Cooking up new lineups for the Pistons this season.

Let's apply some seasoning to how the Detroit Pistons lineups should be shaken up this year. Despite the off-season being as bland boiled chicken, the upcoming season will have plenty to savor. Monty Williams will spend his first year as the coach in the biggest hole, inheriting the worst record in the league, the highest expectations that come with signing the most expensive basketball coach contract up to that point. We know he isn't going to wind up far above last year’s 17 wins, and the current roster just isn't constructed to shoot for 70, but the lineups for this year will be different depending on which win total Monty thinks we’ll be closer too. How can we get an idea for the way the roster will be constructed? Let's head to the kitchen.

A cooking metaphor

If Monty was going to cook a meal, he'd probably look at the ingredients, imagine how to get the best out of them and decide what recipe to choose. A fine steak probably needs some heat and some sauce and maybe a little potato on the side while a tougher steak may have to spend some time chopped up on the stove simmering in a stew. So what kind of recipe does this roster deserve? Does the roster deserve to hit the fire right now, or is Monty going to look at this roster and pull out the slow cooker.

  1. Turn up the heat!

If Monty is in the mindset that our team is ready for the heat of competing for the playoffs, then we are kind of assuming that our youngest players are going to be ready for the fire. This Lineup would look like the one on the court at Rico Hines runs.

  • Cade

  • Ivey

  • Ausar

  • Stew

  • Jalen

This lineup comes with some assumes that we'll assume Monty holds. Primarily, that each young player is ready to play as an NBA starter quality at their current position right now, and starting right now is the best for their long term development. If that's the case, then you can imagine the rest of the lineup will involve either Monte, Joe Harris, Bojan Bogdanovic, Marvin Bagley, James Wiseman. Each of these more seasoned players can come in and provide more experience, better shooting, etc. But we are assuming here that all the young players will develop better against the fire of the NBA's starting lineups. There are some obvious questions here such as: Has Jalen Duren developed the strength and skill to stop the best bigs in the league? Will Ausar provide spacing? Is Ivey going to be locked up again? If Monty has a lot of doubts like these, then maybe he'll thinking about a different recipe that .

  1. Simmer down now

If we aren't at a place where we can compete, should the goal be to focus on getting the most out of the roster we have. How can we maximize learning and growth? By giving the young people more time to reflect and time to work against different lineups. This lineup might look like:

  • Cade

  • Joe

  • Bojan

  • Stew

  • Jaden

Wait Jaden's here? Yes, the two were playing against the select team, they are starting regardless. Stew and Jaden played together at the end of last year with Stew hitting a lot of threes so they might as well build on that. Ivey could not start. This would be pretty extreme, but if he has a lot of experience running the point during last year and summer league, maybe it would make sense for him to be like Harden on the second unit of those OKC teams that Weaver helped shape? Then Cade can have two floor-spacing threats in Bojan and Joe, and the first unit can be clicking with hopefully not too much of a defensive loss. Ausar can also get started in the big league without the threat of wilting under the highest temperature.

Wait Where's Killian? Well I'm imagining he's playing for another team where he's learning to finish at the rim and thriving on a roster without 3 other players at his position.

Ultimately, this roster thing is going to depend on what Monty thinks of his team, and he's been doing a lot of thinking. If I'm going to guess, he'll probably turn up the heat.

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