2009-10 Detroit Pistons Season Preview
After finishing first for a slew of years and making it to the finals in 2004 and 2005, the Detroit Pistions (39- 43) ended the season in third-place after Joe Dumars, who is considered to be one of the best GMs in the league, made the unfortunate decision to trade point man Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson part way through the season. Iverson arrived in Detroit a shell of the former scoring machine that he had been. It was also thought by Dumars that point man Rodney Stuckey (13.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.9 APG) was ready to step up and play ball. But he was inconsistent. Coach Michael Curry, who replaced the deposed Flip Saunders, also showed a lack of public relations and human resource management skills as he made numerous gaffs that ticked off players. All-in-all, Dumars proved to be amazingly inept last year.
The Pistons have a frontcourt that may be efficient and decent but it will not be overpowering or dazzling. Chris Wilcox (7.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.3 BPG) takes over for the departed Antonio McDyess. Wilcox is a big step down. Six-foot-eleven Charlie Villanueva (16.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 0.7 BPG) replaces Rasheed Wallace. Villanueva is a decent inside scorer. Tayshaun Prince (14.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.1 APG), who has seven years in the league, offers versatility and durability. Kwame Brown (4.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.6 APG) will be a sound backup at center.
The backcourt has the potential to score points in buckets. Ben Gordon (20.7 PPF, 3.5 RPG, 3.4 APG) comes over for Chauncey Billups. Gordon is good but he’s no Billups. Still, he can score points. Richard Hamilton (18.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.4 APG) is a prototypical crunch time player and Rodney Stuckey (13.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.9 APG) also has an accurate shot, but he needs to be more competent at point. Backup Will Bynum (7.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.8 APG) also offers scoring chops.
The best part of this club is its deep backcourt. There’s scoring potential galore. Hamilton eats up defenders and Gordon is an off-the-bench player who can knock points in from downtown. Some night this team will fill the basket with shot after shot, but each night they will be hard-pressed to stop other teams from scoring. The frontcourt and back are both suspect. Front man Jason Maxiell (5.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.3 APG) will be brought in at times to keep opponents in check.
The Pistons enter this season a better shooting team that they were in 2008- 2009 but much weaker on the defensive side of the ball. Of course over the years, Detroit has made its name and honed its chops as one of the best defensive and rebounding clubs in the league. Coach Curry is gone as John Kuester takes over as head coach. The former offensive assistant for Cleveland isn’t a big name but he should keep the offense churning better than Curry did last year. Kuester will be limited for the next few seasons as the Pistons will suffer from salary cap glut. Last year they notched their first losing season since 2000- 2001. This year they’ll make it two in a row.