The Detroit Pistons have failed to reach the postseason for now six straight years. Entering the 2015-2016 NBA season, it seems as if they have their best shot at climbing out of the dreaded middling tier of the Eastern Conference. Basketball fans in Detroit were teased with a short stretch of success before Brandon Jennings, the architect behind the run, was forced to sit out the remainder of the season with a ruptured Achilles.
The core of the Detroit Pistons seems to have been put in place after this offseason. After locking up Reggie Jackson to a long-term deal valued at over $80 million this summer, fans are going to expect immediate results. The explosive guard burst onto the scene after he was traded from Oklahoma City last trade deadline, averaging 17.6 points, 9.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds in 32.2 minutes in a Pistons uniform. In fact, the Pistons’ offense was an entire 12.1 points better per 100 possessions when Jackson was on the floor. Next to Jackson, Andre Drummond is entering into his 4th pro season and is poised to have a bigger role than ever before. He finished third in rebounding rate next to DeAndre Jordan and Hassan Whiteside, but it’s his defensive ability which has taken strides this offseason. This will be a crucial opening month for the 22-year old as he is due for his first massive pay raise next summer.
It’s going to be difficult for Stan Van Gundy to guide his team to a successful opening month. Through 18 games scheduled in October/November, just 7 of them will be played at the Palace of Auburn Hills. An important stretch for this inexperienced roster will come between November 6th and 15th. This 9-day period of time will see the Detroit Pistons take a Western Conference road trip to take on the Suns, Trailblazers, Warriors, and Kings before a back-to-back set against both Los Angeles teams.
The premiere match-up to mark on your calendars this month comes on November 27th against the Oklahoma City Thunder. By this time, both teams should be hitting their midseason stride and with the electrifying duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook returning to complete health, the Thunder are once again seen as a Western Conference heavyweight. Reggie Jackson will march into his old stomping grounds as the new leader of his very own team and a chip on his shoulder. Since both teams historically rely on their high scoring offense to win basketball games, this Friday night head-to-head will likely be a thrilling competition with no shortage of highlights.
Courtesy of Hoopshabit.com