Brandon Knight was born eager. So he’s been restless this week, waiting for Arnie Kander to turn him loose as he nurses a mild case of plantar fasciitis while his teammates have logged the first full-court scrimmages of the off-season at the Pistons’ practice facility.

Jason Maxiell came to the Pistons as a four-year college player at a nationally prominent program to a roster as loaded with frontcourt savvy and depth as just about any in modern NBA history. Ahead of him on the depth chart for Flip Saunders’ first season, 2005-06, were Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, Dale Davis and Darko Milicic, still considered a prospect of considerable potential at the time.

Growing up in Connecticut and going to a boarding school, St. Thomas More, where I could walk to class, I never really felt I needed to drive anywhere. So I never got my driver’s license. I knew that had to change when I came to Detroit. So I got my driver’s license last week. I’ve known how to drive since I was 15 – never on the streets, but in parking lots or somewhere private. I’ve been catching rides to the practice facility with Kim and Khris, my teammates, and Khris lives just down the street from me. I guess I can start to give him a ride sometimes now.

For no more than a handful of NBA teams, the 2012-13 season will be assessed in the starkest possible terms: championship or bust. Miami, Oklahoma City, the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston and San Antonio fit that profile.

For everybody else, off-season analysis will be a little more painstaking. For many of them, it will be as simple as taking that next step. But toward what? Ask Pistons fans what the next step for their team should be and the answer more often than not comes back, “make the playoffs.”

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