This season for the Detroit Pistons has, in many ways, followed the same course as every other playoff-less season at The Palace.
The team currently has a 17-23 record, which earns them seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Considering the fact that the East has four teams with losing records that are currently in playoff contention, these numbers will get them in.
Is that really what the Pistons are about?
In his second season in the NBA, 6-foot-10 center Andre Drummond has been making his mark in the league while trying to get the Pistons back on the track to dominance. So far this season, he leads the team in rebounds and blocks, as would be expected of a big man. The story doesn’t stop there though.
He also ranks third in the league in rebounds, beating out Houston’s Dwight Howard. Drummond also ranks third in overall field goal percentage, beating out Howard again, as well as LeBron James. To give comparison, Howard (34) and Drummond (32.5) both play around the same amount of minutes per game. The difference is that Howard is a seven-time NBA All-Star who showed up in the top-five last season in rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage. Drummond did not.
The improvement has been a good sign for the No. 9 overall draft pick in 2012. In college, at the University of Connecticut, Drummond had a decent career. He was seventh in the Big East Conference for two-point field goals and 10th for rebounds per game during the 2011-2012 season. That year, Connecticut finished outside of the top 25 and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Iowa State.
While the Pistons have a lot of work to do still, as long as players like Drummond keep improving, there may still be hope.
Colin Jackson is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.