clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

DBB on 3: Is this the real life?

It’s been a hot, pleasantly unexpected start for the Pistons, and we have thoughts

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Detroit Pistons Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Is this the real life?

Is this just fantasy?

-Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody”

I don’t think even the most rose-colored-glasses optimist would have put the Detroit Pistons at 7-3 after 10 games. Then again, I don’t think anyone here is complaining and for once waiting three days until the next game is nice a chance to soak it in. Our man stevenyc said it best:

Off days usually annoy me but I'm actually happy for the Era of Good Feelings to last until at least Wednesday

We kick start a new season of DBB on 3 in the Era of Good Feelings with three questions gauging our staff’s thoughts on pleasant surprises, possible issues, and a redo on predicting how they finish up the regular season.

Here we go!

1. What has been the biggest surprise of the Pistons' season thus far? (Besides Dre's free throws)

Justin Lambregtse: The depth of the Pistons bench and Stan Van Gundy's willingness to use it. There have been times where he has gone 11 deep, and the rotation has not been set with the same nine guys on a game-to-game basis. I never thought I would see that with Stan Van Gundy.

Ben Gulker: Stanley Johnson. He was the biggest uncertainty going into this season, and if you throw out the Charlotte game, his numbers are extremely impressive. His defense remains very good, and if his jumper is for real, Stanley will be a very solid starter for a long time.

David Fernandez: After last season, I wasn't sure we'd ever see the Reggie Jackson of 2015-16. Seeing him create separation, split the D, accelerate and explode towards the cup is a sight for sore eyes.

Jamie Delaney: The bench has been a pleasant surprise thus far. Seems like the Pistons have been able to get good performances out of key second unit players when they need it, whether it is Ish Smith, Langston Galloway, or Henry “Henny” Ellenson, guys have been stepping up.

Michael Snyder: The lack of Boban Marjanovic. Last year’s team had a hard time scoring and getting to the free throw line—two things Boban does well-- and with the departure of Aron Baynes, it was surely Marjanovic’s time to shine. Maybe not.

Kevin Sawyer: Langston Galloway. Although his present efficiency level is unsustainable, 40 percent three-point shooting would make him a major contributor.

(*Sean Corp editor’s comment:

Kevin, I resent the notion that Galloway's 72 percent true shooting is unsustainable.

Let's make history!)

Ryan Pravato: Pistons winning 70 percent of their games through first 10. They should be able to raise that win percentage over the next week, before the schedule gets tougher.

Sean Wheeler: I think it has to be the team’s consistently strong defensive effort. It’s night & day from last year, and while I was optimistic they’d play this way, it is pleasantly surprising to see it happening.

2. Despite the hot start what do you see as a source of concern going forward?

Justin Lambregtse: The uncertainty at backup center. Jon Leuer has not been good and Stan Van Gundy appears to be set on using him there. Eric Moreland has been solid, but his offensive limitations could be an issue down the line. Boban appears to be a sunk cost because SVG refuses to play him. I get that he could be limited defensively, but he deserves more than 4 minutes of playing time with the way Leuer has played this season.

Ben Gulker: Backup C. Moreland doesn’t hurt us, but he doesn’t really do anything to help either, especially on offense. SVG appears to be committed to let Boban for on the bench in spite of his insane production in limited quantities.

David Fernandez: Back-up Center and Power Forward. Leuer is the primary back-up for both positions; and he's played poorly to say the least. We've seen some nice play by Moreland recently, and Tolliver has been crazy impactful so far this year, but I'm not sure how long this will be able to last.

Jamie Delaney: Backup center is a red flag, although I’m high on Moreland’s potential. Leuer is a mess and Boban looks to be bench-bound for the foreseeable future.

Michael Snyder: Where is the championship parade going to be? Down Woodward still seems to make the most sense, but I’d be open to other suggestions.

Kevin Sawyer: Avery Bradley. My fear was that his success owed to Brad Stevens' coaching. His poor start combined with the fact the Celtics have somehow improved despite losing a ton of assets makes me think that was likely the case. Also, benching Boban after four minutes of play is baffling, given how terribly Leuer has played. He's in the doghouse, and doghouses lose games.

Ryan Pravato: Reggie Jackson. He's been ... not horrible. He's keeping the turnovers down, and the team is winning ball games. Defense is palatable, usually. But his shooting numbers are bad though. Still takes at least three or four WTF!!?! shots every game. Attack or move the ball. Do more of what Ish Smith does.

Sean Wheeler: The free throw disparity. The team needs to be more aggressive taking the ball to the hoop, and they need to get better at drawing fouls. Pistons teams of old had guys like Dumars, Dantley, Billups and Rip who knew how to draw contact and get opposing players into foul trouble. Our guys shoot a lot of jump shots, and when you live by that, you’ll sometimes die by it.

3. What was your prediction for the Pistons' win-loss total before the season? What is it now and where do you see that record landing us in the East?

Justin Lambregtse: I didn't necessarily have a win number prediction, but I predicted them to be a top four seed in my bold predictions piece. I thought maybe 46 wins before the season, and now I am seeing 50-52.

Ben Gulker: 45 was my optimistic projection, and that feels a little more realistic right now. Eventually, there will be a cold shooting stretch and a losing streak. That’s the nature of the SVG system. But the big questions - Andre Drummond, Jackson, and Johnson - have all been answered so far.

David Fernandez: had Detroit finishing as the No. 7 seed, going 43-39. I think they could make it to the No. 5 seed, going 47-35. If they're 14-6, I'll revisit this.

Jamie Delaney: I thought 45 was the high end, but that seems too realistic. Nothing in the numbers suggest that this is an abnormal streak (cough cough Orlando Magic). Could this be a 50 win team? I’m leaning towards yes.

Michael Snyder: I had low 40’s before the season started and bumped it up to high 40’s after the first 10 games. It’s really been a fun start, good for them. Boston, Cleveland, Washington, Milwaukee and Toronto are all still better.

Kevin Sawyer: I had them pegged for 38 wins and feel comfortable saying they'll get to 42. Although the hot start has been fun to watch, SVG-coached teams have a propensity to start strong, as does Reggie. I think that win total will be good for a No. 7 seed.

Ryan Pravato: I'm too lazy to look back in the archives and look it up if it was written anywhere on DBB - but I'm pretty sure it was in 39-43 range. I should have written it down on paper (and signed it) and then have taped it on the ceiling right above my bed. Now I'm saying 45 wins and a No. 6 seed. The roster still lacks depth and efficient playmakers. Either Ellenson or Luke Kennard finding time and playing well would be a nice jolt later in the season.

Sean Wheeler: I wrote an article stating that they’d win 44 games if Reggie was healthy, and 50 games if they also played hard consistently. Both of those things are happening, and they’re on pace for around 50 wins. That should net them a top 4 playoff seed.


Some great thoughts as usual, what are yours? Please copy paste the questions and give us your answers below:

1. What has been the biggest surprise of the Pistons' season thus far? (Besides Dre's free throws)

2. Despite the hot start what do you see as a source of concern going forward?

3. What was your prediction for the Pistons' win-loss total before the season? What is it now and where do you see that record landing us in the East?

Also, if you are interested in being a guest contributor to a future DBB on 3 please shoot me an email: