Sometimes it is rude to be so blunt, but this must be said John Kuester is on the clock. In a little more or less than two full NBA seasons it is very likely that he will no longer be the Head Coach of the Pistons.
To continue my frankness Kuester has been set up to fail as head coach of a team searching for a new direction. His set up is much like that of recently fired Pistons head coach Michael Curry. Curry was given the job and in the first weeks of the season saw his best player traded away.
Now the Pistons have a new head man, and are in the middle of a complete roster rebuild. Regardless of who is on the roster today, said roster will look much different by the time this team gets to training camp or by the time the season starts at latest.
Even with the addition of Ben Gordon to a front court of Rip Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey this team still lacks a true point guard. Kuester’s first challenge will be to identify early on who is best fitted to lead this team on the floor. While it appears likely Hamilton will be traded away, Kuester may have to manage him and his disgruntled attitude of late.
Kuester’s second challenge is going to have to be convincing General Manager Joe Dumars that they need a big man. If the season started today Kwame Brown would be this team’s starting center and they would be an undersized squad to say the least.
There are rumors that Detroit is shopping Hamilton and/or Forward Tayshaun Prince to Utah in return for 6’9” Forward Center Carlos Boozer. With their collection of undersized Guards and forwards this team could desperately use Boozer’s 10 rebounds per game.
Since this rebuild of the roster isn’t quite complete yet predicting what kind of year they are set to have is a little premature, but a safe bet would have them finishing around the .500 mark again and being the sixth, seventh, or eighth seed for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. As players get added that is subject to change.
Really Kuester’s main challenge is going to be changing the culture of the Detroit Pistons. Gone is the Bad Boy, Going to work Pistons in favor for a more up tempo Run and Gun attack. The NBA game has changed and left the Pistons searching for answers. It will be up to Kuester to model this team into a new kind this new form of Piston basketball.
Since Joe Dumars took over as GM of the Pistons he has fired a coach who won 50 regular season games, another coach who won him one title and nearly a second, and a coach who went to three straight Eastern Conference finals.
Only Dumars himself knows what he expects out of Kuester but with fellow Bad Boy Bill Laimbeer waiting in the wings to assume command, one has to believe Kuester will be on a very short leash indeed.