Detroit Pistons: 5 Reasons the Future Looks Bright
The Detroit Pistons will be entering the 2012-13 season with high hopes of besting their losing record last year.
Going 25-41, the Pistons weren't a playoff contender to say the least.
This year, a full season with 82 games coupled with a group of young stars is the perfect recipe for success in Detroit.
For the Pistons to build a foundation on these young guns, the group needs to be able to withstand the rigors of the pro level and learn quickly from playing against teams such as the Heat, Lakers and Bulls.
Selected ninth by the Pistons in the 2012 NBA Draft, Drummond was highly touted while playing for Connecticut.
Declaring for the draft early, Drummond will have a lot of pressure in Detroit at just 19 years of age. However, in an ideal situation, building a team around a young guy like Drummond would benefit both sides.
Standing at 6'10", Drummond's strong suits are his size, rebounding and the ability to block shots. It's certain that he will need time to conform to playing professionally, but there is no reason for him not to adapt quickly.
Detroit made a point in drafting Drummond to show that they are committed to starting fresh and rebuilding for the future.
Point guard Brandon Knight is another example in terms of the Pistons focusing on young talent.
Selected eighth overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, Knight quickly went to work in the 2011-12 season.
Knight saw great success in college while at Kentucky. In his freshman year, Knight scored 17 points and five assists in his first college game ever and was Freshman of the Week three times.
Starting 60 games last season in the NBA, Knight had a .415 field goal percentage and 12.8 points-per-game, which are solid numbers.
Knight also showed a sense of maturity leading the offense and manning the court for the Pistons.
He will obviously be looking to build upon those numbers this season, and with a full 82- game schedule, Knight should have no problem raising his game to the next level.
Gregory Monroe presents a problem for opposing teams in the NBA, especially with his ability to shoot.
Monroe has been a key component for the Pistons since being selected seventh overall in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Posting .521 field goal percentage, averaging 15.4 points per game and going with a .739 free-throw percentage, Monroe is an important part of the Detroit offense.
Paired with Knight, the duo can be a nuisance for opposing defenses, and with more fine-tuning, they can be dangerous in putting the Pistons ahead in games to give the defense more cushion, especially if Monroe continues to put up double-doubles as he did so frequently in 2011-12.
Despite being selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Stuckey is still a young player which Detroit can continue to build around.
In a sense, Stuckey is a seasoned rookie, and while he is young and still developing, he brings a sense of guidance and leadership to the younger players due to his five years of experience.
Stuckey has posed problems for teams in the past due to his size, which gives him the ability to get in players' faces and prevent them from scoring points, as well as the ability to muscle his way down the lane to put tallies on the scoreboard.
Stuckey has had a memorable NBA career thus far. His best highlights came in 2008, when he recorded 40 points in a win against the Chicago Bulls and 38 in a victory against the Sacramento Kings.
Charlie Villanueva might have finally found a home with the Detroit Pistons.
Picked seventh overall by the Toronto Raptors in 2005, Villanueva was not considered a high prospect by many and the Raptors were often criticized for taking him early on.
However, solid play in his rookie campaign helped him prove to be NBA worthy, averaging 13 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Villanueva was traded nonetheless in 2006 to the Milwaukee Bucs, where he spent three seasons and continued to improve his game. In 2008, he posted a career high 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Becoming a free agent after that season, Villanueva signed a five-year deal with the Pistons and has been productive ever since.
In 2010-11, he posted a career high .387 three-point percentage, which gave Detroit a strong threat from the perimeter.
Being in the league for seven seasons and playing for three different teams, he brings the experience factor to the Pistons, which for a team comprised of mostly rookie players, will be a key factor in their development and maturity.