The Pistons got rid of Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace, but added Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva this off-season. The core of this team is still there and an improvement on their 39 win season is in their future. Can Villanueva fill the shoes that Rasheed Wallace left? Can Rodney Stuckey take his game to the next level? How much does Richard Hamilton have left in the tank? Here is the 2009-10 NBA Preview for the Detroit Pistons.
Additions/Subtractions – The Pistons were one of the most active teams in free-agency this past off-season. They signed two of the best free agents available right off the bat. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva signed the same day for big money and will be slotted into the starting line-up this season. They also went out and signed Chris Wilcox and Ben Wallace, which will fortify their roster depth. I like their draft picks coming in. Austin Daye is a long, athletic player and DaJuan Summers could turn into a useful player for the Pistons. Rasheed Wallace, Walter Herrmann, and Allen Iverson are no longer with the team, but only one of those players they will miss, I’ll let you decide which player that I am referring to.
2009-10 Expectations – After seven straight seasons of winning at least 50 games, they took a step back in 2008-09 and fell to 39-43. Michael Curry was fired as head coach and John Kuester was hired to lead the team. They signed Gordon and Villanueva to be fixtures on this team for years to come, but neither have really lived up to their potential so far in their NBA career. Gordon has proven to be a great sixth-man, but he is being paid “starter money” and Villanueva has only averaged 13.4 points per game since he was a lottery pick. They will miss Rasheed Wallace and his leadership, but Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, and Rodney Stuckey are still there to become the new leaders on this team. I believe the Pistons are expecting to be a top 5 seed in the East this year and if they don’t make to at least the 2nd round of the playoffs, this season will be a failure.
2009-10 Prediction – The Stuckey/Hamilton/Prince/Villanueva/Kwame Brown starting line-up will lead this team to the playoffs, but they need more PG depth. Prince will end up being an All-Star and Gordon should win the Sixth-Man of the Year award. They will bounce back from the 39-win season and get back near their normal 50 win total.
2009-10 Win Total – 49-33