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NBA Power Rankings, Week 0: Pistons have room to grow

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On the eve of the NBA's 70th season, we take a look at where the media sees the Detroit Pistons in their rankings.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, Oct. 27 is the start of the 2015-16 NBA season, the NBA's 70th season. On this Monday, after seeing teams over the summer and during the preseason, we take a look at the Detroit Pistons rankings according to multiple online sources. The Power Rankings roundup will be put out each week on Wednesdays, in order to give the media time to release their updates. Some sources may be added, others may be removed (some may not do weekly updates) throughout the year.

Last Week: N/A

This Week: 20

The new, floor-spacing Pistons had the third most efficient offense in the preseason, with Reggie Bullock (13-for-25 from 3-point range) giving them an unexpected lift. Starting wings Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris also shot well and Stanley Johnson looked like a rookie who belongs in the league. This is going to be a fun team to watch.

Who you tellin' John? Really, I cannot wait for this team to get started.

Last Week: N/A

This Week: 22

You can see Stan Van Gundy’s fingerprints on this roster in Year Two. Detroit has improved its talent level, added useful pieces and can now space the floor properly as they try to develop Andre Drummond into a legitimate centerpiece. Stanley Johnson could be a dark-horse candidate for Rookie of the Year. This may be the Eastern Conference’s biggest wild-card team.

I am not sure we can consider Stanley Johnson a dark-horse candidate anymore. It would be one thing if for Summer League, the preseason and the first few months of the regular season he was mediocre, but he's shown to be one of the best rookies so far.

Last Week: N/A

This Week: 28

Stan Van Gundy's second year with the Pistons should see more wins, although the excitement factor likely begins and ends with man-child center Andre Drummond. Handing the offense over to Reggie Jackson should conclude with gaudy stats and brutal inefficiency.

Someone please remind me in April to revisit this. I am not saying Reggie Jackson won't be inefficient at times, but I want to compare where we are them to this 28th ranking. I mean, "more wins" means more than 32, which should likely be more than at least four teams (I would think) in the Eastern Conference alone, so why start us at 28th? The logic does not compute. But then again, this is a "most interesting" power rankings, so maybe that's why so low.

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This Week: 21

Stan Van Gundy’s second term in Detroit doesn’t figure to be much better than the last, but if the youth — Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson and Andre Drummond — play at a high level, the Pistons could have bright spots.

This statement, and others like it, honestly sound like those of people who have not watched a minute of Pistons basketball this summer or during the preseason. I'm not saying we're going all the way, but this team is not the same one from last year.

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This Week: 17

No one is quite sure if the Pistons are or aren't playoff material, even in a conference that certainly gives 'em a chance, but the season starts in a great team-first spirit after Andre Drummond told Stan Van Gundy he'd delay signing his five-year, $120 million extension until next summer to create more cap space come July.

Let us hope that it starts in a great team-first win over the Atlanta Hakws.

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This Week: 23

The Pistons are going to be weird, the Pistons are going to be fun, the Pistons could be very good or very bad or somewhere in the middle. They are the Eastern Conference mystery prize.

I get the image of Wheel of Fortune. There is that $10,000 piece in it's sparkling gold, right next to a $900 piece, followed by a Bankruptcy piece. It's too close to call.

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This Week: 21

From the moment Van Gundy took control of the Pistons, it was clear the team was shifting in the opposite direction of the previous regime. Within a couple of months, Josh Smith was exiled, and upon the season's conclusion, it was clear that big man Greg Monroe wouldn't be returning.

Monroe inked a four-year pact with the Milwaukee Bucks, clearing the Pistons' frontcourt for Andre Drummond to blossom into the team's focal point.

Drummond has averaged 13.7 points and 13.3 rebounds per game over the last pair of seasons, and only at 22 years old, his path to stardom seems completely evident.

At the power forward, Van Gundy traded for stretch big man Ersan Ilyasova, who shot 38.9 percent from three-point range last year and 37 percent for his career. Paired with fellow new addition Marcus Morris, an above-average three-point shooter, it's clear the Pistons are trying to spread the floor with much-needed shooting, moving away from the three-big frontcourt of Smith-Monroe-Drummond.

In the backcourt, Detroit has committed to Reggie Jackson as their point man, shelling out a five-year, $80 million contract for him this summer. While Jackson is still young, just 25, his long-range shooting woes provide issues for a team that's trying to clear offensive space for their 7-footer inside. Jackson can make plays for others and is a suitable scorer from inside the arc, but his fit on this roster will be worth monitoring.

Brandon Jennings won't be returning from his Achilles injury until around December, but when he does return, it'll be intriguing to see how Van Gundy splits minutes at the point between his two high-salary guards. Jennings' contract expires after the season, so he'll surely be a trade candidate around the deadline if healthy.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson are promising two-way players on the wing, while Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks can help space the floor off the bench with shooting.

But if Jackson continues to struggle from beyond the arc, it'll put more pressure on Van Gundy to implant his role players to better fit the lineup. And while a handful of players on the reserve squad are useful in spurts, there isn't enough talent across the roster to sustain success for extended periods of time.

It's honestly hard to take them seriously on many issues when I used to use their disks as frisbees. But they didn't say anything wrong.

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This Week: 19

Say hello to the biggest mystery team in the East, and that’s including the fact that the Indiana Pacers are trying to adopt small-ball overnight. Stan Van Gundy wasted no time in putting together a roster tailored to his preferred playing style, adding stretch-forwards like Ersan Ilyasova and Marcus Morris along with rookie Stanley Johnson.

The prospect of surrounding Andre Drummond with four shooters is tantalizing, but there are too many question marks in the backcourt and on the wings to be totally confident in this team’s playoff chances. With Reggie Jackson being so overpaid and Brandon Jennings still recovering from his Achilles injury, the versatility of the Detroit Pistons could be difficult to sort through.

I'll take 19th, for now.

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This Week: 19

There’s cautious optimism in Detroit, but it comes from small samples. Was Reggie Jackson's dominant play at the end of last season for real? How much better will Andre Drummond be alongside a stretch 4? As this team becomes a true Stan Van Gundy squad, though, these Pistons should be playoff contenders.

I raise my pitcher of Kool-Aid to thee!

Last Week: N/A

This Week: 23

So there you have it. Aside from the Yahoo rankings, which is a "most interesting" rankings, it appear that the media believes the Pistons will be between 17th and 23rd best in the NBA this year. So, outside the Playoffs. Let's show them, Pistons!

Are there any other Power Rankings you would like to see added to the list?