With training camp starting in Cleveland on October 1, Right Down Euclid will be ranking teams from the bottom to the top of the Eastern and Western Conferences. Everyday I will rotate between conferences, starting with the East teams and counting up from No. 16 all the way to the best team in each respective conference.
I will give a quick synopsis of each team’s roster, some of their statistics from last year and why I think they will finish in the position that I predicted. Agree or disagree, stay tuned to RDE to see where your team lands in the 2012 Offseason Team Rankings.
No. 13 – Detroit Pistons (5th in Central)
2011-12 season: 25-41 (.379), 4th place in Central Division (4-11)
Offensive Efficiency: 97.8 (28th)
Defensive Efficiency: 104.0 (25th)
G – Will Bynum
F – Austin Daye
F – Andre Drummond
G – Kim English
F – Jonas Jerebko
G – Brandon Knight
C – Vyacheslav Kravtsov
G – Corey Maggette
F – Jason Maxiell
F – Greg Monroe
F – Khris Middleton
F – Tayshaun Prince
F – Kyle Singler
G – Rodney Stuckey
F – Charlie Villanueva
If you want to read a good preview of Detroit’s upcoming season, you can check out our very own Chris Manning’s Pistons’ Central Division preview here. My opinion of the Pistons regarding last season is that they would have finished last in the Central if it weren’t for the Cavaliers losing Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving. This team has gone a total makeover since dominating the Eastern Conference in the early 2000’s. Tayshaun Prince is the only remains from that team, and their draft picks and free agency acquisitions aren’t putting them in a surefire position to rebuild.
Let’s take their first pick Andre Drummond for example. I thought a team would have taken him earlier on, but he ended up going to the Pistons at No. 9. Having him lineup next to Greg Monroe is a scary thought, but Drummond will have to adjust to the NBA style before we can even talk about the frontcourt that could be. The Pistons won’t be calling upon him to be a prolific scorer, but instead the rebounder and shot blocker that they had in Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace in the glory years. Drummond may prove doubters wrong and have a great season, but beyond Monroe and the former Huskie, Detroit has no depth in the toughness area.
Just like the Cavaliers, however, the Pistons are moving in the right direction with patching up their team through the draft. They picked up Drummond, guard Kim English, forwards Khris Middleton and Kyle Singler and center Vyacheslav Kravtsov this past June. A lot of those picks (Singler, Vyacheslav) might not work out, but the rest of the team is filled with youth such as Monroe, Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight. Piston fans will have to endure yet another tough season, but it will be worth it in the long haul. General Manager George David is making the right moves that will help the Pistons become a force in the East in the next few years. Hang tight.