The Detroit Pistons have made some big changes this off season. As the game changes Joe is trying to keep the team up to date. Don't be expecting the same old lineup or faces as most of you know there could be a lot of differences.
I'm going to take an in depth look into the lineup and talk about some of those changes and what to expect. Though there have been some changes you will still see some of the old guys but not as many as before.
We'll start with the back court and work our way to the big men down low.
Starter: Rodney Stuckey
Has come a long way in a few short years. With this new style of play and new offensive minded coach he should excel, not to mention he's said having younger teammates will help him. He has a higher comfort zone playing with younger guys and being able to run and gun. He will need to step up and be the commander of this new offense and I think he will.
Bench: Will Bynum, Deron Washington, Ben Gordon
Will Bynum is a good back-up to have. The coach last season increased his playing time in the playoffs and he responded well being a back-up and sometime third string, with A.I. and Rodney both playing PG, he averaged 12 points a game. Not bad for a back-up who's been in the league the same amount of time as Rodney Stuckey.
Deron Washington hasn't play a game in the NBA ever. He's been playing in Europe and most figure he will be in the D-League this year. He still needs to prove himself before he makes the roster for sure.
Ben will play most SG and I'll talk about him a lot more later, but he has said he would be willing to step in at times and help with the PG position. I think he could be effective there is short minutes to help out.
Starter: Rip Hamilton
John Kuester made it known to everyone who cared that Rip Hamilton WILL be his starter. This makes sense to me. Gordon is fine with coming off of the bench but Rip doesn't like it at all. Plus Gordon is used to coming off the bench and making an impact.
Rip will be one of the two "captains" or leaders of this team along with Tayshaun. Him and Tayshaun need to take control and help the younger guys, and they will need to buy into the new scheme for this to work.
Bench: Ben Gordon, Will Bynum, Austin Daye
Ben Gordon will be the sixth man of this team this year. At least definitely for the back court. He is one of the most effective players coming off the bench in the league, but don't expect him to be the bench guy all year.
There's a very good chance Rip could be traded but for now Gordon will be the first player off the bench for the back court. Expect him to be very effective in that role. He knows how to give teams a jump start and with the offensive minded scheme that will be run he should really excel.
Will Bynum plays more PG than he does SG but there's always a chance he could play a little of both in some games. Like I said before he is effective off the bench like Gordon and could give both spots needed breaks at times.
Austin Daye is so versatile it isn't even funny. He can play the two,three,four and really it wouldn't be radical to say he can play the one. A bit too small for the five or center, but he could be really good as a SG.
If Rip gets traded for a big man and Ben becomes the starter then Daye is automatically the sixth man. If that's the case he'll split lots of time at the two and three. I expect him to be productive from day one as long as he isn't facing stronger players that could overpower him.
Starter: Tayshaun Prince
Another one of those really familiar faces, we all know he can get the job done and that he'll be a starter. Along with Rip, I expect him to be a "captain" or leader and especially help his new, younger self replica Austin Daye. Prince will get most of the playing time in this spot, but Daye will definitely get some minutes.
Bench: Austin Daye, Jason Maxiell, DaJuan Summers, Jonas Jerebko
Austin Daye, also known as the next Tayshaun Prince, should have a good rookie year and be a key contributor. If Ben Gordon is the first off the bench, then Austin is definitely the second. He's so versatile it's not even funny and depending on who the team is he could play just about any position on the court.
He knows how to score and should be productive off the bench, he'll eventually be the starter of this team but not for a few years seeing as how Prince is still around.
Jason Maxiell will play more PF, but he also can play some SF though I don't expect to get much time there with all the new rookies.
DaJuan Summers is the exact opposite of Tayshaun and Austin in many ways, and that's a good thing. He's not one of those tall, lanky, skinny guys. He's more of a stronger, bulkier guy who would rather beat someone in the post.
The SF position has so much variety and versatility already with just those few guys, but throw Jonas Jerebko in there and I'm not sure anyone has a better group of SF. He's huge at 6'10" and 231 lbs. but don't let that fool you he can knock them down outside as well as just about anyone.
