Andre Drummond’s game will determine how far the Detroit Pistons go this season.
That appears to be the theory offered by CBS Sports, which ranks the Pistons No. 19 out of 30 NBA teams in its preseason power rankings.
The Pistons didn’t make the postseason cut last season, finishing 37-45 one season after reaching the playoffs (though it was a short-lived appearance, getting swept by the Cleveland Calvaliers).
Drummond, the Pistons’ 24-year-old center, saw his numbers dip last season, averaging 13.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game after averaging 16.2 and 14.8, respectively, in 2015-16.
This season, Drummond will hope to have Reggie Jackson for the entire season, after knee tendinitis limited the point guard to 52 games last season, and he’s also coming off offseason sinus surgery to rectify a deviated septum, which has helped his breathing. Drummond “remains the bellwether” for the team, writes Matt Moore of CBS Sports.
“Skepticism is smart with Detroit after how badly everything went last season,” Moore writes, “but with a weak East to beat up on, they could find their way to a good season very easily.”
The Pistons open the preseason Oct. 4 against the Charlotte Hornets at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. They take on the Hornets again Oct. 18 to open the regular season, aslo at LCA.
The defending champion Golden State Warriors lead CBS Sports’ rankings.