The relative weakness of the Eastern Conference and the strength of Stan Van Gundy‘s coaching are among the reasons that some, including Zach Lowe of Grantland, have predicted that the Pistons will make the playoffs this season. Still, health will be key, and Detroit has already absorbed a punch in that area, as we detail:
- Jodie Meeks will miss approximately eight weeks with a stress reaction in his lower back, the team announced. The injury, which knocks the shooting guard out for about six regular season weeks, lends additional intrigue to the decision Van Gundy and his staff have to make regarding the team’s 16 fully guaranteed contracts, one more than the team is allowed to carry come opening night.
- The Pistons are “very diligent and very active” as they look at trade options around the league, as GM Jeff Bower told MLive’s David Mayo for a piece that came out before the news of the Meeks injury. Van Gundy has given Bower the authority to talk to the heads of other basketball operations departments around the league as the two Pistons execs collaborate in the front office and build a larger, more analytically minded staff, Bower explains to Mayo.
- Early word out of Detroit is that Pistons big man Greg Monroe will come off the bench, writes Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. If Van Gundy goes through with it, it’ll be interesting to see how a reserve role could shape Monroe’s value on the open market after this season, when he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.
Zach Links contributed to this post.