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Who Are the Detroit Pistons Coaches for 2020-21?
The NBA world has done Dwane Casey wrong. A successful head coach for years with the Toronto Raptors, Casey was shown the door, only to see the Raptors win their first-ever title the second he left.
His thanks for his hard work and dedication? Enjoying a full-blown rebuild with the Detroit Pistons.
Casey seems to be up to the task, of course.
The 63-year old heads an underrated Detroit Pistons coaching staff that will prioritize their two-star veterans in Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose while emphasizing team chemistry and player development.
Casey created a yearly title contender in Toronto, and there’s hope he can do it again in Detroit.
The mountain is tall, but Casey doesn’t have to make the climb alone. Let’s break down what he and his assistants bring to the table in my Detroit Pistons coaching staff analysis for the 2020-21 NBA season.
Dwane Casey – Head Coach
It all starts with Casey, who has loads of experience to lean on as he enters year three with the Pistons. He really hasn’t had much to work with since he arrived in 2018, yet he’s somehow willed Detroit to borderline .500 play during his time in Michigan.
I doubt even he can keep this rendition of the Pistons competitive, however.
Detroit is going to need to be overly reliant on aging stars who are decent bets to get hurt at some point. When that happens, it’ll be on Casey to develop new franchise point guard Killian Hayes, as well as a litany of other young prospects a rebuilding Pistons team has brought in.
The good thing is Casey isn’t delusional. He’s already fully embracing a lean toward the young guys.
#Pistons Dwane Casey on Killian Hayes maybe getting a lot of minutes early on: "That's one of the goals for this year — to force-feed some of the young players."— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 1, 2020
This is great, as it could help accelerate Detroit’s future. For a coach whose bread and butter is setting players up for success by establishing the core principles of the game, he may be perfect for what the Pistons are trying to accomplish right now.
There was a really nice breakdown after Casey’s first season, which highlighted his strengths and weaknesses compared to former Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy.
One key note was Casey’s tendency to give players the ability to make mistakes and grow within their role. Here’s my favorite line from that article.
On a young team with no clear direction just yet, Casey would be wise to continue that approach.
Detroit Pistons’ Assistant Coaches
- Sid Lowe
- Sean Sweeney
- Tim Grgurich
- Micah Nori
Casey is aided by a solid coaching staff, starting with former NBA journeyman Sid Lowe. The 60-year old Lowe has been part of Casey’s staff since 2018 and has been on the sidelines in The Association at some level since 1983.
Lowe has worked under Flip Saunders in the past, has been the head coach at the NBA level for 307 games, and spent five seasons as the main man at NC State.
Less experienced is Sean Sweeney, who is, regardless, one of the brighter minds rising up the NBA coaching ranks. He’s currently tasked with running Detroit’s defense, but he’s also gained a reputation for helping develop star talent.
Sweeney spent time under Jason Kidd in Milwaukee and had a direct hand in the rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Is it possible he could have a similar impact on Sekou Doumbouya? That has to be Detroit’s hope.
Don’t forget about Tim Grgurich, who is 78 years young and offers loads of experience. Grgurich has dabbled with head coaching but is largely known for being one of the more reliable NBA assistant coaches on the circuit.
Grgurich has spent time under George Karl and is best known for his defensive intensity, as well as his passion for the game.
Micah Nori rounds out a very good Detroit Pistons coaching staff.
Nori came over from Denver in 2018 after spending time on Michael Malone’s coaching staff. His ties to Casey stem back to his scout days with the Raptors, while he’s been working as an assistant since Malone’s time in Sacramento.
It’s going to take time for everything to fall into place when you look at the 2020-21 Detroit Pistons. The franchise is clearly rebuilding, and their best players can’t exactly be trusted.
Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose are legit candidates to be traded or placed on injured reserve at some point this year, while the team as a whole probably won’t be very competitive.
The good news is Detroit has a good coaching staff that will teach the basics at a very high level and will also put these young players into a position to succeed and grow.
Sweeney is the name that stands out the most, as he’ll really help the young prospects find their games, and Detroit’s defense will usually have a strong game plan, as well.
Casey won’t always make the right decisions or adjustments, but he’s a good head coach for a young team trying to find its way.
For more 2020-21 NBA coaching staff analysis, check out the links below.