On May 14, Pistons owner Tom Gores announced that Stan Van Gundy would be the team's new coach and president, replacing John Loyer and Joe Dumars, respectively. In eight NBA seasons as a coach, Van Gundy had never had a losing season or missed the playoffs. He took the 2005 Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Pistons, and got the 2009 Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals. The switch also ended Dumars' 29-year affiliation with the franchise. Dumars won two NBA championships in a playing career that lasted from 1985 to 1999, then moved to the front office to build the roster that won the 2004 title.
Andre Drummond rises to the occasion
The Rising Stars game on All-Star weekend isn't exactly known for fundamental basketball, with most rookies and sophomores using the night to put on a showcase of their dunking skills. Andre Drummond, though, used the 2014 game to highlight his own skills. Playing for former Piston Grant Hill, Drummond put up 30 points and 25 rebounds in a 142-136 win over Chris Webber's team. Drummond hadn't gotten much attention as a rookie, because of a back injury, and Detroit's struggles also limited his time in the spotlight, but he shone in front of a national audience in New Orleans.
Chauncey Billups ends his career
On February 7, Chauncey Billups played nine minutes in a 111-95 win over Brooklyn at the Palace. It was just his 19th game of the season, and while no one realized it at the time, it was also the last game of his 17-season NBA career. Billups, the MVP of the 2004 Finals, had come back to Detroit at the age of 37 to try to help a young franchise as both a player and a mentor, but knee problems kept him from making much of impact. He finished in second place in career 3-pointers as a Piston and fourth in assists.
Bigger is better
The Pistons had a new coach and a remodeled roster for the 2014-15 season, but the most impressive addition was hanging from the Palace ceiling. The new high-definition scoreboard includes six video screens -- two slanted for fans sitting courtside -- and is 60 feet long and 22 feet high. The scoreboard, which is three times bigger and much sharper than the previous board, was the final step in a $40 million renovation of the Palace over the last three years.
Avoiding a record
Going into their Dec. 12 game in Phoenix, the Pistons needed a win to avoid a 13th straight loss, which would tie the franchise record. With a brutal schedule coming up, a loss to the 12-11 Suns could have kept the streak alive until Christmas. Drummond, though, had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Josh Smith added a double-double and Jodie Meeks had 12 points in his season debut as the Pistons ended the slide with a 105-103 victory. One night later, they showed it wasn't a fluke by beating Sacramento behind another pair of double-doubles from Smith and Drummond.