With preseason tipping off Wednesday night, Pistons plan to push tempo

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Finally, some Pistons basketball to watch and discuss. The Pistons open up their preseason Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors, so let's properly prepare with a morning shootaround.

Pre-game layup drill!

For those of you who don't live in the Detroit (or Auburn Hills) area, Wednesday night's game (7:30 p.m. ET) will be on NBA TV. Audio can be found on AM 950 since the Tigers lost Tuesday night.

How is the rotation going to look on Wednesday night? Lawrence Frank won't say how he's going to balance 17 players' playing time:

"We play tomorrow?" he playfully asked. "There goes my plan."

Coaches have to balance the exhibition season in two ways: making sure their key players are up to speed to prevent a slow regular-season start and to figure out what pieces fit where in the rotation.

So although Frank won't say, some players will play some games while others will sit. Balancing playing time for 10 players on a nightly basis is tough enough, so he won't bother with 17 guys.

The Pistons have been all business in training camp and scrimmaged on Tuesday to get ready for the season. Langlois tweeted some of the kool-aid on Tuesday, mentioning the impressive tempo that Slava Kravtsov and Andre Drummond ran the floor and Charlie Villanueva's conditioning! We've heard this before, but Langlois insists the Pistons will play at a faster tempo this season:

Maybe it starts with Brandon Knight, who enters the season as the starting point guard off of a full and thoroughly productive off-season that finds him stronger and more confident with a clear leadership role. As one of the league’s fastest players and superbly conditioned, running suits Knight ideally.

"It starts there," Frank said after Tuesday’s practice. "But you can’t be a team that’s going to play up-tempo if you don’t have a minimum of three outlets. I’ve seen a fast, fast, fast point guard who at times had no one to run with him. Eventually, you’ve got to tell him, ‘Just shoot it. Shoot it one-on-three just to prove a point. Fellas, if you ain’t gonna run …’ It’s got to be a team-wide commitment."

Rodney Stuckey, a strong open-court player, has long championed playing at a faster tempo. Similarly, Corey Maggette is suited to attack early in the shot clock before defenses are anchored in the paint. If young wings Kim English and Kyle Singler crack the rotation, they will be at Knight’s side at every opportunity, such are their motors and instincts to run. Greg Monroe is in the best shape of his career and has been frequently spotted in camp grabbing defensive rebounds and leading the break himself. And young 7-footers Andre Drummond and Slava Kravtsov can run with most guards.

  • Frank might not know, but Patrick Hayes has a very early look at how the rotation might look on opening night.
  • SHOCKING: Charlie Villanueva says this year is going to be different:
  • "I know what I am capable of," Villanueva said. "People have doubted me throughout my career. Even in college.

    "I am going to prove them wrong. This is going to be a different year."

  • Old school Detroit Bad Boys t-shirts.
  • The NBA released its guidelines for the new flopping fines:
  • "Flops have no place in our game -they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call," vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said in a statement. "Accordingly, both the Board of Governors and the competition committee felt strongly that any player who the league determines, following video review, to have committed a flop should - after a warning - be given an automatic penalty."

    Violation 1: Warning
    Violation 2: $5,000 fine
    Violation 3: $10,000 fine
    Violation 4: $15,000 fine
    Violation 5: $30,000 fine

    The players' association plans on protesting:

    "The NBA is not permitted to unilaterally impose new economic discipline against the players without first bargaining with the union," union executive director Billy Hunter said. "We believe that any monetary penalty for an act of this type is inappropriate and without precedent in our sport or any other sport. We will bring appropriate legal action to challenge what is clearly a vague and arbitrary overreaction and overreach by the commissioner's office."

  • Lastly, before we officially tip off basketball with the preseason, make sure you read Sean's top 5 reasons to be excited about the Pistons and MFMP's season preview. While there are still a few players that still need to be done, the 2012-2013 Pistons player previews can all be found here.
  • We'll be back later with a game preview and real live basketball to talk about.

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