Derek Jambor ’20, News Editor
The Detroit Pistons are set to begin their 2019-2020 campaign in a race for their first championship since 2004. This offseason, the Pistons made quite a few power moves in free agency picking up former MVP Derrick Rose and drafting Frech superstar Sekou Doumbouya with their first pick in the NBA Draft. Rose averaged 18.0 points per game and 4.3 assists per game. Rose brings a playmaking ability to the Pistons, which is something that they have not had on their roster since the era of Chauncy Billups back in 2007. Doumbouya dominated the Euorpean basketball league for the past couple years, but injury has kept him sidelined as he has been dealing with an ankle injury and concussion protocol. Junior Jack Petch said, “I do not know much about Doumbouya, but I heard he did great things overseas. Hopefully, he can bring that to Detroit.”
Though the Pistons picked up some valuable assets throughout the offseason, they managed to hang on to two of the NBA’s most powerful big men in Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Drummond, standing at 6’11’’and 280 lbs, averaged 17.3 points per game and 15.3 rebounds per game. He led the league in rebounds and came second with blocks with 1.6 per game. Drummond has a player option after this season expires so his future with Detroit remains unclear. Blake Griffin on the other hand will be with Detroit until the 2023 season. He has been chasing a ring since he came into the league at 21. He said to ESPN, “I think I have found a home here in Detroit. I want to bring a championship back to this city.” Griffin, who averaged 24.5 points per game, led all power forwards in the NBA. He has developed a three-point shot that makes him dangerous from all areas of the court. Griffin has been injured all season, but made his season debut on Nov. 15.
A concern for the Pistons upcoming season is their limited depth on the bench. Last season there bench had the fourth lowest productivity rate in the NBA. Load management can not become the solution for the Pistons success. If they are looking to make a deep run in the Eastern Conference, they must develop one well rounded squad so they compete with the NBA’s dominant teams. Senior Keegan McGrath said, “I am not confident in the Pistons’ success. They always lay an egg when it comes to winning. They have to develop more of their younger players if they want to get a ring.”
If the Pistons want to achieve their goals they have to work harder than they ever have before. They start to reach the grit of their schedule in December when they play the Raptors, 76ers, Rockets, and Lakers all of which are NBA powerhouses.
Photo courtesy of Detroit Free Press