2017-18 Detroit Pistons Predictions and NBA Futures Odds Picks
Going into last year it seemed like the Detroit Pistons had something going on. Don't get me wrong - they weren't a threat to win the division or even a playoff series in all likelihood. But they seemed to be moving in the right direction. They were at least a little loveable. On that basis, then, last year was a massive disappointment. The team was a long way from great. They won 37 games and finished 10th in the East, and they just weren't relevant in any way at all. In a generally underwhelming year for the Eastern Conference they were among the more disappointing squads. They didn't make major changes in the offseason, but neither did a lot of the Eastern also-rans. This team should be better than they were last year. Do they have what it takes to make the playoffs?
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2017 Detroit Pistons Betting Storylines
Andre Drummond is a max contract player who played like about 10 percent of one last year. He just wasn't good. In fact, he was pretty underwhelming. His rebound numbers were solid-ish on the surface, but he couldn't score like he should, his general defensive play was limp, and he averaged less than 30 minutes per game. It was ugly, and a big part of the reason the team struggled. It would be easy to look at a player with a similar season and assume he was on the decline, but the big man is only 24. He reportedly was having some trouble breathing at full gallop, and he hopes that minor surgery on a deviated septum in the offseason will give him more fuel. If Drummond has a significantly better year then the team will improve, so your view of this team has to be shaped by your optimism surrounding him.
Reggie Jackson is another key player who was not all he needs to be last year. Jackson missed the first quarter of the season last year and then never really seemed to fit in and make his selfish-for-a-point-guard style work as a positive for the team. It was as if the team had to find a style without him, and then they neither adapted to him nor he to them. This year he is talking the right talk about being more of a team player and driving things more through Drummond. If he can do that it will be a very good thing, but that "if" is bigger than the state of Michigan.
Avery Bradley is a very interesting addition to the team. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope overvalued his worth to the team and is now trying to prove himself worthy of a huge deal with a one-year contract with the Lakers. The Pistons traded Marcus Morris for Bradley to fill the gap at shooting guard. It feels like a very good move. Bradley is excellent defensively, and he is a strong leader. Of all the changes Boston made, this is the absence that it feels like they will miss most, and he is a big addition to this team. He knows a lot more about winning than the core of this team does, and he should be a positive ego check on Drummond and Jackson. Bradley is also a pretty strong shooter, which will help a team that was just plain inept from beyond the arc last year.
The pressure on this team will grow rapidly if they struggle early. Things can't continue on as they are if they aren't working, so rumors of trades and coaching changes will be in serious supply if they aren't achieving at least some mediocre goals. They don't need to be beating the Cavs or anything, but having something that looks like an offense, a center that isn't an expensive shell of himself, and some more cohesion and less ego-filled drama would all help.
2017 Detroit Pistons Additions and Departures
The trade for Bradley and the departure of Caldwell-Pope are the most significant moves of the offseason. Aron Baynes left for Boston in an underrated move because he was defensively solid. Langston Galloway joined from Sacramento to back up Bradley in a low-risk deal. Luke Kennard, taken 12th overall out of Duke, is the only player added through the draft. There is likely no hurry to rush him along.
2017 Detroit Pistons Futures Odds and Trends
Detroit Pistons Futures Odds
NBA title odds ( from BetOnline ) : +25000
Eastern Conference title odds : +10000
Andre Drummond MVP Odds ( from Bovada ) : +25000
Season win total (from BetOnline): 38.5 ("over" is favored at -125)
There were small profits to be had in betting against the team over the course of the season - they went 38-44 ATS. The profits were on the under, too - the record on the totals was 36-45-1.
2017 Detroit Pistons Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
I liked the team last year a bit and felt let down. I still like them to be a playoff team this year, though. The addition of Bradley is a net positive, Drummond should be better, and I hope that Jackson is both healthier and less selfish. I like the coaching as well. I expect them to be a playoff team and see mild value in the over on the season win total.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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