The Detroit Pistons haven’t any championship ambitions. A minimum of not lifelike ones. There’s been nice debate in regards to the franchise’s greatest plan of action this 12 months. A big faction believes tanking and rebuilding by means of the draft can be higher in the long run than preventing for the ultimate playoff spot and a certain defeat towards the Milwaukee Bucks.
If that’s the in-house plan, nobody bothered to inform the gamers. The Pistons outlasted Toronto Sunday evening to maneuver to 31-31 and into possession of the No. 6 playoff seed within the East. They’v’e received 10 of the final 13 video games and have acquitted themselves fairly effectively towards potential playoff opponents.
A better take a look at the numbers yields some stunning outcomes.
Over their final 13 video games, the Pistons have the fourth-most environment friendly offense within the league and the fourth-best protection. Their internet ranking of plus-Eight.6 is second within the NBA throughout that stretch. Shorten that timeframe all the way down to their final 11 video games they usually leap to first in offense ranking, scoring a Warriors-esque 118.1 factors per 100 possessions. This type of efficiency seemingly isn’t sustainable, but it surely has given the franchise hope—hope that its gamers are peaking on the proper time and hope that this season received’t find yourself just like the final two.
Blake Griffin is having fun with his greatest season as a professional, averaging 25.5 factors and weaponizing a three-point shot. Andre Drummond is including over 17 factors and 15 boards a contest. Importantly, the massive man has improved his free-throw capturing to the purpose he will be on the courtroom throughout crunch time.
The Pistons’ roster constructing has been mysterious. The addition of Thon Maker midseason made it seem to be Detroit was attempting to gather ALL the massive males in an space of position-less perimeter roaming.
There are clearly holes and deficiencies. Just one NBA workforce has a worse subject objective proportion than the Pistons. The ceiling right here doesn’t really feel particulary excessive.
However think about a first-round matchup with both Toronto or Indiana. Detroit has received each matchups with the Raptors and break up with the Pacers. Neither seem to be massive mismatches. However, there’s an argument to be made that the Pistons are taking part in in addition to they’re able to now and nonetheless wanted a number of luck to beat a Kawhi Leonard-less workforce.
So are the Pistons good? The brief reply appears to be: fairly good, in small doses. What’s clear is that in the event that they maintain taking part in like this, they received’t be a doormat come playoff time.