The Detroit Pistons could be a surprise bet in the NBA this upcoming season and a playoff charge is not out of question. With an exciting young team built around the likes of Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayer, this team should take big strides in their 2022-23 campaign.
Coach Dwane Casey will look to tighten up the Pistons’ defense, which used to be such a hallmark of their play in championship years. The Pistons used this off-season to strengthen their depth, signing Kevin Knox and re-signing the experienced Cory Joseph.
There could be a possible paradigm shift in the Eastern Conference this season, with many teams in flux or development, and this could open big opportunities for teams like the Detroit Pistons. This, combined with a promising roster and a favorable schedule, means that the Pistons could have a real shot at the Playoffs this year.
A pretty poor showing from The Pistons last year as they went 23-59. Their 14th place finish in the Eastern Conference was disappointing for a team that, according to many (including Cade Cunningham) prior to the season, would be a playoff team.
Despite a pretty forgettable campaign, they did manage to give valuable playing time to exciting young stars such as Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Jaden Ivey and Isaiah Stewart. Their development was encouraging and they finished the season strongly, with Cunningham averaging 21.1 points, 6.5 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals over his last 20 games.
The Detroit Pistons franchise began much differently to many other NBA teams. Starting out as a semi-professional team, the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons (based in Fort Wayne Indiana), they would not go professional until 1941, when they joined the National Basketball League. They won two NBL championships, in 1944 and 1945, before moving to the Basketball Association of America in 1948. The BAA and NBL merged in 1949 and became the NBA.
The Pistons are now part of the Eastern Conference and play in the Central Division. The arena they call home is the Little Caesars Arena, in the midtown section of Detroit. Their team colors are red, white, and blue.
The Pistons’ most successful period came during the late 80s and early 90s with a team full of legendary players such Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas and Dennis Rodman. Known as the “Bad Boys” due to their physical style of play, they won back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990, beating the LA Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers respectively.
It was also during this time that their traditional rivalry with the Chicago Bulls really intensified. The Piston-Bulls rivalry took place over a number of Eastern Conference finals, with the Pistons getting the best of the rivalry early on. However, though the Pistons, particularly Bill Laimbeer, initially managed to frustrate them, the great Michael Jordan and his Bulls team would eventually emerge as the dominant force in the rivalry.
The Pistons won their third and final NBA title (so far) in 2004, led by Ben Wallace. Despite being considered underdogs to a LA Lakers team featuring the likes of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neil, they caused an upset, winning over five games.