During the 17/18 NBA season, the Detroit Pistons completed a shock trade for Blake Griffin, a former All-Star forward who had only just signed a new max-deal with the team that he had spent his entire career with. Many experts believed that the Pistons had made a mistake by signing the aging power forward, and argued that the trade would cripple the organization for the next five years.
The trade wasn't enough to save the Piston's season, and they ultimately missed out on the playoffs by finishing an agonizing 9th in the Eastern Conference. The franchise pushed forward with its plan over the offseason, and the team currently occupy the 5th seed's spot, following a run of three straight wins. The situation looks bright for the franchise, and here are three reasons why the Pistons could be a major force in the East this season.
#3 Players Entering their Prime Together
Whereas a lot of NBA teams blend a mix of youth and veterans, the majority of the Pistons squad are in their mid to late twenties. The entire core of the team are entering their peak years at the same time, and this is currently somewhat of a rarity in the NBA.
The Pistons five starters should be at their peak for at least the next three years, and this provides the Pistons with a multi-year window to compete. The Pistons need to ensure they are in win-mode during this time, as a starting lineup of Griffin, Robinson, Drummond, Bullock, and Jackson could lead them to a strong season, both this year and beyond.
#2 Lack Of Competition
The Pistons are a team that has qualified for the postseason just once since 2009. Despite this, the Eastern Conference is now weaker than ever, and anything but a 2019 playoff appearance would be considered a huge disappointment.
So far this season, the Boston Celtics have struggled for any consistency, the 76ers look as though may need another few years to really compete, and the future of Kawhi Leonard hangs over the Raptors. The Pistons have already beat the Raptors and 76ers this season, and the Detroit team should have a real shot in the much weaker of the NBA's Conferences.