The Detroit Pistons schedule was released this week, and it is fair to say they will be tested immediately after the season opens.
Halloween Night will have an added air of excitement in Auburn Hills this year as the Pistons begin there season at home against the newly acquired Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets, but that is where the warm feeling for Detroit will fade. The next 6 games will be on the road as the Pistons take an early tour of the western states, with the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and Oklahoma City Thunder among the opponents they face.
This sounds like a daunting task for a team that is 4 years into a rebuilding phase, which started with the Chauncy Billups for Allen Iverson trade. From that point on, the Pistons are 119-191, and have been in the running for a lottery pick every year since that 2008 trade.
The upside of the last few years, has been the addition of a fresh crew of talented, and found, players, and the Pistons may already be at the point of being able to fight there way in to a play off spot. It is the benefit for poor play, which gives a team the opportunity to add talent faster than the teams that have winning records. The team just needs to make solid choices in who they bring into the organization, and it seems as if the Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations is making all of the right choices, something Joe Dumars had appeared to have forgotten how to do.
Now the Pistons have at least one big man they can boast about in Greg Monroe, and hopefully another in the 9th pick of this years NBA Draft, Andre Drummond. Fellow rookies Kim English and Kris Middleton also were impressive at times during this year’s Summer League. Held together by Rodney Stuckey and Teyshaun Prince, the Pistons have a chance of challenging the Philidelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks for a place on one of the lower rungs of the playoff ladder.
The experience of Prince, who will be the last remaining member of the 2003-2004 Championship team if Ben Wallace retires, will be critical in the development of the young talent. The need for experience is a good argument for the team to try to bring Wallace back, even if just to help along Drummond.
How the team responds to the adversity of a 6 game road trip to start the season will be very telling, and if the new look Pistons are able to come through without too much damage, look for them to have their best year in recent memory.
Jeff Everette is a featured columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. You can follow him on twitter @jeverettesports, or subscribe to Jeff Everette-RantSports.com on both Facebook and Google+ for all of his latest articles, opinions, and Rants.
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