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The band is (mostly) back together but will we actually learn anything?
The Detroit Pistons, or most of them, anyway, are back together and holding a voluntary group workout. The team is in its own bubble of sorts, shuttling from hotel to workout facility as a team.
This is unequivocally a good thing. You don’t want skills to atrophy or development to plateau. Still, from the outside looking in, I’m wondering if there is anything fans can actually learn about this team.
It’s more of an ambling zombie shuffling toward an inevitable, sad conclusion to a bizarre season than it is getting prepped and ready for the next phase of the franchise.
Maybe that’s just me being harsh. New GM Troy Weaver is getting an up-close-and-personal look at his players. Young guys who, hopefully, spent much of lockdown working out, enter the gym in the best shape of their lives.
With this artificial distance, though, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to glean anything of substance until the team actually suits up for public consumption, which might not be until late December.
Reporters aren’t on hand to experience anything during these workouts. Yes, the coaches and players are making themselves available to the media, but if you think they spoke in empty platitudes after a tough loss in the regular season, you can only imagine the kinds of things said after private, closed workouts and scrimmages.
We’ll hear everyone is battling, playing hard and doing the right things on the court and in the weight room. We won’t, however, hear from the few remaining veterans on the team — Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose among them — who are not at the voluntary workout and instead handling their offseason regimen from home.
So everything will be second-hand All we will know for sure is the PIstons are working out together, scrimmaging together and competing together. Maybe that’s good enough. Especially since the only players fans are really worried about developing are the young guys who are in attendance.
The invited roster includes :
- Luke Kennard
- Sekou Doumbouya
- Bruce Brown
- Svi Mykhailiuk
- Tony Snell
- Thon Maker
- Khyri Thomas
- Justin Patton
- Jordan Bone
- Louis King
Kennard, now healthy, can maybe put executives’ minds at ease about how much he can be part of the future of the rebuilding Pistons. Maybe Sekou takes the kind of step young players do and becomes more consistent and talented so much so you can see it on the practice floor. Maybe Patton disposes Maker as a reserve center for next season.
Whatever happens, we fans won’t really have a clue. This bubble, more than the ones in Orlando, is impenetrable.