1. Stan Van Gundy
Fans always talk themselves into thinking that a new coach and president of a team will mean a quick turnaround. It rarely works out that way. These fans delude themselves into thinking that this year they might make the playoffs, but …
But it just might work for the Pistons after giving the reins to Stan Van Gundy.
The hopes aren’t sky high for the 2014-15 Pistons, but they should be better than last year. Not that that should be very difficult. The DBB season preview spells out the job Van Gundy has in front of him, and it’s not an easy one. But the playoffs seem doable in the still depleted East, an impressive feat for a team that finished 25th in last season's SB Nation Power Rankings. And we’re going to talk ourselves into thinking the playoffs are the destination of this year’s Pistons squad.
2. The Summer of Drummond
What a summer to be Andre Drummond.
- Even if he didn’t see too much playing time, he won a FIBA gold medal with team USA and made sure to add some highlights when given the opportunity.
Not in @andredrummondd's paint! #USABMNT
- We already knew he could dunk, then his high school mix tape came out, proving he could always dunk.
Most importantly, he has a coach who knows how to nurture and develop a big man in Stan Van Gundy. There’s a lot of talk of a Dwight Howard-like transformation, and it’s not farfetched; he has the talent to do it. Drummond is poised for a breakout season and, believing that the Pistons are "absolutely" his team, hopefully he elevates those around him as well.
3. RIP Josh Smith, Small Forward
One of the best pieces of news to come out of the offseason was the assurance that Josh Smith would no longer play small forward. The fact that it took 82 games and a new coach to figure this out is another story, but finally, Josh Smith is supposed to be in his rightful place: on the block. See the DBB season preview of Smith for an in-depth look at what to expect from Smith this year.
And for good measure: Van Gundy, please don’t put Smith in at small forward.
4. Spencer Dinwiddie, Rookie
The Curse of Ben Gordon and the Cavs’ Lottery Luck erased the Pistons’ 82.4-percent chance of keeping their first round pick, leaving Stan Van Gundy with only one draft choice in his first draft with the team. And SVG did not disappoint: the Pistons snatched up Spencer Dinwiddie, the 6-foot-6 guard out of Colorado who missed the last half of his final season with the Buffaloes after an ACL injury.
And while we’re still learning about his recovery from ACL surgery on Jan. 20—Dinwiddie is on the mend, participating in team drills on Oct. 6—it’s his off-court antics that have us thrilled that Dinwiddie is a Piston.
"Spencer Dinwiddie is our favorite NBA rookie perv," was the common response after Dinwiddie said on a Reddit AMA that his NBA 2K rating would be "Probably somewhere in the 50s but I want it to be 69." Pus, he has a mustache to rival his coach.
5. Darko, the Kickboxer
Dinwiddie is already more beloved than Darko Milicic. But Milicic is at least fight—err—kicking his was back into the conversation. Milicic is a professional kickboxer in Serbia now.
In a dream world, WWE fan Ben Wallace will join Milicic for Kickboxer 3 and Rasheed will make a cameo with the 2004 championship belt.
6. Reminders of Chauncey
Mr. Big Shot retired this summer. Like every player on the 2004 team, he fit the mold of exactly what a Piston was supposed to be.
7. What’s Next, the Traverse City Transmissions?
Michigan loves car themed mascots. See the Detroit Pistons and the Lansing Lugnuts (Single-A baseball). Add the Grand Rapids Drive to the list. Thanks to the D-League, the Pistons have their own affiliate on the other side of the mitten.
8. NBA #Hashtags
"There is no offseason." – The motto of NBA social media managers everywhere.
Whether it was "Everybody Loves Draymond" on #NBASitcoms or Nikola Pekovic being as creepy as possible in "The Peks of Being a Wallflower" for #NBAMovies, the social media game of NBA accounts everywhere was on point. The Pistons got into it the most with the #NBAFastFood. Who doesn’t want some DinWendys? Actually, you may want to pass if a dude with a mustache like that is behind the counter.
9. Calm Down, Dancing Usher
The Dancing Usher and the young fan dance-off is probably the top Pistons moment from last season (which also says a lot about the basketball being played).
313. Rasheed Wallace, FORMER Pistons Assistant
The summer had a lot of good news. But Rasheed not being rehired is one of the worst things that could happen in history. There is at least a silver lining:
Living the dream.
— Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) October 6, 2014