NBA Restart: 2019-20
NBA Restart: 2019-20

2019-20 Season Recap: Detroit Pistons

Steve Aschburner

Steve Aschburner


Jun 5, 2020 2:26 PM ET

After All-Star weekend, Christian Wood averaged 24 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

The 2019-20 NBA season went on hiatus on March 11 because of  the coronavirus pandemic. The season will return on July 30 and's writers are taking an updated look at each of the league's 30 teams.

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Record: 20-46, No. 13 in Eastern Conference

Season summary: Things looked bleak enough early, based on Blake Griffin being less than healthy and appearing in only 18 games. But the wheels officially-unofficially came off on Feb. 6 when the Pistons traded Andre Drummond to Cleveland for loose parts. Detroit went 1-11 after the trade, but don’t forget it was 10-14 before the Mexico City trip to face Dallas on Dec. 12, then 9-32 the rest of the way. Whatever cap space the Pistons have for summer maneuvers won’t really be known until the financial hit of the virus shutdown on league revenues is clear.

Breakout player: Christian Wood is an unheralded -- and an unrestricted free agent this offseason -- 6-foot-10 big man with shooting range. He saw his playing time double once Drummond was moved and, in a small sample size after All-Star weekend, he averaged 24 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.  

Check out some of Derrick Rose's best plays from the 2019-20 season.

Statement win: When the Pistons beat San Antonio 132-98 on Dec. 1, it was more than just their highest point total of 2019-20 (surpassed Jan. 18 at Atlanta). The Pistons led wire-to-wire, posted their largest margin of victory over the Spurs and got 75 points off the bench, 50 rebounds and 70 points in the paint.

Most exciting game: Nine, count ’em, nine different Detroit players scored in double figures in the 126-112 loss to the Clippers in L.A. Jan. 2. That’s the most Pistons chipping in at least 10 points since back in 1963-64. Aside from that, the Pistons were down 17-7 against Atlanta on Nov. 22, these guys scored 20 straight and put up 76 points in the first half, the most by a Pistons squad in 37 years.

Memorable moments: Drummond, a double-double machine, was putting up stats (17.8 ppg, 15.8 rpg) better than in his two All-Star seasons. But he was toting a $28.7 million player option for 2020-21 with a game that is a tricky fit in today’s NBA. Twelve days later, the Pistons bought out and waived Reggie Jackson. Griffin last played on Dec. 28 and will be shopped (despite $75.5 million due him over two more seasons). Lastly, Luke Kennard hit six 3-pointers and became the first Detroit bench player to score 30 points in a season opener at Indiana on Oct. 23.

The Pistons scored a thrilling win against the Nuggets in early February.

Team MVP: Who would have believed it if someone said at season’s start Derrick Rose would be healthy and Detroit’s best point guard? He stirred echoes by scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter and hitting the game-winner against the Pelicans on Dec. 9. And check this out: Per 36 minutes, Rose was averaging 25.1 points, 7.7 assists and shooting 49.0% this season. Back in his NBA 2011 MVP season, he averaged 24.1 and 7.4, while shooting 44.5%, per 36. 

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Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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