With the end of the season for the Detroit Pistons, the look is to next year and what lies ahead for the team. The Pistons made the playoffs this year, thus ending the longest drought in the Eastern Conference of not playing in the post season. Although they were swept by the Cavaliers, the future is promising for the Pistons. The core of the team is young and talented, led by All-Star center, Andre Drummond and point guard Reggie Jackson.
The major improvement that must be made for the team to progress further in the free throw shooting of Drummond. In a season where he shot a league-worst 35.5% from the free throw line, Andre Drummond’s head coach says that the All-Star is thinking about shooting under-handed, amongst other possibilities next season. It is demoralizing for the team if their best player can’t be on the court during winning time if he can’t shoot free throws. He becomes a liability and the team is weaker. This situation probably cost the team at least one, maybe two games in the playoffs.
The Pistons are within 1 1/2 games of the Atlanta Hawks, who sit in the No. 4 spot, which would give them home-court advantage for a first-round playoff series. With their 13-5 home record — and 8-11 road record — getting home court advantage has to be the immediate goal if they’re going to make any kind of postseason run.
The Detroit Pistons are quietly making a little run toward making the playoffs for their play this season, led by center Andre Drummond and guard Reggie Jackson. The Pistons are 21-16 at this point in the season compared to their record of 13-24 last year at this time. That is an eight-game turnaround. Not bad!! We will continue to keep on eye on them as the season nears the midpoint. So far the results are positive for the new look Pistons.
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What is becoming very apparent for the Pistons in this young NBA season is the dominating play of center Andre Drummond. His statistics for the first six games are outstanding. He joins an exclusive group with those statistics. That group being Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in averaging 20 points and 20 rebounds per game in the first six games of a season. Not to say he is the player those two greats were, but the play on the court speaks for itself. Averaging a double-double (20 and 20) in points and rebounds is not something to take lightly. The #Pistons are a pleasant surprise so far in this season at 5-1, which is their best start since the 2007-2008 season. I will continue to observe this team through the first month and see where things then. So far, so good!
The Detroit Pistons currently are listed as number 17 in the power rankings of NBA teams. It’s anyone’s guess as to how the season will unfold for them. They could be on the verge of making the playoffs after seven straight losing seasons. An infusion of new blood gives Piston fans hope for an exciting season.
The Detroit Pistons like the potential of rookie Stanley Johnson, however when the regular season tips off, head coach Stan Van Gundy will bring him off the bench. From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press: “Van Gundy cited veteran presence and size as part of his reasoning for going with the 6-10 Ersan Ilyasova and 6-9 Marcus Morris. ‘I just think that’s our best lineup right now,’ Van Gundy said. ‘It gives a little bit more size, a little more experience. That’s where my comfort level is right now, but we’ll see how it goes early in the year, or even these (last) two preseason games.’ … Johnson, 19, was the eighth overall NBA draft pick out of Arizona and has excelled through summer league, training camp and part of the preseason. He is third in the NBA in preseason scoring (13.8 points per game) and is shooting an encouraging 44% from three-point range.”The rest of the starting lineup to begin the regular season include Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the backcourt and Andre Drummond at center.
With the 2015-16 NBA season about to start, the question is “will the Pistons make the playoffs”? The initial reaction would be Jim Mora-like “PLAYOFFS”? The team has had seven straight losing seasons and they said good-bye to their lone skilled player in the post in Greg Monroe. This years’ edition of the Pistons has a lot of jump shooters and will be built around the pick and roll moves of center Andre Drummond and guard Reggie Jackson. It will be interesting to see if Drummond has expanded his game around the post. If so, then things will be easier for the jump shooters brought in such as Ersan Illyasova, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes. Rookie Stanley Johnson looks like a “player” and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope looks to be improved, so I guess there is hope. Let’s hope they don’t start the season 5-23 like last year.