Pistons

PISTONS BASKETBALL: From NBA royalty a decade ago to NBA peasants today

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The Palace is less than glorious these days and it’s hard to imagine that the glory days of Joe Dumars’ (as a GM) were 10 years ago.

It was during that time Detroit basketball fans witnessed the start of a special run in basketball as the Pistons were no stranger to putting up back-to-back 50 win seasons and making consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. (six straight to be exact)

So where is Detroit now? The simple answer to that is the fifth year of an ongoing rebuilding process and Joe Dumars at the end of the line in terms of his reign as team GM. Despite facing two years of gridlock after the passing of William Davidson (which you have to give him a pass for) Joe has had the opportunity before to rebuild this team and yet they continue to go backwards.

Now one thing Dumars always seemed to be good at was trading for talent and getting out of bad draft picks. But after giving bad deals to Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva Joe D as a GM was never really able to recover. Furthermore trading a fan favorite like Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson should have been understood by the fanbase. That deal was done to clear up money and invest in future starters, but instead those starters have become NBA backups.

But the worst part about year five in the rebuild is there doesn’t seem to be any upswing in sight.

This Pistons’ roster does have some promising talent but it has so far failed to show the “superstar” brand that is the recipe for success in today’s NBA. Greg Monroe is a good center if he’s used right and the right players are around him. In fact Monroe might get into an All-Star game or two but more importantly he could help the team win. However he’s not a franchise piece that you build around but rather a piece that is put with a superstar. Detroit is also sporting the combo guard Brandon Knight who has been the butt of jokes from being a “Kyrie Irving crossover” to becoming victimized by a monster dunk from DeAndre Jordan. Looking past  that dunk though, Knight is a hard worker and may have had that breakout year Piston fans expected if he was able to avoid injuries.

Both, Monroe and Knight are still very young and have room to grow, yet the NBA is the easiest league for players to walk in and have success.

Then there is Andre Drummond who has been the most exciting young Pistons player this season. The problem though is he’s been out for quite some time now just as the fans and organization were witnessing him just scratching the surface talent wise. He was a rebounding machine that was coupled with high flying alley-oop dunks and very much on his way to establish himself as the best defensive big man on the Pistons.

As for Stuckey, Bynum, Villanueva, Calderon, Singler, Maxiell, Jerebko, is any name there worrisome? I didn’t think so.

The Pistons are 23-46 and looking down the barrel of a 10 game losing streak as they take on a Miami team that’s looking to win their 25th straight tonight. Detroit though continues to stay bad, but not bad enough to get to that top 3 pick that allowing you to add a future superstar to build off of. At season’s end the Pistons will miss the playoffs, receive a 5-10 lottery pick with Dumars getting one more year to try and improve.

About Jason Bray

Detroit Sports Columist. Joined The Majors staff in 2012 covering the Detroit Lions.

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