On the third day of season, my Pistons brought to me…

The Pistons went from being on the top of the NBA (well, they were 1-0, which was technically the best in the NBA) to not the top but at least not the bottom. There have been a lot of positives and some negatives to start the season.

The Positives

First, Cade is looking way better than he did in preseason. He is shooting 35% from deep, an improvement from last year. He has is dropping over 18 ppg while over a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio. It is pretty, but it isn’t awful.

Second, Jalen Duren looked great in his first two games. He has seemed to found a way to play cleaner on the defensive side, which has kept him on the floor longer. He became the youngest player in NBA history to record a double-double; plus, he has shown some ability to be a rim protector.

Third, Jaden Ivey is progressing nicely. He is putting up over 17 ppg, and while he needs to fix some turnover issues, he still has dished a decent number of assists. His speed and athleticism injects life into the offense. Best thing, he is shooting 45% from deep while even recording his own double-double.

Finally, the old timers are doing their job. Bogdan is shooting an absurd 50% from deep and adding 19 points a night. Corey Joseph should be getting more playing time because he has almost been perfect from deep and adds six points a game.

The Negatives

First, the defense is still atrocious. It seems like every game garners a Dwayne Casey quote about not being able to switch effectively. There needs to be a major intervention here as the Pistons are giving up around 122 ppg. The defense was a major issue last year and hasn’t changed.

Second, Isaiah Stewart has not kept his three point shooting pace; actually, he is shooting 21% from deep so far. While he provides a lot on the defensive side of the game, he has to be providing the horizontal spacing if he can play alongside Duren or MBIII. Sad that we can’t be focused on the fact that he is giving us a double-double every night.

Third, injuries are an issue again. Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks were supposed to be rotational players, but neither has been out on the floor. Marvin Bagley was a potential starter, but he is out for weeks to months. The big man log jam at least worked itself out, in the worst possible way.

Finally, Killian has reverted back to previous year offense norms. He is averaging three ppg and shooting 11% from deep. He is doing some nice things on both sides of the ball, but a Top 10 pick needs to be doing more in Year Three.

What do we make of it all?

This team was designed to take its lumps while giving the young guys a chance to learn. The injuries have given Duren and Ivey a chance to play more minutes earlier than they might have. The Pistons are definitely scoring at a good clip; unfortunately, the defense is just awful. The Piston faithful are already groaning about tanking, and the first game victory is already forgotten with losses to two bad teams. Patience is going to be needed. Another Top Five pick might be the eventual outcome, but this group could also figure it out. Either way, the Pistons are young and getting time to grow- growth is just painful.

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