The Detroit Pistons took the court Wednesday for the first game of the preseason and fell to the Detroit Pistons, 108-106.

While it wasn’t the result fans would have like to have seen, ultimately preseason wins and losses mean nothing. The game did provide several key things that should provide fans a reason to be optimistic about 2017.

The Wings
Third-year forward Stanley Johnson had a new face joining him on the wings for the first time Wednesday night in veteran Avery Bradley. The two created quite the pairing on defense, causing turnovers on a regular basis. While Bradley was already an established defensive threat in Boston, the 21-year old Johnson seems to be poised to blossom in 2017.

Free Throws
What’s more important than getting free attempts at points in the NBA? The answer is being able to make those attempts. Andre Drummond has been a lot like Shaquille O’Neal in the only respect that you wouldn’t want to be, he has historically been bad at free throws. Drummond acknowledged this and has put in tremendous work throughout the offseason, evening going so far as to work with a shooting coach. In Wednesday’s matchup, Drummond went 6-of-8 at the free throw line. While it’s just one game, this is a positive sign.

Luke Kennard
Kennard was selected by the Pistons with the 12th overall selection in this year’s draft. When someone is selected that high, expectations run wild but the results typically vary. Kennard provided plenty to be optimistic about in the loss, scoring 10 points while also having two assists, one rebound and one steal.

The Pistons will get another chance to show progress when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.