The Detroit Pistons have been horrendous on defense the last four games going 1-3 during that stretch. As a result head coach Stan Van Gundy has given his team an ultimatum.
The Detroit Pistons best defensive game in the last four was against the league’s worst, Philadelphia 76ers. They allowed 111 points that game.
Needless to say the team’s defense has been horrible, which has lead head coach Stan Van Gundy to give the team a choice–defend or or go home.
"“And if we defend the way we’ve defended the last four games, I mean I was honest with them, we have no shot,” Van Gundy added. “We’re not getting in defending like that. So to me it’s pretty simple. If we want a chance to make this run and play in the playoffs, then our defensive focus and effort and commitment have to rise. And if we don’t, well then, we’ll be going home.”"
So what’s been the issue? Literally everyone other than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been bad on defense, but Van Gundy went on to say that it starts with Andre Drummond.
"“Andre simply has to protect the rim a lot better,” Van Gundy said. “That’s one of the things we talked about with the whole team today. Since the All-Star break, we’re last in the league in blocks. Hell, we were 28th in the league at the All-Star break and we’re down a full block a game since then.“I mean, he’s not contesting shots at the rim. You look at the per-minute stuff and he’s 38th in the league in blocks per minute. I mean that’s just — maybe he can’t be in the top three or four but you don’t need to be 38th.”“It’s coming and challenging shots, coming and challenging,” Van Gundy said."
It’s sad that the Pistons haven’t been giving any effort on defense, particularly when factoring how good the offense has been, with the exception being the debacle in Washington on Monday.
Not only has Drummond been bad in contesting shots, but Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, and Tobias Harris have done a horrible job closing out on shots.
Their inability to play the shot and the drive has made in difficult to contest shots. Teams are finding easy passing lanes and getting open looks from the outside or driving.
Essentially, teams are getting whatever they want.
I don’t get the lack of effort at this point in the season with so much on the line. Missing the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season would be a massive setback for a team that has so much potential moving forward.
Luckily, the Pistons have eight more home games to play, with the next four games against opponents with sub .500 records. They also have the Dallas Mavericks at the end of their home stand who is 34-34.
The opportunity is there for the Pistons if they can get their effort up defensively.