|Detroit added (from left) Chauncey Billups, Josh Smith, and Brandon Jennings this summer. Pretty nice offseason haul for a Pistons team that also hired a new coach in June (Maurice Cheeks).|
When: 7:30 pm; Saturday, October 12th, 2013
Where: Barclays Center; Brooklyn, NY
The last time the Detroit Pistons made the playoffs, the year was 2009 and the team's record was a subpar 39-43. They didn't get very far in the postseason that time, as Detroit was swept by the LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers in four games in the first round.
The Pistons haven't had a winning record since then, and were a dismal 29-53 last season, prompting the firing of current Nets assistant coach Lawrence Frank. Frank, who spent the 2009-10 season as an assistant for the Celtics after his stint as the Nets' head coach and before he went to Detroit, had an unsuccessful two-year team with the Pistons during which he only won 54 games combined in the two seasons. Now, he's in Brooklyn with the team that's based just minutes from his hometown of Teaneck, NJ.
Detroit, in addition to having a new coach, looks a lot different from last year in terms of its talent base. The Pistons traded Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Viacheslav Kravtsov to Milwaukee for disgrunted point guard Brandon Jennings just weeks after signing forward Josh Smith away from the Atlanta Hawks. Former Piston Chauncey Billups was also re-signed after spending some seasons away from Detroit with the Nuggets, Knicks, and Clippers.
The Pistons were also busy on draft day, picking up Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (from Georgia), Peyton Siva (Louisville), and Tony Mitchell (North Texas) with their three picks.
Going back to Lawrence Frank's current team, point guard Deron Williams won't be in action again this evening as he is planning to sit out the Nets' next three preseason games in order to rest his ailing ankle. Jason Terry is still out (he also missed the Nets' preseason-opening win vs the Wizards) as are Jorge Gutierrez, who played very well in Tuesday's game, and Tornike Shengalia. This means that we might see the Nets debut of training camp signee Gary Forbes, who didn't play in Washington last week because of an illness.
Another thing to note is that tonight's Pistons-Nets game is Brooklyn's first of the preseason at the Barclays Center, officially opening up the team's home slate for the year. I'll be at Barclays for the game, and I'm looking forward to it. Last year at Barclays was great, and this one will be even better.
DET- Will Bynum (PG), Kyle Singler (SG), Josh Smith (SF), Andre Drummond (PF), Greg Monroe (C)
BKN- Shaun Livingston (PG), Joe Johnson (SG), Paul Pierce (SF), Kevin Garnett (PF), Brook Lopez (C)
Maybe Jason Kidd will let the Brooklyn core (Lopez, Garnett, Pierce, and Joe Johnson) play around 20 minutes tonight after Tuesday's 12-minute cap. He'll have to extend their playing time to regular season standards at some point, so why not vs the Pistons?