NBA: What’s the potential for the Pistons in 2023-24?

Detroit Pistons Sport News


  • After a 17-win season, expectations for the Pistons and new coach Monty Williams are low. The Pistons haven’t won a playoff series since 2008.
  • The Pistons have options and young talent at spots, but do they decide to go with a youth movement, or play veterans with hopes of making the playoffs?
  • The NBA is debuting a new In-Season Tournament this year with the winner taking home the NBA Cup.

The first preseason game for the Detroit Pistons against the Suns had a little bit of everything. The young Pistons looked brilliant at times, unfocused at others. They rallied from a big deficit to force overtime, but then faltered and lost.

Detroit continues pre-season Thursday night in Montreal against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They open the regular season on Oct. 25 against NBA finalist Miami Heat.

If you believe in the Pistons, now is a great time to take advantage of the odds at Michigan sports betting outlets. DraftKings has the Pistons +20000 to win the NBA Central Division, while BetMGM lists them at +25000. BetMGM does have Detroit as +550 to make the Play-In Tournament. Both sportsbooks have markets on players and team performances throughout the NBA season.

But what are some real expectations for the Pistons this season?

Setting the Course

The Pistons youth movement took a detour last season when star guard Cade Cunningham got injured just 12 games into the season. Cunningham, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, has already shown the ability to play at an All-Star level in the NBA.

Losing Cunningham made it a lost season for the Pistons, who then embraced going young with Jaden Ivey taking over at center. Then they traded for James Wiseman from Golden State. Wiseman was the No. 2 pick in the 2020 Draft, got hurt his second year, and still hasn’t realized his potential.

The Pistons need to decide just how young they want to be this season. Do they roll with Cunningham, Ivey and new draft pick Ausar Thompson, or use veterans Bojan Bogdanovic and Josh Harris? Is Wiseman a player or destined to be an all-time bust?

Short term playing the veterans would work, but long-term playing the young kids is a better option.

One Tournament Down

The good news for the Pistons is they’ve already made a version of the NBA playoffs, in a way. This season the NBA is debuting an In-Season Tournament with all 30 teams.

Think of it like the U.S. Open Cup in MLS, or one of the many in-season tournaments during soccer season in Europe.

All 30 NBA teams were placed in five six-team groups. The Pistons were put with the Hawks, Cavs, Pacers and Sixers. Tournament games (which also count in the regular season standings) will be Tuesdays and Fridays in November. The winner of each of the six groups plus two wild cards from each conference make the Knockout Round. The semis and finals (Dec. 9) are in Las Vegas. The winner gets the NBA Cup.

This type of format should provide excitement and give the Pistons a chance at taking home a trophy.

Best Bet for the Pistons

There is a lot of talent on the Pistons roster, but this will probably be another season where the Pistons struggle to get over .500.

What fans should hope for is to see just who fits in to the eight-man rotation each night, who plays defense and who can score. Everyone in the NBA is athletic, where the Pistons need to improve is defensively, and staying healthy.

Sportsbooks have the Pistons win total pegged around 27-28 wins. 30 wins might not get you into the Play-In Tournament (for the ninth and tenth seed) but it’s a reasonable goal.

Detroit finishes the season with a brutal nine games out of 11 on the road. Piston fans should hope the team is still in contention for the Play-In Tournament by the time that swing starts. If so, consider the year a success.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.