After the Detroit Pistons were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said “We’re going to have to grow from within. We have a lot of talent with our young guys, but they have some areas they can get much better.”
Enter Bruce Brown who Detroit drafted during last June’s NBA draft. Brown did not look like he would make that big an impact. In fact the Pistons rookie thought he would be in street clothes watching from the press box a lot. Instead, Bruce Brown found himself starting 56 games and played more minutes than all second-round picks other than the Dallas Mavericks Jalen Brunson, the 33rd draft pick.
His physical strength helped Brown become a defensive weapon for the Detroit Pistons. Not a single player put up better numbers in strength testing at the 2018 NBA draft combine than Bruce Brown.
This offseason the Pistons are asking Bruce to primarily focus on improving his 3 point shooting, Brown shot just .258 from the 3 point arc and was a reluctant shooter, averaging only 7.8 shots per 36 minutes and just 2.3 from the 3 point line per 36, but Brown also must use his God given physical strength and be a better finisher at the rim.
Dwane Casey likes Brown’s explosive first step and his strength which should allow him to finish strong. He just needs to trust his step more. Detroit wants to find a point guard this offseason. In the draft or free agency. However, I suggest what Dwane Casey has said. Bruce Brown can be that point guard the team is desperate for.
In short, Bruce Brown already has the tough part down. He is above average to very good on defense. The Pistons need him to switch gears a bit and focus on offense. Brown, can do it. It will take some time.
Brown already makes good decisions with the ball. Because he is so good on defense he has already guarded many different players at different heights. Because of his aforementioned physical skill level and he has a toughness that can not be coached. Detroit could go short term on a point guard on the free agent market and give Brown a chance to grow into the position.
I look to Bruce Brown to take another step next season.