5 Changes Detroit Pistons Must Make This Offseason
5 Changes the Detroit Pistons Must Make This Offseason
The Detroit Pistons showed signs of hope in 2013-14 but clearly had a lot to work on. The best news for Pistons fans is that the pieces they have should be able to get the job done. The problems they have had seem to be based on the fundamentals and not making silly mistakes more than anything. This is a good sign for new head coach Maurice Cheeks, as he shouldn’t have to worry about not having enough talent. He just needs to figure out how to get the most out of them.
The Pistons are starting to get to the point where they can’t blame their struggles on youthfulness. Greg Monroe is entering his fourth year in the league, while Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond will be starting their sophomore seasons.
The Pistons will also be returning two of the pieces of their championship squad in 2004. Rasheed Wallace will be added to the bench as an assistant coach, and Chauncey Billups will technically be a member of the team as a point guard, but he could just as easily be called an assistant coach. The influence of two guys who have been there before should inspire the youngsters to higher levels.
The Pistons have what it takes to be a factor in the Eastern Conference, and they just need to figure out how to play together. With another year under their belts, they could easily start to gel and play well as a unit. They simply have to make a few key changes to get back on the right track.
5. Cut Charlie Villanueva
Charlie Villanueva is a black hole. Give him the ball, and you'll never see it again. He managed to attempt more 3-pointers than everyone but Brandon Knight despite playing just 15 minutes a game. He's supposed to be a decent shooter, but he connected on just 34.7 percent of his threes and 55 percent of his free throws. He is scheduled to make almost $13 million next season, which is absolutely absurd.
4. Practice Free Throws
The Los Angeles Lakers were the only team with a worse free throw percentage than the Pistons. It may sound basic, but they need to be able to hit from the charity stripe to make their opponents pay for fouling them. Center Andre Drummond hit free throws at just 37 percent.
3. Protect the Basketball
The Pistons had the second worst assist-to-turnover ratio in the NBA last season. They need to get on the same page offensively and make smart choices when tossing the ball around the court.
2. Trust the Youth
There is a good chance Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could lead the Pistons in scoring this season, and they shouldn't fight it. He has the potential to be a superstar. They also have to continue to feed Drummond and Monroe down low. They showed flashes of brilliance in the post and could form a dominant one-two punch down low if they figure out how to play together.
1. Get Creative
Many of the Pistons' offensive possessions ended with a mid-range jumper or outside shot. They need to work the ball inside and out to keep defenses on their toes. The ball didn't leave the post much once it got down low, which gives the opposition the luxury of double-teaming at will. They need to move inside and out to be most effective and free up their shooters.