The 2014 preseason was underway for the Detroit Pistons as they took on the Chicago Bulls. It’s a new season for the Pistons as they look to bounce back from an awful 29-53 season where they had playoff expectations. In my Pistons preview, I highlighted three things to look out for. Let’s see how they did.
1.) The jumbo frontline
New Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy went with a starting frontline of Caron Butler</strong>-Josh Smith-Andre Drummond and brought Greg Monroe off the bench. Smith had 9 points on 4/11 shooting and 5 rebounds and 2 assists, Drummond had 13 points and 5 rebounds, and Monroe off the bench had 24 points and 9 boards. The offense in the 1st quarter with only Smith and Drummond flowed better and they had better spacing. There was a time when all 3 were on the floor and the same problems from last season came up. That’s going to be a problem for this upcoming season. One of Smith or Monroe has to go. Tonight, Monroe won the battle.
2.) The Brandon Jennings factor
Jennings showed some erratic play, but had 10 points and 10 assists and the best part of his stat line: 0 turnovers. 0 turnovers guys! 0!! Nada! Zero! Zilch! Nothing! He also held Derrick Rose to 6 points on 0/4 shooting! Jennings is the X-Factor for this Pistons season, if he plays well then the Pistons play well. If he sulks and he tries to play hero ball, then the Pistons aren’t going to play well it’s that simple. He was 3/12 shooting tonight, but he also looked a little rusty so I’m going to write that off as the first preseason game of the year and he has to get his legs back under him.
3.) The shooting guard battle
The Pistons 2-guard battle is going to come down to 2nd year player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and free agent signee Jodie Meeks. Tonight, KCP had the upper hand with his 18 point on 7/15 shooting and 4/8 from deep performance. Meeks started and put up 13 points and was 3/8 from deep. I personally like KCP, because of his strong energetic play and he showed strides in his play in the summer league. He has to use that summer league as momentum for this upcoming season, he played well tonight.
In the end, the Pistons pulled out a 111-109 win over the Bulls in OT. Detroit blew a lead there in the final 30 seconds, but it’s also the first of 8 preseason games and the Pistons recovered to win it OT.
I’ll take the win, it’s a nice start to the Stan Van Gundy era.