The Detroit Pistons will go as far as power forward Blake Griffin takes them this upcoming season. Griffin enjoyed a career year last season, his first full season with the Pistons since being traded to Detroit during the 2017-18 season.
The Pistons plan this season is to keep Blake Griffin healthy for a potential playoff run. There have already been talks of Blake Griffin having rest nights (load management) this season, even before the minor hamstring injury occurred that has kept him out the previous two preseason games.
Last season, Blake Griffin played in 75 games, the first time he’s played over 70 games in a season since the 2013-14 season, in which he played in 80 games with the Los Angeles Clippers. Blake Griffin went on to average 24.5 points (career-high), 7.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.5 three-pointers (also a career-high) a game. Blake was also named an NBA All-Star this past season, something he’s looking to build on for this upcoming season.
Blake played through what appeared to be a sore left knee in Detroit’s game four loss to the Milwaukee Bucks this past post-season. He later went on to have arthroscopic left knee surgery this off-season to correct the issue. Blake appears to be healthy at the moment besides a minor hamstring injury (Blake is expected to be all systems go when the regular season begins October 23rd), but the Pistons will not risk their star player’s health by playing him in all 82 games this season.
In a key acquisition this off-season, Detroit Pistons signed point guard Derrick Rose to a two-year contract. Derrick Rose played in 51 games last season while averaging 18 points, 4.3 assists and 1.1 three-pointers per game. Derrick Rose has not played in at least 70 games in a season since doing so during his 2010-11 season with the Chicago Bulls.
Rose has been receiving praise this preseason from Head Coach Dwane Casey. Derrick Rose is expected to come off the bench to begin the season behind incumbent starter Reggie Jackson but may close out games next to Jackson this upcoming season. Rose’s health is also key to Detroit making a post-season run, as health has not been on his side since he was named Most Valuable Player during the 2010-11 season.
Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose took their respective teams (Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls) to the playoffs before joining the Pistons. Their leadership will be key on and off the court for two time All-Star center Andre Drummond, and the rest of the roster. Keeping them healthy should be Detroit’s main priority this season.
The Pistons will face their first test against Myles Turner and the Indiana Pacers next Wednesday, October 23rd on the road to begin the season.