The Detroit Pistons have already experienced the highs and lows of an NBA season but need to find a level of consistency to enjoy success.
The Detroit Pistons have gone through both the ups and the downs that come during an NBA season.
After a win against the Houston Rockets at home, the team evened their record to a respectable 9-9. Even though the Pistons were successful to kick the season off, they came back to Earth and started losing some games they should have won.
After a 5-1 start, the team went through a four game losing streak and has only been able to win consecutive games on one occasion.
This team has looked every bit of a .500 team thus far, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Some nights, the offense looks smooth and effortless through Reggie Jackson’s penetration and Andre Drummond’s prowess on the offensive glass. Others, the ball gets stuck and players dribble the shot clock down and force themselves into tough shots.
In losses, the Pistons shoot a miserable 38 percent from the floor, making it difficult to win against even the weakest of opponents. Their turnovers also make a jump from 12.6 to 15.6 per game, another reason they struggle to win these games. Any offense is bound to sputter when shots aren’t falling and possessions are being given away due to turnovers. Long rebounds on perimeter shots and turnovers turn into fast break opportunities for the opposition to score easy baskets.
The solution to the Pistons’ struggles with inconsistency is simple, yet difficult to achieve: putting the ball in the basket efficiently. This roster is built around the ability to run pick-and-rolls and hit perimeter shots off of the drive-and-kick. Stan Van Gundy surrounded Jackson and Drummond with shooters in order to make this offense run smoothly and at a fast pace. However, many of these players have struggled to find their shot to this point, which is causing some of the problems the team is having.
Nov 29, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets forward Thomas Robinson (41) during second half at Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons 87-83.
Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Morris is shooting a frosty 27 percent from the long line after his hot start to this 2015-16 campaign. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is also struggling with his range, only hitting about 31 percent of his three-point attempts. As a player who was drafted with high hopes about his ability to space the floor, KCP has a lot to work on moving forward. There are multiple other players having similar struggles, which is adding up to awkward trips down the court where three players stand around the arc and hope Jackson and Drummond can create some offense to create some offense.
Some nights, this works out for the Pistons, but it is not a strategy to lean on. Jackson is at his best when he lets the game come to in, picking and choosing his spots of when to be aggressive looking for his own shot or setting his teammates up for their own looks. Monday’s win against Houston is an example of how well the team can play; especially when Jackson slices and dices a defense the way he did against the Rockets.
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His scoring ability opened up open cutting lanes and jumpers for the Pistons, which they hit at a 52.9 percent clip. When the Pistons shoot the ball well, they are a dangerous team who can beat anyone in the league. When they struggle from the floor, they look awkward and sloppy. If the key rotational players for the Pistons can consistently find their range, they will come out on top more often than not.