Let’s get right to it. Christian Wood was the star this season for the Detroit Pistons, and not many people are going to disagree with that. Through this underwhelming season of Pistons’ basketball, Christian Wood was a light that shined during these dark days of basketball purgatory. He has given Pistons’ fans some hope, that there seems to be a light at the end of this dark tunnel that the team has traveled through for the past decade. This team has had is shining moments through the last ten years, with playoff appearances and some hopeful additions of rookies and other players, but what Christian Wood did this season was (hopefully) light the spark for an exciting decade of Pistons’ basketball.
The Detroit Pistons acquired the fourth-year big man off waivers on July 17th, 2019. When looking at some highlights before this year, there was definitely potential and explosiveness right away when watching him, but he never really got that shot to prove he belongs. Though he had a nice stretch of games with New Orleans at the end of the 2018-2019 season, he only played eight games. With that, he still had to scratch and claw his way to earn the final roster spot for this season’s Piston team, beating out Joe Johnson and Michael Beasley. Before coming into the season, he had only played 51 regular-season games, but he immediately was starting to win over the hearts of Pistons’ fans.
Wood started to show flashes of a future star, from being able to do what the modern NBA big man can do at a high level and showing how diverse his playstyle is. Not only can he post up and block shots, but he can also play like a guard. Though he doesn’t have the quickness like a guard, he can handle the ball well and change speed and direction quickly and effectively at his size, shoot the three-pointers well and have enough quickness and size to guard some forwards. This forced Casey to play Wood more, giving the pistons some flexibility in what players they can implement with him in the lineup, and being able to move up and down the floor quicker while spreading out the offense.
Christian Wood would start receiving consecutive starts on February 7th, the day after former Pistons’ Center Andre Drummond was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He made an immediate impact for Detroit and didn’t look back. He tallied up 27 points with 12 rebounds, and 5 assists while playing 35 minutes against the Oklahoma City Thunder that night. While the Pistons lost the night, the excitement around the potential future of Christian Wood here in Detroit grew.
Wood capped off the year averaging 13.1 points per game, 6.3 rebounds, an assist, and block while shooting 54.6% from the field and 38.2% from the long line. His stats don’t define the kind of hot streak he was on before the season was suspended. He managed though to finish in double digits in scoring in the last 13 games while grabbing another 10+ rebounds in 7 of those games.
These stats don’t even scratch the surface of what else he has done for this team like his aggressive and energetic play. Whether it’s running the fast break by himself going coast to coast, blocking multiple shots in a row, or throwing down some beautiful ally oops, this team is more fun to watch with him out there. Plus, there is no better feeling watching Christian Wood go up and try to obliterate someone with a powerful dunk. It makes it even better cause he does it every time, it’s like a layup doesn’t exist for him under the basket.
His play has made it clear; the fans have made it clear… The Detroit Pistons NEED to bring back Christian Wood. This rebuild would tremendously be improved with the resigning of Christian Wood. Though there are some doubts with the 6’10 big man that he will return after posting a cryptic tweet:
Still, a franchise should do their best to bring back their best player from the year before, right?