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Evaluating the Detroit Pistons at the All-Star Break

We examine the Pistons going into the All-Star Break, looking at some futures betting lines, injuries and one player to watch in fantasy basketball.

Denver Nuggets v Detroit Pistons

The NBA Trade Deadline and All-Star Weekend have come and gone, so that means we’re in the home stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season. In this serious post-All-Star Break, we’ll go over the outlook for every team in the NBA. Here, we’ll provide a short glimpse at championship odds and playoff chances for each team. Also highlighted are key injuries to note and a fantasy basketball player to watch the rest of the season.

Where do the Detroit Pistons stand at the All-Star Break?

Record: 19-37
Playoff Chances: 0.7%
Championship Odds: +50000
Division Odds: +50000
Conference Championship winner: +50000

The Pistons’ season never really had a shot to get going. They opened the season with Blake Griffin injured following offseason knee surgery and he never got back to full health. He played in just 18 games at clearly less than full health before being shut down for the remainder of the season.

With Detroit well out of the playoff picture at that point, it opted to be a seller at the Trade Deadline. The Pistons traded away Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but didn’t get anything of much value in return. Detroit landed John Henson, Brandon Knight and a second-round pick for the former All-Star. This effectively confirmed that the Pistons will be a team falling to the bottom of the Eastern Conference by the time the season is over.

Prediction: Pistons will have a top-10 pick in the Draft.

Key Injuries for Detroit Pistons

Blake Griffin, PF/C (knee) — out
Luke Kennard, SG (knee) — out

Even though Griffin has the bigger name, Kennard’s injury has been just as impactful. Between the two players, Kennard has been the more productive player this season. Prior to getting hurt, he was quietly breaking out. In his third season, Kennard is averaging a career-high 15.8 points on 40% shooting from three. He’s expected to return sometime after the All-Star break although the Pistons haven’t given many definitive updates on his status.

In a positive injury development, Derrick Rose returned to the Pistons’ lineup before the All-Star break. He’s having one of his best seasons in years, averaging 18.5 points per game on career-best 49.8% from the field. It was a surprise to see Detroit hold him at the Deadline, so perhaps he is in the team’s plans beyond this season.

Fantasy basketball spotlight: Christian Wood

With Drummond out, Wood is now starting for the Pistons. So far, so good in his new role. As a starter, he is averaging 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Wood has been a per minute beast throughout his career, so he always figured to be a great fantasy player if he ever got the playing time. The issue was that it never seemed all that likely for him to get minutes coming into the season buried behind Drummond and Griffin on the depth chart. This is no longer an issue and Wood is getting all the minutes he can handle.

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