#8) Detroit Pistons
Last season the Detroit Pistons managed to marginally sneak into the playoffs as an eight seed sporting a record that defines the term average, 41-41. Had it not been for Blake Griffin’s nagging left knee, the Bucks and Pistons could’ve gone five.
The Pistons kind of had a sneaky good offseason; Tony Snell, Derrick Rose, Tim Frazier, and Markieff Morris should all be valuable assets to their rotation. Their developmental pieces displayed upside in this year’s Summer League; Bruce Brown made leaps, Khyri Thomas showed promise, Svi Mykhailiuk’s combination of size and skill was on display, and Sekou Doumbouya illustrated why the organization was so excited about him.
They have a nice rotation, nothing that jumps out at you, but this looks like a team that’s going to go out and compete on a nightly basis. Griffin is off arguably his best season as a pro, Drummond is still a walking double-double, and Luke Kennard has shot the three-ball at a 40 percent clip through this first two years as a pro—40-45 wins is very much so in the realm of possibility for Detroit.
The Pistons have made the playoffs twice in the past 11 years, they’re going to fight to make that three in 12.