Detroit Pistons: Three Takeaways From Training Camp

Detroit Pistons training camp has had a decent amount of intrigue due to having a new head coach in Dwane Casey as well as being the first training camp for Blake Griffin as a member of the team. The team is expected to change around their offense under their new coach, but there isn’t much information out there on how things will change other than more 3-point shooting.

While things have been a bit quiet for the team, there are still a few takeaways from training camp. Let’s take a look at some of those takeaways.

Andre Drummond is probably going to shoot a good amount of threes

Andre Drummond spent a lot of time this summer working on his 3-point shot. He posted countless workout videos of his shooting sessions and said he was shooting close to 500 per day. It has created a lot of questions about just how many 3-pointers the Pistons big man is going to shoot this year.

We got a bit of an answer on media day when Andre Drummond answered a question about it. When asked how many threes he planned to shoot this year, he asked the reporter to give him a number. The reporter responded with “200,” and Andre Drummond responded with, “yes.” Dwane Casey doubled down on that when he said Drummond could be shooting up to 4 three-point attempts some games.

Even after all of that, it was still a bit difficult to believe until the Pistons open scrimmage on September 29 where Andre Drummond shot 1-4 from beyond the arc. He looked comfortable doing it and all of the attempts came within the flow of the offense. The concern of many Pistons fans with Drummond moving to the perimeter is that he would camp at the 3-point line waiting to put up a shot and it would take him out of offensive rebounding position, his most valuable skill. It didn’t appear that would be an issue during the scrimmage as most of the attempts were wide-open attempts near the end of the shot clock after ball movement.

It remains to be seen whether that is typical for Drummond or him just having fun in a team scrimmage. However, based on what coaches and Drummond himself are saying, all signs point to him shooting a good amount of threes this season.

There are videos of Drummond and Reggie Bullock trading shots from beyond the arc after practice that further add to the likelihood of this being a thing.

We have no idea who will be starting on the wings and Dwane Casey won’t tip his hand

During the Pistons open scrimmage, the “Blue Team” featured what many people viewed as the starting lineup. That team had the Pistons “Big Three” of Reggie Jackson, Blake Griffin, and Andre Drummond and the duo of Luke Kennard and Stanley Johnson on the wings. Dwane Casey was quick to shut down any questions about whether that would be his starting lineup on opening night by saying, “I wouldn’t read too much into it.”

That leaves us with very little information on who has the upper-hand when it comes to the starters on the wings. I made my case for who the two starters should be earlier in the summer, but it appears that it will be a completely open competition. It is important that the Pistons get good spacing out of their other two starters on the wing as well as solid defense and playing well off the ball.

It is pretty clear that Glenn Robinson III and Reggie Bullock fill that role the best, but we have no idea what Dwane Casey wants out of his wing players and it has not been made any clearer during training camp. It is one of those very important questions that we likely won’t know the answer to until the regular season starts.

The Pistons are taking things slow with their injured players

Both Jon Leuer and Reggie Jackson were injured last season. Both players spent the offseason recovering from their injuries. In the case of Jon Leuer, a knee injury has slowed down his return from last season’s ankle injury. Both players did not do a lot of 5-on-5 work during training camp.

This likely points to the Pistons new training staff taking injury prevention a bit more seriously. There were a few times over the last couple seasons when fans felt like a player was rushed back a bit too early only to suffer another injury or a setback right when they came back.

It may be a bit annoying to fans to see players brought along slowly, especially in the case of Reggie Jackson, who is very important to the Pistons’ fortunes for the upcoming season. At the end of the day, you need your players healthy when it matters most, which is hopefully the postseason at the end of the season. If bringing along Jon Leuer and Reggie Jackson a bit slower in their recovery for their injuries means the team will have them healthy at the end of the season, that is the best course of action. Hopefully they do the same for other players who unfortunately suffer injuries throughout the season.

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