The Detroit Pistons are the ultimate schizophrenic team. When the Pistons are good, they are really good. When the Pistons are mediocre, they wallow in it. And when the Pistons stink, they really stink.
The Pistons of 2014 are a team wallowing in the stink mediocrity. Believe it or not, Detroit actually does have the talent to compete with the best of the Eastern Conference. But the problem is that this team lacks the structure and discipline to win, and we saw it in spades last season.
Enter Stan Van Gundy.
Before he took over the head coaching duties with the Orlando Magic in 2007, the team was in the same position as the Pistons. The Magic were talented enough to be playoff contenders but lacked the direction to get there.
Van Gundy turned the Magic around, re-structuring the team to play off of the talent of Dwight Howard, and with his guidance, he brought the Magic up from the depths of mediocrity to being one of the kings of the East.
Van Gundy has the talent to pull a similar 360 in Detroit. The front line of Andre Drummond, Josh Smith and Greg Monroe is one of the best in the conference, and Brandon Jennings is no slouch either. Add in the fact that the team is now deeper than they have been in the past three years, and you have the makings of the Pistons pulling off a similar transformation that the Magic pulled in 2007-08.
Van Gundy is still one of the top head coaches in the NBA, and it was a shock that he has been out work this long. But he is in the right situation with the Pistons. If the young core can listen and buy into the system, Van Gundy will have the Pistons flying high once again.
Piston fans are growing tired of the mediocrity phase. They are ready to see the Pistons be really good again. Fortunately for them, they finally have a coach who can lead them there.