The Fresh Prince of Detroit

Last season was finally the end of an era for Detroit basketball. The Pistons were no longer considered one of the NBA’s elite teams after dominating for much of the decade. They lost their leader with Chauncy Billups and brought in Allen Iverson, who really showed his age in being benched for the post-season. The Pistons did some housecleaning in the offseason and brought in some key free agents to jump-start the franchise. The ’09/’10 Pistons look like a Who’s Who of University of Connecticut All-Americans, bringing in PF Charlie “Don’t Call Me Athena” Villanueva and SG Ben Gordon to play alongside veteran G Rip Hamilton. Coming from Milwaukee, Villanueva will be able to maximize his scoring and rebounding talents, while getting more burn in Detroit (just keep him away from that Milwaukee’s Best!). Ben Gordon is instant offense wherever he plays. Some might say he’s a bit of a gunner, but if the ball is going through the hoop (which it usually does), then there isn’t a problem. Running the show at point will be be shoot-first-pass-second point guard Rodney Stuckey. With Stuckey and Gordon on the court at the same time, it looks like it will be one and done on the offensive end, and that can put you in a hole quick if the shots aren’t falling. The two constants remaining for Detroit are Hamilton and SF Tayshaun Prince. The Pistons know that they are going to get solid, consistent production from these two, who know how to make big plays in crunch time. With former Pistons fan-favorite C Ben Wallace back in the fold, the Motor City looks to rev up the engines once again in hopes of a return to championship form this season. Prodigy’s take: Look for little to no “D” in Detroit this year. They have shed their tough, intimidating style of ball for a more up-tempo approach. It’s not the typical Pistons style of ball that you are used to, and I’m not sure it’s going to work. The Pistons will be a middle of the pack team in an otherwise forgettable season. Prediction: 3rd in Central.