Pistons Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a lean decade-plus for the Detroit Pistons, but there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time since a prime Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace reigned at the Palace of Auburn Hills, there’s real hope for a competitive product in the Motor City.

The franchise is coming off one of the worst two-year stretches in its storied history. One of those seasons was brought about by horrific injury luck before being stopped short by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the other season, the one that just wrapped up, was by design.

The Detroit Pistons are finally preparing to step out of the ranks of bad basketball teams, and these three competitive goals will help them hasten the process.

The young Pistons were a team that made a name for themselves playing hard every night, making life miserable for their more accomplished opponents, but usually losing. It was all with the goal of building a culture of hard work while boosting NBA draft lottery stock, and when they ended up with the first overall pick in last month’s lottery, it was clear that everything went according to plan (and maybe even better).

With internal development and a certain top prospect named Cade Cunningham, the Pistons will be leagues better than last year by default, and even last year’s team could have had plenty more wins if a few things broke their way (or a few talented veterans got fewer rest nights off).

To get back to competitive respectability, the Pistons need to check off a few benchmarks. These three goals will get them there.

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