New-Look Detroit Pistons Open 2009 With Win

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New-Look Detroit Pistons Open 2009 With Win
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons opened the 2009-2010 season with a 96-74 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. Pistons fans can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. Despite the changes during the offseason, it does not appear the Pistons will have to spend any time at the bottom of the standings in their attempt to rebuild a championship-caliber team.

A quick look at this year's roster makes it difficult to see any sort of clear-cut rotation. In fact, coach John Kuester needed less than a quarter to get eight men into the game. Perhaps even the organization is not entirely decided on a regular rotation or specific player roles.

The good news is, through one game, the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit together surprisingly well.

Ben Wallace's return to the Detroit Pistons brought back memories of his play five to eight years ago. Ben was as active as ever with his rebounding, tip-out boards, hustle, and taking of charges. Wallace has been limited in practice to stay fresh. His game minutes will also be limited, but his effectiveness seems to remain unchanged.

Ben Gordon wasted no time in showing Pistons fans what he brings to the team. His first shot in the red, white, and blue was a deep three, and he was fouled on the play. Gordon remained hot as he hit his first three shots and lead the Detroit offense during Richard Hamilton's slow start.

The sharpshooting duo of Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon look effective while on the floor together and separately, and every member of this roster seems brings a high level of hustle and intensity.

Fellow newcomer Charlie Villanueva's first half was limited due to foul trouble. Like Ben Gordon, Villanueva's first bucket as a Piston was a three-pointer. The big man brings a unique inside-out offensive game that will present matchup problems for defenses across the league. Villanueva showed the maturity to set up teammates rather than forcing shots while he worked towards finding his offensive rhythm.

Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum are lightning-quick, and can get to the basket effectively. The two will be exciting to watch if they can keep the turnovers in check.

Even with an official game now in the books, I'm still not sure quite what to make of this team over the course of an entire NBA season. The offense is certainly improved and the defense looks solid enough, albeit against the lowly Memphis Grizzlies.

However the season turns out, the '09-'10 Detroit Pistons look to be an exciting team to watch. The Pistons of the recent past were exciting to watch because they won games, not necessarily because of their style of play. Only time will tell how good this team really is, but at least it will be fun to watch along the way.

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