USA Today ranked the Detroit Pistons as the No.6 team in their countdown that’s been ranking NBA teams based on their watchability.
The Pistons have to be elated by this No. 6 rating considering the utter lack of watchability their teams have had in recent memory, and especially the team a season ago.
The Pistons made radical and much-needed improvements to their roster and coaching staff this offseason. Many of the moves though were controversial and came with questioning:
Can Josh Smith improve as a shooter, or is he in a situation now where he doesn’t have to take as many bad shots? Is Brandon Jennings going to grow as a point guard and finally utilize the weapons around him? Was Maurice Cheeks the right coach to guide this completely retooled and eclectic lineup?
It’s much too early to answer any of these questions, but the city of Detroit and fans worldwide are certain of one thing: They’re excited to watch Pistons basketball again.
The Pistons have been cellar dwellers in terms of attendance for the past half decade. It’s rather disheartening when recounting all the sellouts and raucous crowds that flooded the Palace when the team was dominating the Eastern Conference year after year. Yet, nothing lasts forever.
Bad signings, bad drafting and no stability have rattled this once proud franchise.
But, things should definitely be on the upswing for this upcoming season.
This offseason Joe Dumars pulled out the checkbook and went contrary of the tanking route that has become so fashionable. With one of the deepest and most talent-ridden draft pools looking the franchise in the eye, Dumars instead of following the tank paradigm, tried to build a contending team now.
The moves have been bold, but one has to admire Dumars’ all-in approach to this upcoming season and impending future. For a guy who has taken a ludicrous amount of heat for his decision making (Gordon/Villanueva signings, Iverson for Bilups, Darko and the list goes on) didn’t back down and rolled the dice on this Pistons’ team and his future as their President of Basketball Operations.
The pressure is on Dumars and the Pistons this season more than ever. The city of Detroit is growing impatient with its basketball franchise, especially when observing the continued and storied successes of the Red Wings and Tigers and the improvement and buzz surrounding the Lions.
Will attendance make a pretty sizable surge?
Yes, it will initially and butts in seats will only increase if the team turns back into a winner.
And that’s the key word: winner.
The fate of Dumars and this franchise isn’t about attendance and watchability; it’s about wins. Nobody cares if the Pistons are the darlings of League Pass and have their highlights circled around every media outlet. The city of Detroit wants another winner.
Anything less than that is simply not enough.