The Detroit Pistons’ Rebuilding Process

    icon Jun 27, 2013
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Former NBA point guard and Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach, Maurice Cheeks, will have a third crack at a head coaching job when he was selected to mentor a young Detroit Pistons squad. The 56-year-old Cheeks previously called the shots for the Portland Trail Blazers and the Philadelphia 76ers, amassing a coaching record of 284-286 in the regular season and 5-11 in three playoff appearances. Detroit Pistons owner, Tom Gores, praised Cheeks not only for his basketball knowledge but also for his effective communication and leadership skills. Coming off a measly 29-53 record under coach Lawrence Frank, the Detroit Pistons seemed lost inside the court. They were at the bottom half of the league in points scored and points allowed. Even with the presence of young inside operators in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, the Michigan-based squad’s offense looked stagnant and often times ineffective, mainly because of the lack of chemistry and maturity in the team. In the middle of the season, Detroit acquired the services of veteran Jose Calderon in a blockbuster trade, but it only served as a band-aid remedy to their imbalanced roster. This upcoming draft, the team looks to set its sights on picking a solid back-up point guard in Michigan’s Trey Burke, or even the spitfire German guard Dennis Schroeder. 

Germany looks to make some noise once again with the inclusion of 6’2” Dennis Schroeder in the 2013 NBA Draft. His name may not be as highly regarded as other aspiring guards like the aforementioned Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, CJ McCollum, and Shane Larkin, but Dennis Schroeder lets his high-octane game do the talking. On paper, the 19-year-old German could perfectly fit Maurice Cheeks’ system. The kid is lighting quick on the ball, easily blowing by his opponents off the dribble, and extremely athletic on defense using his 6’7” wingspan. Though Dennis Schroeder is still raw in terms of physique and experience, he exudes confidence at the point guard slot. He is a willing passer and his court vision and play-making skills are developing steadily. Drafting this native of Braunschweig, Germany as the number 8 pick for the Pistons may come off as a gamble, but if Dennis Schroeder unlocks his true basketball potential, he could provide the team with a winning poker hand. If all goes well for the franchise, this could possibly be the start of the team’s re-emergence to the top of the heap, similar to what happened with soccer power house and Bwin’s sponsored club Real Madrid when they were out of title race after the Spanish Civil War. It is not an improbable move to say the least, but if this scenario materializes, it could make Pistons General Manager Joe Dumars a true basketball genius. 

An equally legendary strategist in his own right, Phil Jackson bestows his services to the Detroit Pistons as their special consultant. The “Zen Master” gives the struggling franchise the much-needed knowledge – coming from his 11 championship rings – and a different perspective on the game of basketball. With the recent hiring of Jackson and Cheeks, the upcoming NBA Draft that includes a pool of feisty point guards including Germany’s Dennis Schroeder, and a young core of developing players, the hopes of bringing back glory to a once storied franchise may come sooner rather than later. 

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