Need4Sheed Guest Writer – Lefteris Aslanoglou – Pistons fan from Greece following his team and getting very little sleep watching games in the middle of the night: @Leftosa
This lockout has given us a season that’s going to be different. 66 games until April means that the schedule is quite crowded, and each team has 2 or 3 back-to-back-to-back’s. That’s 3 games in 3 nights, and that’s something that GMs can’t take lightly into account. Bench depth is going to be really important, as well as keeping your players healthy. Some veterans may have the experience in training to know how to keep their body sharp. Grant Hill, a Phoenix Suns great, is 39 years old and getting his career to a close sooner or later, but has managed to play over 80 games a season for the past 3 years. However, wear and tear comes with age, and a season like this requires fresh legs, durable players. The younger players will have a lot of playing time, and a lot to prove.
As the off-season is everything but over, teams must make sure their roster has the proper depth for a season like this, and that they can manage to put together a starting 5 with a good bench even on the third night of consecutive games. So how do the Pistons compare on this front?
The official Pistons roster currently has 14 players; that includes Kyle Singler who won’t be joining the Pistons until the next season, since he decided to stay in Spain. So, will 13 players cut it? The answer is, it depends on the players. Pistons have gotten some great picks the past few years, and are heading towards a younger, rebuilding direction. Jonas Jerebko, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, are some of the young players that are the most promising, with the first two having played a good year each.
Let’s look at each position individually, starting from Center.
Greg Monroe played 80 games last year, averaging 28 minutes per game, and is sure to be staying on court for a few more this season. He’s one of the lone bright spots of the Pistons last year, bringing the team from the bottom of the pack as far as rebounding goes to the middle of it after the all-star break. Don’t let his minutes fool you, Last year’s Pistons coach, John Kuester, didn’t give Monroe many minutes until December, when he made his break-out with his first career start, recording 8 points, 15 rebounds and a block in 35 minutes. He’s a guy that can withstand both the amount of games as well as minutes, and perform great at the same time.
Problem is, the Pistons don’t have any durable backup on Center. Ben Wallace has reached the late part of his career, and was widely believed to be retiring, but decided to stay with the team for another year. He played 54 games last season, averaging 23 minutes and providing the Pistons with good defense, but he’s shown signs (his stat-line deteriorated in every single stat) that the team can’t depend on him.
So the Pistons will need to bring a forward that can play Center to rotate along with Greg and Ben at Center, but do the Pistons really have a player like that? Let’s look at the forwards, shall we?