The Detroit Pistons’ offense has taken a big leap forward. Credit the team’s chemistry and comradery as the biggest reason why.
The Detroit Pistons were largely a one trick pony before they traded for Tobias Harris.
Reggie Jackson calls a pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond, if it works great, if not, Jackson tries to create offense for himself.
If neither are working, throw the ball to Marcus Morris and hope his one-on-one skills could get them some offense.
That strategy proved to be wildly inconsistent, as evident by the Pistons’ sub .500 record and the team’s poor assist numbers. It also played a big factor in the Pistons’ poor three-point shooting, as players weren’t getting many shots in rhythm.
But since trading for Tobias Harris, the Pistons’ offense has really been clicking.
Stan Van Gundy weighed in on what the biggest difference has been for the team.
“The last five games, the ball moved,” Stan Van Gundy said. “We’ve been much better sharing the ball. They know – they’ve talked about it more than I have – when the ball is moving, you create good feelings and energy and guys want to play. When it’s stagnant and you’re standing around, watching guys go one on one, it’s no fun. It’s frustrating and you don’t really have the desire to compete the way you do when the ball is moving and everybody’s involved in the game.”
While the sample size is small, the Pistons have become a better three-point shooting team despite losing two of their top three three-point shooters (Anthony Tolliver due to injury and Ersan Ilyasova due the the trade that sent him to the Orlando Magic), due to the team’s chemistry.
The ball movement is better, but that stems from the quick bond the players have developed, which in turn has created a selflessness about the team that they previously lacked.
It’s something that Harris himself has recently publicized.
“It just shows the team chemistry coming along,” said Tobias Harris. “Everybody’s looking for each other and playing off each other.
The biggest thing is what we say when we’re gathering: “Family, on three!” and guys are playing like a family.
“Everybody’s looking out for each other and that’s what team basketball is about.”
The biggest thing for the Pistons will be to continue playing with a team first attitude moving forward.
They’re trending in the direction of becoming a team that could be dangerous, but that’s predicated on the team’s mentality.