Since the start of December, the Pistons have demonstrated an ability to beat Cleveland – but no one else. They have a brace of victories over the Cavs, & 8 losses against all other opponents, thus ruining a respectable start to their season. Detroit & Toronto share more than almost the same record to date. Their coaches are trying to work into their rotations highly regarded rookies without dropping completely out of the playoff picture. The Pistons selected Andre Drummond after the Raps chose Terrence Ross, & I think both teams are happy with the results to date.
A glance through the Pistons’ stats offers a stark picture of why this team is going nowhere. Their scoring leaders are Greg Monroe & Brandon Knight, each with 15 PPG, followed by Tayshaun Prince at 12.7. Those are dreadful numbers; it’s hardly surprising that the Pistons scored 77, then 76 points, in their last 2 losses (both at home – how not to rebuild a fan base). Knight is their best Guard, the rest of the backcourt features (?) luminaries like Jason Maxiell, Rodney Stuckey & Will Bynum. Monroe is an excellent young big man whom I’d love to see in our colours, though I doubt embattled Detroit GM Joe Dumars is quite that soft-headed. Kyle Singler, something of a whirling dervish at Small Forward, has provided a spark they badly need, but I don’t think he’s a star in the making. Their bench, populated by the likes of Charlie Villenueva & Austin Daye, wouldn’t frighten a D-League squad.
The Pistons are respectable defensively, ranking 12th in the NBA. Monroe & Drummond will clear the glass, so the Raps better be hitting from outside. Fortunately they have been recently (12/24 from beyond the arc last night in Cleveland). Can Alan Anderson keep up his act? Can Jose Calderon continue to score & deliver dimes? Yes to both, & enough of this reverse psychology – Raptors 99 – Pistons 89.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.