The Pistons have shown out so far, posting an 8-3 record with an impressive slew of wins. They currently sit second in the Eastern Conference trailing the blistering hot Boston Celtics by a game and a half. While they have impressed so far, will they be able to continue this success for 71 more games? Let’s first take a look at who has sparked this 8-3 start.
Tobias Harris has started the campaign on a mission. The 25-year-old scorer out of Tennessee has posted great numbers so far, averaging 20 ppg, 4.5 rpg, and 1.8 apg. Tobias is also shooting at an extremely impressive clip, hitting 47.3% of his shots and 47.1% of his threes. While it is unreasonable to expect him to keep those percentages up, his shot will need to keep falling for the Pistons to keep winning.
Avery Bradley’s defensive presence adds so much more to this Pistons team than they could have ever wanted. Just ask Steph Curry, who was handled by Bradley. Avery balled out in Oakland, dropping 23 points and gathered 3 steals on the defensive end. His abilities on defense combined with a hot start on the offensive side of the ball have vaulted him into a huge spot on this team.
Whether it’s been Langston Galloway hitting a 3 to get the Pistons offense humming, or Boban just being huge, the Piston’s bench has been a huge part of the hot start for this team. It wasn’t too long ago that Eric Moreland was playing in the summer league, fighting for a roster spot. Moreland has now etched a spot in the rotation, continuously playing valuable minutes. Ish Smith, back to being the backup point guard, provides a spark day in and day out for a Piston team that hasn’t had a deep bench like this for so long.
Contenders or Pretenders?
This question depends on what you want the Pistons to be contending for. A top 5 seed? They could absolutely be a top 5 seed come April. Win the East? Maybe, but probably not. LeBron is a major roadblock to that goal, no matter how bad the Cavs are right now. Win the Finals? No, let’s not even begin that conversation. If the Pistons are 79-3 at the end of the year maybe then will I consider them a threat to the Warriors. The Pistons should benefit from being in the Eastern Conference and stay in the race for a high seed in the playoffs all year. It will take some major effort to come out of the East, but crazier things have happened. It’s only been 11 games, but so far this team looks vastly improved and has a serious shot at returning to the playoff scene.
Featured Image: Leon Halip, Getty Images
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