Detroit Pistons’ future looks bright
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
The center averages 16.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists. One guard averages 13.9 points, 4.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds. Another guard averages 11.3 points and 7.3 assists. Another guard scores 11 points per game and a rookie backup swingman scores 8.8 points per game. A rookie power forward averaged 7.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in just 19.7 minutes per game before he had to sit because of an injury.
Sounds promising. But right now, that’s all it is, with no tangible results to show for Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Jose Calderon, Rodney Stuckey, Kyle Singler, Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons are headed for a lottery pick – possibly a top-10 pick – for the fourth consecutive season. Detroit is 23-39 and 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
Since last making the playoffs in the 2008-09 season and after a run that included an NBA title in 2003-2004 and six (SIX!) consecutive trips to the conference finals, the Pistons’ rebuild has been slow.
Lawrence Frank is Detroit’s third coach since 2007-08, and the franchise changed ownership when Tom Gores bought the team in 2011.
The Pistons are one of those teams where you look at the roster and see some of the talent and think they are one of those teams who can make a run at the eighth seed. Yet, it hasn’t happened yet.
“Losing is always frustrating, if you care,” said Monroe, who is closer and closer to becoming an All-Star.
But Monroe also sees the big picture. He is the cornerstone of the rebuilding process, and when he becomes a restricted free agent after the 2013-14 season, the Pistons will do what they can to match offers and keep him.
“I don’t have any problems with being here,” Monroe said. “I know the guys here are putting in the right effort. The more time we spend together, the better we’ll get.”
While the team struggles with consistency – a problem for many younger teams especially defensively – Monroe is turning in to a model of consistency on offense. He has good low post moves, is working to improve his mid-range jump shot and … [For more on NBA A-Z: Detroit Pistons' future looks bright, click here.]