Detroit Pistons: 200-1
If you’re looking for an Eastern Conference team that might make a significant leap up the standings, contemplate the Detroit Pistons.
Although Detroit yields the vast majority of a roster which won just 29 games per year ago (also Jodie Meeks, D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler), Stan Van Gundy’s arrival as commanding officer will include structure and discipline.
We know SVG wins that he sees a way by matching playing style to succeed and wherever he goes. It’s him if anyone can sort out backcourt ineptitude and the frontcourt jumble in Detroit.
That’s not to say there will not be significant hurdles, according to Zach Lowe of Grantland.com:”Stan Van Gundy is a top-five coach. This team will probably be frisky, however the Brandon Jennings–Josh Smith mix –even when they play fewer minutes together–has attained’don’t hope till you see them do great basketball things standing.'”
Jennings and smith are harmful commodities really. Both can take on their team out of games if not managed. For the Pistons to make noise, Van Gundy might need to rein both in while also getting more from the rest of the roster–Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond that is man-child particularly.
If Drummond gives Van Gundy a passable Dwight Howard impersonation (circa 2009), this group will be in business. And by company, I mean someplace at or marginally above .500.
Let’s not get crazy.