It has almost been 5 years since we've last seen Detroit in the playoffs and almost a decade since they won it all with that great underdog team. After the 2009 season when they lost in the first round, Detroit seemed to just plummet for a multiple of reasons.
However, the seasons of disappointment and embarrassment are over in my eyes. The 2013-14 season is the season that the playoffs will be back in the motor city and here are a couple reasons why.
The biggest reason that the Pistons now have an identity with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. The two big men have been noticed a lot more lately from the USA basketball scrimmages and have shown players that this front court is not one to be messed with.
Monroe has grown into a very solid big man in little time. He has a soft touch of the offensive end, can move the ball well, and can rebound just a good as any great big man in the league. Although he lacks on the defensive end, the next player I mention may have the defensive potential to make up for Monroe and then some.
After this summer there is one thing I can say with all the confidence in the world, Andre Drummond is a monster. He has had an amazing off season and has really shown potential nobody could have seen coming from this 19-year old player. In the four summer league games Drummond played, he averaged 15.5 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. This is a dominant stat line and although it was against all young players, expect to see nights like these from Andre more and more as the season progresses. As long as he stays clear from injuries, Andre Drummond is a soon to be All-Star and a franchise building block in Detroit for years to come.
The next reason that the Pistons will make the playoffs this season is the fact that they now have a full structure to work with. They now have a very strong, promising front court that will boost things on both ends of the ball, a veteran in Billups paired with new coach Mo Cheeks to help Brandon Knight figure out this point guard situation (hopefully), and a still young Josh Smith who if he can settle down his bad shooting tendencies can really work efficiently on this team.
Now there are still questions at hand to be solved without a doubt. Such as will Brandon Knight's continue to struggle at the point guard position, or will Josh Smith fit in effectively with this already established front court? If these issues are not fixed the Pistons could just have another rough season just with a better team, but I do not see it that way.
Overall this team is putting a foot in the right direction and I think that in the end they will push through to clinch a 6, 7, or 8 seed in the East. I know the East is very top heavy, but the race for final spots will not be a walk in the park for any team. The Pistons are a growing team and have the potential to obtain one of these spots without question.
2013-14 will be the year they return to the playoffs and with a young team like this they will continue to grow and hopefully have the talent make the playoffs for years to come.