POP Season Preview: Baynes Back for a Strong Second Year
In the offseason the Pistons made strengthening their bench a top priority. They even brought in another center to strengthen what was probably their deepest position last year. Now Detroit could be rolling out an almost completely new bench in the upcoming season. However, one of the few returning role players who should still see plenty of action is center Aron Baynes.
In his first year with the Pistons Baynes played a critical part in Detroit’s run to the playoffs. He brought a toughness off the bench that gave the team a reliable option for when their star, Andre Drummond, was forced to the pine. You can expect more of the same next year, working as a physical big man who rebounds and scores efficiently in limited minutes.
Last year Baynes averaged 6.3 points as well as 4.7 rebounds per game in just over 15 minutes a night. He didn’t raise any eyebrows with his defensive statistics, nor did he really make an impact as a passer. Where he shines most is at the end of games when Drummond is forced off the floor. Baynes shot 76% from the free throw line last year and has shot over 80% from their over his career. With Drummond’s continued struggles at the line, Baynes is the kind of late game finisher that this team needs.
While I think Baynes is a very solid player, I also ink his numbers could slide a bit this upcoming year. With the addition of Boban Marjanovic, a big man who plays the same role that Baynes excels in, we could see a dip in Aron’s playing time. Both players bring the same kind of strengths and weakness as a backup, so if Baynes is struggling or not showing coach Van Gundy enough in practice then he could lose some of his minutes to the new comer. That being said, Baynes is still the main backup behind Drummond and you can expect him to play the same role he always has to start the season.
When Baynes is on the floor you can expect to see toughness in everything he does. His screens are punishing. When he goes for a rebound, he’s not afraid to get physical in the paint. This s why the Pistons wanted him back, despite their overall struggles from the bench last year. Baynes is solid and dependable, which is very much what you want in a role player.