Last night was opening night in the NBA, but everyone knows the real opening night is Halloween night when the Pistons tip off at The Palace. "Dear trick-or-treaters, I'm watching the Pistons and can't be bothered with doing point guard things with this candy, so please take one, as taking more than one will only increase your chances of getting the candy I've laced with poison. Happy Halloween!"
The Pistons open their season against the Houston Rockets, a game that has become a whole lot more interesting with the Rockets' recent trade acquisition of James Harden. Harden, last year's Sixth Man of the Year for the runner-up Thunder, will now become the "foundational player" of the Rockets. MFMP will have more on the Rockets and the game later, though. For now, let's hit the layup links:
- As Matt mentioned Tuesday, the Pistons' over/under on wins this year is set at 31.5 in Vegas. At the time of typing this, 90-percent of DBB readers who voted say the Pistons will win at least 32 games.
- Therein, Matt also linked SB Nation's first power rankings, which has the Pistons 24th overall and 11th in the East. Marc J. Spears at Yahoo! has the Pistons at No. 18, though, and says the tandem of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond could make the Pistons a surprise playoff contender. CBSSports' rankings have the Pistons down at No. 22, but also calls them a potential surprise. (CBSSports also went Gangnam pun on Drummond's name: "Oppa, Drummond Style.") Like SBN, SI.com has Detroit at No. 24.
- How 'watchable' are the Pistons? I think they're No. 1! But how does a non-Pistons fan feel? Mike Prada at SB Nation says No. 25.
- Chris Mannix at SI.com also believes the Pistons could be a surprise team. (Would it really be a surprise if everyone's saying it?) In that same link, you'll see Lee Jenkins has Greg Monroe as his breakout player of the year.
- One of the bigger story lines for the Pistons this year will be the play of Rodney Stuckey -- can he remain relatively consistent throughout a full 82-game season? That's Stuckey's goal. He's already displayed a calmer approach to adversity, which he said came from reading "The Energy Bus," a best-seller on positive thinking that Lawrence Frank gave to several players as summer reading. Attitude determines altitude.
- Steve Kyler at USA Today thinks Frank is on a seat that could get really hot. Assigning summer reading is bad for morale.
- If you're new to DBB or simply way behind on your Pistons reading and need to get caught up on season previews, make sure you check out our Pistons roster preview. Thom Not Tom Gores has some kool-aid to wash it down before you get real again with MFMP's season preview. Tom Ziller sees the Pistons finishing 11th in the East and says their best championship hopes are in the All-Beard Team.
- On this date in 1986, Dennis Rodman made his debut for the Pistons. Rodman played 14 minutes, shot 0-for-6 and had 2 rebounds.
- Here's Greg Monroe having some fun with Ktrl-V.
- If you ever need Pistons tickets, go here. Shootaround the NBA:
- The Pistons start the season a half game back in the Central because the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, 94-84. Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 29 points, but Anderson Verejao was the story, finishing with 9 points, 9 assists and 23 (!!!!) rebounds. He's the first player to have that kind of stat line since Sir Charles Barkley did it in 1987. He's the first to do it on opening night since Wilt Chamberlain in 1967. Chamberlain, Barkley and Varejao. One is not like the others ... but now is in a way.
- The Heat received their rings last night and beat the Celtics. David Stern referred to Hurricane Sandy as "Hurricane Katrina" before the game.
- Dan Gilbert finally admitted that guaranteeing a title before LeBron after 'The Decision' was "not the most brilliant thing I've ever done."
- The fully loaded and old Lakers lost to the Dirk-less reloaded Dallas Mavericks, 99-91. Six players scored in double figures for the Mavs. Look at Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash before the game -- you can't win basketball games carrying around those.
- Big blow to the Pacers already: Danny Granger is out indefinitely with a knee injury.