One of the first Swedish players ever drafted, he'll be looked at to do big things for his country to help put them on the basketball map. Jerebko is so versatile too, he's listed as only a PF/SF but with that size and the size of all the other Detroit players he could see a little time at center. Plus with his outside shooting who knows he could play a little two.
Many thought at first he would be sent back to Europe or D-League but the Pistons seem to want him there and on the team and I don't blame them at all. He could be something special, but so could all these other SFs.
Starter: Charlie Villanueva, Chris Wilcox
Charlie should be the starter in most cases, especially when the Pistons are looking to play a young run and gun squad and need scoring. If there looking to get physical though and are playing a team with some bulkier guys don't be surprised is Chris Wilcox gets the nod.
Chris is smaller, but he plays bigger and more physical than Charlie, who likes to take outside jumpers probably more than he does like to back anyone down in the post. Charlie should do great in the offense system, it's basically going to be a perfect system for him and I'll be excited to see how he responds.
Bench: Chris Wilcox, Jason Maxiell, DaJuan Summers, Jonas Jerebko, Ben Wallace, Austin Daye
Chris will at most times be the main back-up. He'll be used a lot when the Pistons are looking to be more physical and get more defensive minded.
We all know what Jason Maxiell can do, he's a bit undersized for the position but he always plays his heart out no matter what and he's definitely done some amazing things through the years for this Pistons team.
DaJuan Summers and Jonas Jerebko are both more SF than PF but expect them both to see some time at the PF. Austin Daye will be used in cases where they are just running the ball down other teams throats and trying to load up the scoreboard.
If there's a game where Charlie is excelling with the run and gun and needs a break I expect Daye to be the main guy called in to help do some damage, he's perfect for that role.
Ben Wallace as we all know is not the most talented on offense, but he plays as hard as anyone out there and being back with the Pistons should help him. He won't be relied on to be a main guy and will just play minimal roles which is good for him and the team.
He's still got some left in the tank and could help in games where they are struggling defensively. He could be a vital part in helping the team learn that defense is just as important as offense with all these new guys and pieces.
Starter: Kwame Brown
Why he's looked down on so much is beyond me. He's a solid starter who would be solid on just about half the teams in the NBA but he always gets ragged on just because he wasn't Bryant's savior and next Shaq in LA.
I for one am just fine with Brown being the starter for now, though I think they need some more depth and maybe someone to challenge him in there. Center is the one position that I can honestly say might be lacking.
Bench: Chris Wilcox, Jason Maxiell, Ben Wallace
Chris will be just as good a contributor off the bench in the center role as he will be in the PF position. He at least adds a little depth to this position that can be relied on.
Jason probably won't see a lot of time here, but he could be given some chances with that lack of depth. Ben as we all know is past his prime but he can give some minutes here and there and give his guidance to this team.
The Pistons are pretty stacked in most positions if the players live up to hype and can stay healthy. This is one of the most versatile teams I have ever seen, a lot of the guys can play at least three positions and some can play four solidly.
Center is the one positions that is really lacking in depth. I wouldn't be surprised if Rip was traded later in the year for a good big man to add depth and challenge Brown, if Gordon is proving he can be a starter.
With Gordon's contract you have to expect they were thinking all along he will be the starter at some point, but not while Rip is there so that makes me think Rip will be gone after a while.
This team is better than last year for sure, and a lot of that has to do with A.I. being gone. Ben will be a better contributor and he won't whine about coming off the bench which helps and the team chemistry should be amazing.
The fact that Ben and Charlie have played together and done great together in college definitely gets me excited to see what they will do together in the NBA.
John Kuester should have a great time coaching this team and with his great offense coaching skills they should put up over 100 on most nights. They could be scary as long as they remember that defense is an important part too and they get another solid center.
PG: Rodney Stuckey
SG: Rip Hamilton
SF: Tayshaun Prince
PF: Charlie Villanueva
C: Kwame Brown
Most played bench players: Ben Gordon, Chris Wilcox, Austin Daye
Least likely to contribute: Deron Washington
Top Scorers(in order)prediction: Rip Hamilton, Charlie Villanueva, Tayshaun Prince, Ben Gordon