The talk around the Detroit Pistons is that with Brandon Jennings added to the roster, the team had better make the playoffs next season or team president Joe Dumars won’t be around the franchise any longer.
Joe doesn’t have to worry. He’s made the right moves. The Pistons will make the playoffs, as long as a 43-39 is a good enough record to do it.
That’s right. The Pistons will have a 43-39 record next year, a 14-win improvement from the 2012-13 NBA campaign. They’ve improved by 14 wins because they’ve brought in new faces and have kept the old players who are going to turn those very close losses into very close wins. They have players like Jennings and Josh Smith who will not only have an occasional good nights, but will have lots of them.
The Pistons traded away a good prospect in Brandon Knight along with two other seldom-used reserves, but they got a better player in Jennings, who is only 23.
Jennings, like Smith, is going to be much more consistent in an 82-game season than any other player on the team. They also expect Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe to be better. Don’t forget about Chauncey Billups.
So now, the Pistons have Billups, Jennings, Drummond, Monroe and Smith in the starting lineup and some decent players on the bench. Don’t forget about Maurice Cheeks, the best coach they’ll have since Larry Brown ended his two-year stint in Detroit.
Is there any reason, barring any major injuries or something else unforeseen, they shouldn’t win at least 43? No, there isn’t.
Welcome back to the playoffs, Pistons.