Will the stumbling Detroit Pistons make a Playoff run?
The Pistons are in a fix right now, a seven-game losing streak just pushed them back to the 8th and last playoff spot in the East from a surprising 2nd place position after 20 games.
In this losing streak, their offense has bogged down. Against the Denver Nuggets, they failed for the 5th time in a 7-game stretch to score 100 points. Defense wins you championships but with a below average offense and LeBron James in their way, it's not easy for Detroit to make a meaningful Playoff run.
They rank 23rd in points per game (102.4) and they shouldn't be ranking 20th in rebounds per game with a big guy like Andre Drummond just eating glass for dinner. Their losses have come to teams over .500 and they have had the toughest schedule in the NBA, but for a team which we thought was a good contender in the east, these slumps are much worse than they actually are.
Detroit had a bad start last season offensively and defensively and they just played catch up.This season, they turned up the D but can they turn their stagnant offense around?
In the last seven games which they lost, Detroit has shot an average of 40.1% from the field (dead last in the league), 33.0% from 3-point land (25th in the league) and with Drummond just posting single digits in 3 straight games while shooting a mediocre 4-of-18 from the field for a guy who lives in the paint is just terrible. When you put up 29 3-pointers a night, although they're just 14th in that category, and make only 33% of those 3's you're in trouble.
With the 22nd ranking in pace overall, they aren't putting up enough fastbreak points to outscore their opponents either. Everybody who follows the NBA as a fan or an analyst knows that in the playoffs the offense needs a superstar and neither Tobias Harris nor Reggie Jackson have that in them and Drummond as a focal point of an offense in today's NBA is just not effective enough. Its good when cuts are meaningful and the ball moves without agenda but they rank 21st in Assists per game at 21.7 per game, just not enough for a team without a superstar offensive player.
A lot of Detroit's offense has come from the bench with Ish Smith playing really well coming off the bench acting as a spark plug. But, Detroit's starting lineup of Stanley Johnson, Tobias Harris, Reggie Jackson, Avery Bradley and Andre Drummond has a net rating of -7.5 in 393 minutes of play with a slow pace of 97 possessions per game.