Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Detroit Pistons open their season at No. 24 in SB Nation's NBA power rankings.
SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal has released his first NBA power rankings of the season, and it's no surprise that the defending champion Miami Heat are on top. Much further down the list are the Detroit Pistons, who come in at No. 24.
Here's what Rosenthal has to say about the young Pistons:
Here's a team still too busy digging itself out from under some contracts to be fully invested in winning immediately. On the other hand, they've got a surplus of splendid young big men, a weird and wonderful backcourt of Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight, and Lawrence Frank in charge. Remains to be seen how minutes get distributed with such an odd blend of veterans/expiring contracts and genuine young talent.
Detroit certainly has some talented pieces. Greg Monroe averaged 15 and 10 in his second season, establishing himself as one of the best young centers in the league. Behind him is Andre Drummond, the No. 9 overall pick in the draft who showed some promise in the preseason. The Brandon Knight/Rodney Stuckey backcourt is intriguing, although both have some major flaws.
Ultimately, the team's youth and lack of a superstar will hurt Detroit's chances of winning a lot of games. It would be a surprise if the Pistons finished in the top three in their division, but they are definitely on the upswing after a few really poor seasons.