By JORDAN KONIOR, Guest Writer
The Detroit Pistons ended last season with a record of 25 wins and 41 losses. The positive behind this disgusting record is the fact that they not only closed out the season with a 108-86 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, but they created a boost of momentum for the 2012-2013 season.
They improved their winning percentage from the 2010-2011 season, and were granted the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. With this selection the Pistons drafted a young, 7’0, 280-pound center by the name of Andre Drummond who is full of potential. Unfortunately for the Pistons, they are projected to finish in the bottom three of the Eastern Conference, only to finish ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic.
The Detroit Pistons also closed out the 2012-2013 Preseason with a record of 4-4. Players that stood out this preseason included Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond.
Brandon Knight will be the starting point guard for the Detroit Pistons heading into the 2012-2013 season, and for good reason.
Brandon Knight started 60 of the 66 games in the 2011-2012 locked out shortened season in his rookie year. In the 66 games played last year, Knight averaged the third highest in points on the team with 13 points per game, and added an average of three rebounds and four assists per game.
Rodney Stuckey will be the starting shooting guard for the Detroit Pistons in the 2012-2013 season. Rodney Stuckey is very solid for the shooting guard position. Last year Stuckey was the team’s second leading scorer averaging 15 points per game. Stuckey also added two rebounds, four assists, and a steal in an average of 30 minutes per game last year.
Stuckey has improved his outside shooting dramatically this preseason and will hope to carry this hot shooting into the regular season. One of the more interesting things to look out for is whether Rodney Stuckey will take on more of a leadership role in Detroit locker room?
Tayshaun Prince will start for the Detroit Pistons in the 2012-2013 season and will also be the team’s captain. Prince averaged 13 points, five rebounds, and two assists per game.
Jason Maxiell is projected to start for the Pistons early in the 2012-2013 season, but this won’t last long as his numbers aren’t starter worthy. Last year Maxiell averaged seven points and five rebounds in 23 minutes of play per game. Jason Maxiell will be in competition with Jonas Jerebko, Viacheslav Kravtsov, and Andre Drummond for the power forward/center position.
Greg “Moose” Monroe will start at center for the Pistons in the 2012-2013 season, but expect to see him moved to his natural position of power forward with the rapid development of rookie center Andre Drummond.
Last year, Greg Monroe lead the team in points, rebounds, and steals, and will only get better as Andre Drummond moves into the rotation, drawing more attention onto him, and less double team attention to Monroe. Look for Greg Monroe to have a breakthrough season in his third year in the NBA, and possibly be considered as All-Star selection.
Andre Drummond will be the first player off the bench and eventually work his way into the Detroit Pistons’ starting lineup for the 2012-2013 season.
Drummond is a big body that is very mobile, very athletic, and has great hands to be a center. He’s also very active on the glass and will definitely add size, and depth to the Pistons’ front court. In his first preseason game he scored the game winner to give the Detroit Pistons a 101-99 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Drummond’s biggest downfall is his IQ and post moves, but with the amount of minutes he’ll be getting as sixth man early on and as a starter later in the season, he has nowhere to go but up.
Look out for Andre Drummond to be a candidate for Rookie of the Year in the 2012-2013 NBA Season.
The Pistons’ bench will consist of Jonas Jerebko, Corey Maggette, Charlie Villanueva, Will Bynum, Alex English, Kyle Singler, and Austin Daye. None of these people will be playing a role any bigger than a basic role player.
For the upcoming future in about two to three years, the Detroit Pistons will be a force to be wrecking with as they will have a more mature and developed Knight at the one orchestrating the offense, an all-star caliber Monroe at the four, and a more developed and understanding Drummond at the five dominating the paint. The Pistons also clear up a ton of salary cap space in the next two years and will be able to make some big moves in the 2014 free agency year.
The Detroit Pistons will open their season at home at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Wednesday October 31, 2012 (Halloween) versus the newly acquired backcourt of Jeremy Lin, James Harden, and the Houston Rockets at 7:30 PM. The game can be watched on Fox Sports Net: Detroit, and can be listened to on the radio on 97.1 FM.