2016-17 in review: 37-45, 10th in the East, Missed the NBA Playoffs.
Key Offseason Losses: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, PF Marcus Morris, C Aron Baynes, SG Darrun Hilliard, SG Michael Gbinije
2017-18 Season Outlook: Coming off a disappointing 2016-17 campaign, the Detroit Pistons should fight for a playoff spot this year, landing somewhere between the sixth and eighth seed. If not, Stan Van Gundy will likely be on his way out of Detroit. The Pistons slightly improved on offense, but the team still remains a big question mark. The Pistons’ season will depend on the progression of Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson‘s health, as well as an improved team chemistry.
Drummond recently underwent surgery for a deviated septum and this should allow him to improve his conditioning and focus.
#Pistons SVG on Drummond: "He's been really good and his focus has been tremendous. More than anybody, he’s tried to play to his strengths."
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) September 27, 2017
Reggie Jackson seems to have made great strides to get back to full health for the upcoming season. Jackson and Drummond are critical players for Van Gundy’s offensive system because it is so ‘pick-and-roll’ heavy.
Third-year swingman Stanley Johnson will also need to take the next step to fulfill his expectation of starting at small forward, to allow Tobias Harris to start at power forward. Newly acquired Avery Bradley will instantly help the Pistons as he is a great upgrade over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on both sides of the ball.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) September 26, 2017
The Pistons bench ranked nineteenth in scoring last season and this year should slightly improv. Boban Marjanovic will play a lot more due to the recent transaction that sent Aron Baynes to the Boston Celtics. Rookie wing, Luke Kennard has impressed Coach Van Gundy all summer and likely plays more than initially expected.
Defensively, the Pistons could be a top ten team, but this will depend on their engagement levels and maturity. Offensively, the Pistons will struggle in nearly every facet, but they should be able to make the playoffs since the Eastern Conference is in shambles.
Projected Strengths: Defense, ball security
Projected Weaknesses: 3-point Shooting, free throw shooting
Projected win total: Around 40 wins