Here at Blue Man Hoop, we’re gearing up for the 2012-13 season by looking around the NBA to see how each team matches up with the Golden State Warriors. We’ll give you an overview of each opponent, a matchup or stat to watch and a measure of just how big a threat each opposing squad represents for the Dubs. Be sure to check out the other previews we’ve done so far on Blue Man Hoop: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets.
Detroit Pistons Overview
The Detroit Pistons were bad on offense last year (second-to-last in offensive efficiency) and bad on defense (25th in defensive efficiency), according to John Hollinger. So, it was no surprise that they finished with a 25-41 record—except that it was sort of surprising they finished that well. They ranked in the middle of the NBA pack in points allowed, but their slow pace, and not their defensive acumen, is the explanation for that.
New additions came almost entirely through the draft. Andre Drummond, Khris Middleton and Kim English are on board as rookies. Corey Maggette is in town and ready to continue his career as the league’s singe greatest ball-stopper on offense. Ben Gordon is gone, traded to the Bobcats for the aforementioned ball-stopper.
Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey are in the backcourt, along with veteran Tayshaun Prince, improving big man Greg Monroe and the interesting Jonas Jerebko up front. Aside from Monroe, the Pistons really don’t have any top-flight NBA talent.
Last year, Golden State took the lone contest between the two squads, winning 99-91 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Monroe tallied 25 points on 12 shots, but other than that, Detroit didn’t put up much of a fight. Without Stephen Curry, Golden State still shot 52 percent from the field and had a plus-11 margin on the boards.
Greg Monroe shot 14 free throws against Golden State last season. He fouled out David Lee in 34 minutes and racked up four more personals on Andris Biedrins. Monroe’s performance was a pretty good nutshell version of one of the Warriors’ key defensive weaknesses last season: the inability to handle legitimate centers.
Andrew Bogut, in theory, will present Monroe with a tougher challenge. Bogut won’t be quite so overmatched in the size and toughness departments, so he should have an easier time handling Monroe without fouling so frequently. If Bogut slows down Monroe, the Pistons will have to rely on Knight and Stuckey to provide most of their points. The Warriors will be fine with that.
Threat Level: 2/10
The only reason the Pistons don’t get a 1 in the threat level rating is because their guards are both pretty big and pretty physical. On their best day, if everything breaks right, the Pistons could give the Warriors a game. Otherwise, they won’t be an issue.