Liam Boylan-Pett at the dot com thinks almost everyone in the Eastern Conference -- hah, everyone but the 76ers -- has a chance to make the playoffs in 2015-2016. Everyone except the 76ers includes the Pistons.
As you know, the Pistons haven't made the playoffs since 2009 and haven't been competitive in the playoffs since 2008. For the first time in years, and I really mean it this time, the Pistons appear to be on the right track and headed for added success this upcoming season.
Here's what Liam had to say about the Pistons' playoff chances:
Why they will make the playoffs: Stan Van Gundy has assembled a roster that fits his coaching style. He has a big man in Andre Drummond who, at just 22, is oh-so-close to being a star in this league. Van Gundy has surrounded him with shooters and players who can get to the hole.
After cutting Josh Smith in December, the Pistons went on a run and looked like a playoff-quality team. Those postseason ambitions were derailed when they lost Brandon Jennings to an Achilles injury. He'll be back next season and so will Reggie Jackson, whom the Pistons acquired at the trade deadline and signed to an extension this summer. With the additions of Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris and lottery pick Stanley Johnson, the Pistons won't miss Monroe as much as originally thought. The Pistons showed flashes of brilliance under Van Gundy's system. If they can stay healthy and consistent, they're ready to make the jump into the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Why they won't make the playoffs: Drummond still isn't a superstar, unlike Dwight Howard when Van Gundy took the Orlando Magic to the Finals. The Pistons need Drummond to turn into an unstoppable force and he's not there yet. Whether Jackson and Jennings can coexist remains to be seen. Despite the improvement after losing Smith last season, the Pistons still were a long way from making the playoffs.
The "Why they will make the playoffs" seems more of an accurate depiction of the Pistons' situation going into the season than the "Why they won't make the playoffs." Actually "Why they won't make the playoffs" reads like a stretch. Drummond is already mostly unstoppable. The Pistons were thinking playoffs last season into April and finished only six games back of the No. 8 seed despite the many different eras the team went through. Whether or not Jackson and Jennings can coexist will be of little concern compared to last year's multiple roster upheavals.
Barring serious injury, I think we're more likely to be answering the first question by April '16. Read all the other write ups here and let us know what YOU think in the comments below.