Since beating the Indiana Pacers on the road, the Pistons are 2-5 in the last seven games. The Pistons are coming off three tough loses to the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards twice, as many thought the Pistons should be able to handle these teams with ease. This is not the type of stretch the Pistons want to find themselves in during this portion of the season. The hole they are digging themselves in will only get deeper from here.
When Joe Dumars hired Maurice Cheeks to become the new head coach for the Detroit Pistons, the 14-19 record was not part of the plan for the first 33 games. Dumars and Cheeks are well aware they might have only one more opportunity to prove themselves, especially Dumars.
Dumars’ decision to give Josh Smith a multi year contract, to trade for Brandon Jennings and sign finals MVP Chauncey Billups was a sign that the organization is headed in a new direction, a direction that led them to success, the same direction that led them to success in the early 2000’s. These decisions in the offseason were questioned by many and it is starting to become more evident as the season progresses.
First impression on the season is the Pistons are very talented but aren’t good enough. The Pistons come out of the locker-room with the type of swagger that gives one the feeling that they already accomplished something as a unit. The Pistons play with fire against tougher opponents but lack will, desire and heart against teams they should beat. That being said, the Pistons aren’t good enough to play as if they can ‘turn the switch on and off’ whenever they feel like it. These inconsistency issues are a representation of the coach, the coach Joe Dumars hired in the off-season that was supposed to lead Detroit to the playoffs.
Now lets get something clear, offensive floor spacing is not the biggest problem the Detroit Pistons are facing because they are averaging 99.9 points per game which is good enough to be ranked 15th in today’s high octane offensive standards of the NBA.
Despite the lack of shooting on the starting lineup, the Pistons have increased their 3 point percentage to 32.1 percent but are allowing a miserable 36.8 percent to their opponents. The Pistons are shooting a respectable 45 percent from the field but are allowing 46.8 percent to their opponents on the year and are allowing their opponent to shoot 51.0 percent in the last 3 games.
Despite leading the league in points in the paint at 51.8, they are allowing their opponents to score 42.9 points in the paint per night. The Detroit Pistons signed Josh Smith and decided to play him in the 3 position to help defend athletic wings and provide an unfavorable matchup for the opposition every night offensively and defensively.
The Detroit Pistons main problem seems to be on the defensive end. Poor defensive rotations on the perimeter and interior defense will haunt them all season if Andre Drummond or Greg Monroe can’t prove to be one on one defender. The problem is not contained to one aspect on the defensive end but its hurting the Pistons inside and out. Poor shooting percentages and not taking care of the basketball will only make things more problematic for the Pistons defensively as this allows opponents to get easier buckets, especially fast break points.
The Pistons need to do something quick or else time is running up for Joe Dumars and possibly Maurice Cheeks in Motown. Expect lineup changes and possibly a move or two by trade deadline because the Pistons don’t have time anymore to rebuild; too much money was invested this offseason and the fan base will eventually lose further interest in attending games.
Oh, did I also mention the Pistons are by far the worst free throw shooting team in the NBA at 66.5 percent? I’m sure you already knew that.
Comment below on what you think the Pistons should do to turn this season around.
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