NBA Draft 2012: Does Andre Drummond Give the Detroit Pistons Playoff Hopes?
Not so fast.
Although Drummond is a great value pick at No. 9, his presence alone will not vault Detroit into the top eight in the East.
You might take a quick glance at the 2012 standings, note that the Pistons finished 10th in their conference and think that they only need a small boost to break through.
That 10th-place finish is rather misleading.
The Pistons wound up 10 games out of a playoff spot in a shortened season. Extrapolated to 82 games, they were on pace to finish nearly 14 games behind the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers. Realistically, they’re nowhere close to being a playoff team.
While Drummond and Greg Monroe make up an intimidating frontcourt combination on paper, it will be at least three to four seasons before Drummond develops enough to strike fear into the opposition.
And that’s only if he ever figures it out. Remember Drummond is just seven feet, 280 pounds of untapped potential at this point. He is still cloaked by questions of desire and demeanor. Even though everyone agrees he can be the next Dwight Howard, eight teams passed on the chance to draft him.
Drummond’s lone season at UConn did nothing to silence the doubters either. Until he proves he can impose his will on a game, he won’t make a major impact for the Pistons.
Will the Detroit Pistons Qualify for the playoffs in 2013?
Detroit hasn't provided their young bigs with much help around them. Brandon Knight is a promising young point guard, but he’s not even in the top half of point guards in the league. Such is the depth of NBA lead guards these days.
Rodney Stuckey is a talented scorer, but his presence as a combo guard focused solely on scoring complicates matters. Charlie Villanueva has been an afterthought since arriving in Detroit and trading for Corey Maggette adds another gunner to take shots away from Monroe and Drummond.
Former first-round pick Austin Daye has yet to show enough to stay in the rotation, and the rest of the Pistons roster is mostly made up of declining veterans like Tayshaun Prince and Jason Maxiell.
Adding to the bad news is the fact that the Eastern conference looks better than it has in a long time. Last season’s top eight teams return intact for the most part. Only Orlando is a threat to fall out of the playoff picture if they trade Dwight Howard away for rebuilding tools.
Some,how in the midst of all that, the Pistons have to make up a whopping 14 games in the standings.
Though Detroit has sown the seeds for a bright future, they’re still a long way away from reaping the rewards. Andre Drummond or no, the Pistons will fall short of the playoffs once again in 2013.
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