bison Dele TEAL Pistons jersey from a box in the basement…

    They need to trade Rip and Tay. Here’s Rips game in a nutshell; Run around picks and maybe get a jumper (everyone knows this by now), or try to go off the dribble where he is a turnover machine, miss a shot, then hold both his hands up in the air complain to the ref, re-adjust the freakin mask I’m sick of looking at and run down the court. As for Tay, this guy can’t hit an open shot. ever. His game has been figured out by everyone in the league and he hasn’t adjusted. “compton’s finest” and “the pride of coatsville” need to be packaged up and sent out the the door.

    Bring back Allan Houston, Lyndsay Hunter, Uncle Cliffy, Terry Mills, Michael Curry (player not coach), Otis Thorpe, etc.

    This year the Pistons are going to work…rebuilding a team. SHOULDN’T have made the playoffs last year would have gotten a better pick, they really showed effort in the first round against Bron…Peace out Sheed go spread your locker room cancer in beantown.

  • Tim

    I see the Pistons getting the 5th or 6th seed if they come together right…but everyone has them pegged for 10th in the East and I dont think they are that bad…they do need to get a serious post presence though…they damn well should be entertaining…

    OH and i was at the game last night…I dont know what to think of “the Future” Brandon Jennings…he launches himself 7 feet after any contact, but he was hitting some 3 balls to keep Milwaukee around.

  • Name (required)

    The Pistons will suck this year. They stripped down a championship team, added a PG who isnt a PG and kept the 2 least important starters, Got a second rookie coach and then they got 2 free agents who score a load, but let their man score twice as much.
    Also, any team that starts Kwame “7 foot and still cant dunk” Brown just dont deserve to make the playoffs.

  • Da_Griff

    I love Will Bynum on offense. I haven’t seen a guy get to the line as frequently as him since Robert Royal used to play back in the 90’s.
    Shame he’s so small, people are just gonna shoot over him.
    Bynum/Gordon backcourt = opponents get buckets + detroit bigs fouling out.

  • Josh Tha roc

    Totally off point here but I don’t watch much NFL being an Aussie but the steelers qb rothusberger IS Will Ferrel.

  • A.R.

    I’m pretty sure the Pistons will be alrite this year. Although Chauncey was the glue that held it all together there’s enough pieces left to get it back on track (Rip,Tay). However that front court is gonna have HUGE problems all year and that will ultimately be their downfall.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dandickau Dan Dickau

    I always want to give Detroit the benefit of the doubt, but ever since the Cavs beat them in 07 in the playoffs they’ve never been the same. I’d hate to admit it but I think Tay and Rip are just too old to carry a team like they used to. The sad thing is they’d make great, GREAT role players on other teams (a la boston, cleveland, denver etc.) Detroit’s one of those teams where it benefits the whole league when they’re good. Like the Stankees or Steelers.

    I’m still trying to get a tryout with a team this year, so Dime if you know any teams callin just tell them to reach out to me. http://www.twitter.com/dandickau

  • dagwaller

    10th best is the basement? That’s being OPTIMISTIC, fellas, not pessimistic.

  • dvs

    Detroit will compete this year. And will improve on last years horror.
    This team is full of guys wanting to win, not expecting it.
    Stuckey needs time to learn the point, but he’s on the right track.
    If this team clicks, then they will be dangerous and entertaining.

  • Zach

    Austin, Ceiling is WAY to low I say 5th and possibly 4th if there are some injuries to other contenders. After Boston, Cleveland & Orlando I would feel confident over any of the other EC teams

  • Reddi Red

    starters/back up
    1-will bynum/ben G.
    2-stuckey/ben G.
    3-tayshuan/austin D.
    4-Charlie v/chris W./d. summers
    5-kwame/BIG BEN

    rip+maxiel+deron washington TRADE for a go to guy.

    i think will bynum is the truth. he is an intense player with ALOT to prove. i see 18pts/8asts avg here.

    stuckey is a true 2. no way around it. i think he will make a good score first guy. if he were to start at 2, i see 16pts/4rebs/4asts avg.

    Tay is. . . . .well Tay. your gonna get 12pts/4rebs a game. thats it. hopefully, he doesn’t get over 30mins a game, and stuckey moves to 3 and b gordon comes off the bench as a 2.

    don’t know too much abt Charlie V. on paper, well, we can probably expect 18pts/7rebs and not much defense.
    he probably cancels himself out.

    kwame is going to be better this year. i see 10pts/9rebs/1.5blks this year. i think he can get up and down the court and thats what kind of game the pistons are playing this year so don’t be shocked to see slightly better numbers from kwame.

    our bench is going to be EXPLOSIVE!! but not deep.
    Ben G. 23pts/4asts
    C Wilcox 12pts/8rebs
    not sure on the rookies at this point.

    I think the pistons will win more games than ppl believe because they have young explosive players in Ben G. & Will B. If they get on a 4th scoring tandem, game won and I think we will see alot of that!

    GO PISTONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://dime fan

    WILL BYNUM WILL BYNUM. He is hell to bring the ball up on. I’m glad this man is in the league. You’ll never go wrong with a Philly,Chi,DC,Sea,NJ or Cali Talent. I’m from NY and worried just kidding. We have so much hate it’s not funny. Also we keep sending the wrong players. The right ones are somewhere abroad or just gave up already on all the bull$%^#. It’s going to change soon. I’m rooting for Charlie and Ben to bust out the gates. If they play half D they’ll make the playoffs. They’re an offensive nightmare. Gordon,Stuckey,Hamilton,BYNUM- Was the best player since Prep Chicago Hoops (CRANE). Whoever thought S.Dockery was good should sign up for the Knicks scouting dept. Cheap shot I know. He might have been better than Duhon. I HATE CHRIS DUHON. Will Bynum is going to embarass hiim this yr. Stuckey isn’t and will never be a pg.

  • doc

    Rip and Tay never carried this team in the first place.And they will stink.Anywhere from 30 to 40 wins.

  • billbone

    Will Bynum carried the whole team once everyone else gave up last year. He had some great games, and should have a good year. He is basically the same player as ben gordon, joe d should have saved the cap space.

  • http://dime fan

    Why do you guys talk about Ben Gordon like that? What are people saying about that past series? He was arguably the main reason along w Rose. W/O they maybe get swept. Rose knows he’s going to miss him. The Bulls are going to miss him For all his bad he was automatic offense. Nobody plays defense anymore. Even if he was a lock down defender then. It’s team defense not individual. Only a few players are mindful or athletic enough. Defensive stoppers can’t score points on the lay-up line.