The 2016-17 Detroit Pistons season concluded at the 10th place in the east with a 37-45 record. The Pistons made the playoffs in 2016 for the first time in seven years. Their record that season was 44-38. So it is clear as day. Something went wrong last season.
First and foremost, Pistons making the playoffs in 2016 tells us a lot about head coach Stan van Gundy. He has a W-L% of 0.587, which is pretty impressive considering the talent he has had to work with.
Secondly, Reggie Jackson‘s numbers took a significant beating owing to his knee injury. He also missed 30 games. Then Andre Drummond also went from averaging 16 points and 15 rebounds to 13 points and 14 rebounds. Caldwell-Pope was also not as efficient as he was in 2015-16 season.
So it’s not difficult to see where it all went wrong. Everywhere! And yet they weren’t totally pathetic.
The Way Ahead
As good as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was, everyone knows he’s no Avery Bradley. A 2X time All-Defensive player, Bradley will be the Pistons’ first line of defence. Offensively, he’s just leaps and bounds better than Caldwell-Pope. Averaging a solid 16 points and 6 rebounds on 46% shooting, he may well be the leading scorer on the Pistons next season.
As far as wing is concerned, Detroit is good to go. Bradley and Pistons’ 2017 first-round pick Luke Kennard will surely stretch the floor out. This is really important for Pistons, a very bad shooting team; to make the postseason.
If Reggie Jackson can stay injury free for 70+ games this year and Ish Smith can back him up, at least until he’s back-to-normal, they can even grab the 5th or 6th seed.
Chinks in the Armour
The Pistons don’t have a lot of talent on their roster. The starters will have to do the heavy lifting. Their starting lineup looks legit on paper. Drummmond-5, Leuer-4, Harris-3, Bradley-2, Jackson-1 are all double-digit scorers. It will have to stay that way. Rookie Luke Kennard also needs to pour it in from deep.
In a watered down eastern conference, with a lot of teams on the rebuild; this is Detroit’s chance of moving up the ladder.
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