The Detroit Pistons believe they’re ready to compete any time and any place against anybody, and they let that be known at media day.This will either be the best delivered upon hype in Pistons history or a big letdown. From the office of the general manager, to the players, the words of Pistons’ media day were: Compete, win, aggression, family and confidence. General manager Troy Weaver kicked off media day availability by speaking highly and complementary of the Pistons roster. Head coach Dwane Casey said this is the most talented and balanced Pistons team during his time in Detroit.
What the Players Said
Cade Cunningham shared a glimpse into what he and his teammates feel, as they are on the precipice of training camp:
“All we’re focused on is playing to win. If we play as hard as we can, the wins will take care of themselves.”
Killian Hayes even mentioned how confident he was on three separate occasions. The important thing to note here, his confidence and aggression is often questioned by fans.
Jaden Ivey wasn’t going to be outdone either. His statements were probably the most direct about what the Pistons hope to accomplish this season.
“Trying to get to the playoffs this year, that’s the main goal. I really don’t have anything else on my mind but winning.”
This is exactly what you want to hear out of a young team with the expectations of restoring the franchise to former glory.It’s been about 15 years since this team had real hope. So it’s understandable that some fans are already asking for the team to walk the walk, instead of lip service.The unique aspect of this team is the blend of confidence with apparent high IQ. That perfectly counters what some call, potentially, their biggest weakness: being a young team.
This team spent the summer working on getting better in the areas identified by the team’s coaches and development staff. The nuance here is that this team is listening and working. Now all that is left to see are the results. Media and content creators have pondered since the draft, if the Pistons can make a surprising jump this coming season. After hearing from the players, it was difficult to miss the belief they have.
The players from Cade, to Marvin Bagley III, to Jalen Duren, they all gave credit to Troy Weaver and Dwane Casey for the “compete every night” mindset.When asked about where this team is in its progress, Troy Weaver compared the Pistons arc to the Memphis Grizzlies. Weaver mentioned how the Grizzlies are entering the contending phase, but moving out of the phase he believes the Pistons are now arriving at. A place Weaver referred to as the “competing stage”:
“We’re in the competing stage right now… I think Memphis was competing and are now trying to enter the contender phase…consistently now we’ll be able to compete with who ever we play”.
The Memphis Grizzlies were a young team with similar make-up to the Pistons. A young, but high IQ team built around a dynamic ball handler. There are other components to compare as well, but this is the foundation. If you believe Cunningham will resemble more the player he was post All-Star break last season, then this team should be difficult to beat every single night just as Weaver alluded too. The expectation and the gauntlet have been thrown down by Weaver, who’s been part of team builds that started with a youthful foundation. Whether it was as a talent evaluator, at the collegiate level or his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Troy Weaver would be the one to know if his team is ready to take the next step forward. His words are more than just lip service and his track record more than proves so.
If you believe in what the Pistons are selling on media day, get ready for exciting, fun and competitive nights at Little Caesars Arena.
Want More Pistons?
For the best in Pistons’ coverage, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Follow Brandon Dent (Woodward Sports Network Pistons Beat Reporter) aka @DetroitKoolAid on Twitter and Instagram for more WSN Pistons Coverage.