Detroit News 2019-20 Detroit Pistons final grades
Go through the gallery to see final grades and analysis for the Pistons' 2019-20 season by Rod Beard of The Detroit News.
The NBA season took an unexpected turn when it was suspended on March 11 because of the spread of COVID-19 and the first positive tests by players. The next unexpected turn came when the Pistons’ season ended Thursday after the NBA Board of Governors voted to have only 22 teams finish the regular season.
The Pistons finished 20-46 and will have the fifth-best odds of getting the No. 1 pick in the draft, which is expected to be in October.
All the oddities were emblematic of the Pistons’ season, which was filled with optimism that Blake Griffin could return and have another All-NBA season and that Derrick Rose, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson would combine to form a solid nucleus that helped the Pistons advance further in the postseason — or even win a playoff game.
None of it came to pass.
Griffin had a season-ending injury and Jackson and Drummond were gone at midseason, signaling another lost season and another trip to the draft lottery.
The Pistons did have some surprises, especially from Rose, Christian Wood and Langston Galloway. But injuries shortened the season for Luke Kennard and many of the young players had to contribute more than had been projected.
The Pistons struggled all season and finished on a five-game losing streak, including 12 of their last 13 games. Next season is more of an uncertainty, with decisions coming on the contracts for most of the roster and the long-awaited salary-cap flexibility on the horizon.
Coach Dwane Casey had a disappointing second season but some of the young players made encouraging improvements that could build the depth needed for them to form a stronger core for seasons to come.
Here are the season’s final grades, which are based on each player’s expectations at the beginning of the season and performance in the games they played.