Finishing 30-52 last season, the Detroit Pistons had the 24th best record in the NBA. After a quiet offseason, the team is not attracting higher expectations.
Instead, the Pistons have fallen a spot to 25th in the season's first NBA Power Rankings by Britt Robson of SI.com.
Last year respected veteran players staged a mutiny on the beleaguered coach and an owner burned by president Joe Dumars' overspending on free agents in 2009 sat on her pocketbook waiting for someone to take the Pistons off her hands. Now there is a vibrant new owner in Tom Gores willing to give Rodney Stuckey $25 million for the next three years, and a new coach, Lawrence Frank, with the pedigree to lift Detroit from its 28th-place ranking in defensive efficiency. Tayshaun Prince has re-signed for four years, and some promising players, including Stuckey, center Greg Monroe, forward Austin Daye and rookie point guard Brandon Knight, will help with Frank's rebuilding. But for Detroit to approach a break-even record, those expensive free agents from two years ago, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, have to start earning their keep.
Detroit concludes its preseason schedule on Tuesday on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and then they get a chance to prove doubters wrong when they open the regular season on Dec. 26 on the road against Central Division foe Indiana Pacers.