Since we’re all forced to await the start of the season, I thought a little fictional drama might be fun to write and share. Packed with brief match-up reviews, line-up changes, and other surprises I hope others will find this to be a quick but fun read.
Brandon Knight gets torched by Kyle Lowry for 33 points, while Greg Monroe and Andrea Bargnani each score 20. Fortunately, Andre Drummond manhandles Jonas Villanucius scoring 17, hauling in 12 rebounds, and blocking 5 shots. Rodney Stuckey adds 15. Kyle Singler hits the winning basket in the final 3 seconds from the top of the key over DeMar DeRozan. Pistons look awesome!
Game 2, Pistons 97 over Magic 95 (2-0)
Brandon Knight redeems himself by scoring 20 points and dishes 8 assists. Rodney Stuckey pours in 26 points while Vyacheslav Kravtsov hauls in 11 rebounds and has 3 blocked shots. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond took turns guarding Dwight Howard and Glen Davis to essentially a stand-off of the big men. Pistons looked composed and focused.
Game 3, Bobcats 111 over Pistons 106 (2-1)
Ben Gordon got hot and poured in 31, while Bismack Biyombo showed Andre Drummond that he’s not the only young board crasher in the game. Biyombo scored 11 points, hauled in 12 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots for Charlotte, while Drummond sat down after 4 quick fouls, scoring just 2 points and pulling in 4 rebounds. Greg Monroe sat out the game with flu symptoms. Kyle Singler led Piston scorers with 14 points in just 15 minutes of playing time. Pistons definitely were missing Monroe, and Drummond got banged on.
Game 4, Hawks 102 over Pistons 91 (2-2)
Al Horford showed why he’s an all-star grabbing 12 rebounds and scoring 16 points while limiting the Pistons centers to a combined 14 points and 9 rebounds, as the team depended on balanced scoring against a sluggish Piston attack led by Kyle Singler’s 14 points. Pistons somehow look undermanned, definitely a disappointing showing.
Game 5, Raptors 98 over Pistons 96 (2-3)
Amir Johnson had a triple double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to lead his team over another sluggish offensive effort stymied by limited passing during each Pistons attack. Kyle Singler again led Piston scorers with 17 points, followed by Rodney Stuckey with 16, and Brandon Knight with 14. Khris Middleton and Kim English both shot 2 for 2 from past the arc. Pistons coach Franks says its a learning process.
Game 6, Bucks 95 over Pistons 88 (2-4)
Just before the game the Pistons announced that they had traded Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum to Toronto for Jose Calderon, and in a separate deal sent Charlie Villanueva and Austin Daye to Golden State in exchange for Andris Beidrins and Charles Jenkins.GM Dumars lauds the addition of the new players as a turning point for the franchise.
Jose Calderon started for the Pistons with Brandon Knight at shooting guard, he had 12 assists in just over 24 minutes of play, while Knight scored a game high 30 points. Greg Monroe added 11 points in just over 15 minutes of play as Andre Drummond and Slav Kravtsov were given the bulk of playing time against Samuel Delembert. Tayshaun Prince, Khris Middleton, and newly acquired Andris Beidrins and Charles Jenkins did not play. Although the team loses, Calderon adds an interesting new wrinkle to the team's style of play. The team seems surprisingly upbeat despite 4 consecutive losses.
Game 7, Pistons 111 over Heat 100 (3-4)
Just before the game the Pistons announced that they had traded Tayshaun Prince and Corey Maggette to the Memphis Grizzlies for Rudy Gay and Josh Selby. Joe D says all the pieces are now in place for the regular season. Coach Franks looks happy. Tayshaun says his goodbyes in a very professional manner, while saying he's excited about joining a play-off bound team (was that a jab at Joe?).
The Pistons starting lineup tonight featured Jose Calderon, Brandon Knight, Rudy Gay, Greg Monroe, and Andris Beidrins. Knight led all scorers with 22 points followed by Gay and Singler with 17 each and Monroe with 14. Calderon had 14 assists while rookie Andre Drummond pounded the boards for 11 rebounds and also had 3 blocked shots.
Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh didn't play, but some wonder whether they would have really made much difference as the Pistons were hitting on all cylinders!
Game 8, Pistons 102 over T-Wolves 96 (4-4)
Just before the game the Pistons announced that Ben Wallace agreed to sign a new contract with the Pistons to play his 18th season of professional basketball. Motown rejoices! Talk of a new tower to be added to the Palace circulates; it would be named Big Ben's.
The Pistons tried a slightly different starting lineup tonight featuring Calderon, Stuckey, Gay, Monroe, and Beidrins. Jenkins, Knight, Singler, Jerebko, and Drummond formed a second unit, as Selby, English, Middleton, Wallace, and Kravtsov formed a third unit.
Stuckey and Gay led all scorers with 21 points each, followed closely by Monroe and Knight with 18 each. Beidrins led all rebounders with 18 boards while Drummond, Kravtsov, and Wallace each had 3 blocks. For three minutes of the fourth quarter the three were aligned with Calderon and Stuckey to cause 4 consecutive turnovers that sealed the game’s outcome.
Coach Lawrence Franks has indicated that he plans to use the three units regularly. Although he is also willing to briefly intermix players to cause defensive mismatches as shown tonight. Joe D is shown on the fan-o-vision smiling from a sky box in the closing minutes of the game.
Ending Pre-Season Averages:
Beidrins 2 games 7.0 ppg 13.5 rpg 0.0 apg -- planned starter
Bynum 4 games 8.3 ppg 1 rpg 3.3 apg (traded)
Calderon 2 games 9.0 ppg 1.5 rpg 13.0 apg -- planned starter
Daye 2 games 6.5 ppg 3.0 rpg 0.5 apg (traded)
Drummond 7 games 6.0 ppg 5.4 rpg 0.1 apg -- Franks grades rookie B+
English 8 games 5.0 ppg 1.0 rpg 0.5 apg -- Franks grades rookie B+
Gay 2 games 19.0 ppg 4.0 rpg 0.5 apg -- planned starter
Jenkins 1 game 4.0 ppg 0.0 rpg 2.0 apg -- Franks now has 3 point guards!
Jerebko 6 games 6.0 ppg 6.2 rpg 0.3 apg -- Franks says he is better than ever!
Knight 8 games 16.9 ppg 2.2 rpg 3.0 apg -- Franks says he will be potential 6th man of the year!
Kravtsov 6 games 4.5 ppg 5.5 rpg 0.3 apg -- Franks says he is a beast!
Maggette 4 games 7.7 ppg 2.3 rpg 0.5 apg (traded)
Maxiell 5 games 4.0 ppg 3.2 rpg 0.0 apg (traded)
Middleton 2 games 3.0 ppg 1.5 rpg 0.0 apg -- Franks grades rookie C
Monroe 6 games 15.5 ppg 8.0 rpg 1.8 apg -- planned starter
Prince 5 games 9.0 ppg 4.0 rpg 1.0 apg (traded)
Selby 1 game 4.0 ppg 0.0 rpg 0.0 apg -- Franks says he is a dangerous weapon!
Singler 7 games 13.0 ppg 5.0 rpg 1.3 apg -- Franks grades rookie A+
Stuckey 8 games 19.0 ppg 2.0 rpg 2.5 apg -- planned starter
Villanueva 3 games 5.0 ppg 2.0 rpg 0.3 apg (traded)
Wallace 1 game 0.0 ppg 4.0 rpg 0.0 apg -- Franks welcomes this warrior home!
Lawrence Franks says he's confident that the team is play-off bound! Joe Dumars agrees with his assessment saying that if this team gels well over the next two months, and can play through this tough opening schedule, this will be a special season! Basketball World News says Pistons are a team to be reckoned with - deepest team in the league!