The Pistons sputtered through a disappointing 2016-17 campaign, unable to repeat the playoff appearance of the season before. The starting lineup that had once been a team strength posted an atrocious -12.3 net rating for the year. Lingering injuries to Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were blamed, and so were Andre Drummond’s breathing problems.
Caldwell-Pope is gone, replaced with Avery Bradley, and Detroit hopes improved health can get them back on the postseason path. And with Paul George and Jimmy Butler leaving Eastern Conference playoff teams to go to the West, theoretically finishing top eight should be easier than ever. But there are still a multitude of questions that need to be answered for the Pistons to hit their goals.
To look at some of these questions, Duncan Smith (@duncansmithNBA) joins the latest episode of Fastbreak Breakfast. Duncan is a contributor for The Athletic Detroit and is the site expert at PistonPowered.com. Was last year merely an aberration? Is avoiding injuries and adding Bradley enough to offset losing Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris? Or has this iteration of the Pistons run its course?
- Will this be a breakout season for Tobias Harris?
- Was there a particular reason the Pistons were so terrible (3-14) on back to backs last year?
- What is the contingency plan if Jackson struggles once again?
- Is Stanley Johnson ready to step into a bigger role? If he can’t play major minutes what other options are there on the roster?
- Do Luke Kennard or Henry Ellenson crack the rotation this season?
- Who stays in Detroit longer, Drummond or Stan Van Gundy?
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Original music provided by Codaphonic