5 reasons the Detroit Pistons can win the Eastern Conference in 2018

The NBA preseason begins next week and fans in Motown are anticipating some major improvements in 2018.

1

Blake and Andre

These two can be a dominant force in the East this season - that is, as long as they stay healthy. Last season, Andre Drummond improved his stats, once again, from the previous year, by averaging 15 PPG (13 in 2017) and 16.9 (13.4) rebounds per contest. A full season with Blake Griffin at his side should make these two one of the top duos in the NBA.

2

Youth improvement

Reggie Bullock, Stanley Johnson, and Luke Kennard. If these three continue to trend upward from last season, Detroit should easily win 10 to 12 more games than they did in 2017. Bullock was a pleasant surprise for Detroit last season. The 27-year-old averaged nearly 12 PPG in 2017-18, which is well above his career average of 5.5. Johnson and Kennard, who are both 22 years of age, will also be looked upon to provide some punch on offense.

3

A healthy Reggie Jackson

The Pistons need Reggie Jackson, period. Detroit’s record is well above .500 when they have their starting point guard and leader on the floor - the problem is Jackson has missed more games than he has played over the past two seasons. Last year, Detroit fell to a bottom three offense in the NBA without Jackson for a long stretch. Jackson missed 37 games in the 2017-18 season, something that can’t happen in the 2018-19 season if Detroit is going to make a run at the East crown.

4

No LeBron

This one is simple - no LeBron and you have a wide open East. LeBron once again bolted from C-town, this time to L.A., and the Cavaliers are right back to a rebuilding team. While the Celtics are the overwhelming favorites to win the Eastern Conference in 2019, as well they should be, the Pistons have the talent to finish in the top four of the Eastern Conference standings. Once a team is in the postseason, anything can happen.

5

Dwane Casey

New coach, new attitude. Dwane Casey had great success during his time as the man in charge with the Toronto Raptors, but he couldn’t get anywhere near an NBA finals appearance. With the Eastern Conference being more wide open than ever, Casey may reach that goal within the next three years. Already, players like Andre Drummond, Ish Smith, and Reggie Jackson have said they see a big difference in attitude since Casey took over.

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