This past season the Piston had a 12-win improvement from the previous season, but Stan Van Gundy says he wants to be even better this upcoming year.
"“Philly is not going to win 10 games this year. They’re going to win more games – significantly more games,” Van Gundy said. “So that’s taking wins from everybody. If you look at what Brooklyn has done lately in their moves, they’re going to be able to win more games. A lot of those teams that were out of the playoffs – Milwaukee will be better, Orlando will be better, New York will be better. It’ll be harder to put up big victory numbers."
Van Gundy is on the money with this one. It seems as if every East team, took a step forward in the right direction. Whether through projected internal growth, the draft or free agency, the East has not been stagnant.
Van Gundy also states:
"I think it’s going to be very competitive. And I’ve said that to our guys, quite honestly, that we’ll have to be a little bit better just to make the playoffs again. I honestly believe that because of New York, Orlando, Milwaukee, Washington, Chicago – all not in the playoffs – those teams are going to fight. And we were the number eight team. We don’t have a lot of room. So just to get back to where we were will take work, let alone to move up. There’s nothing easy about this"
Stan Van Gundy has made acquisitions of his own, with a solid backup to Reggie Jackson in Ish Smith, a true power forward with size, length, and athleticism in Jon Leuer, and another dimension in size with Boban Marjanovic.
However, these moves caused the Pistons to lose most of their veterans, like Steve Blake, Anthony Tolliver, and Joel Anthony. These players did not play many minutes, but they will be missed for their leadership on and off the court.
This shows that Van Gundy is wanting his players to grow sooner rather than later.
"I think that’s our expectation and we haven’t just left it on them. As a staff, we’ve put in a lot of time with these guys this summer. We’ve had coaches out with our guys all summer long. I would expect that we’d be better, but, no, it’s not inevitable. If you don’t put in the time and the effort and the focus, then you’re not going to get better. And if we don’t get better, then you’re never the same in this league. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse because other people are getting better"
Once again, Van Gundy is right. This Piston team is built for the present and future, and it is the perfect time to let them grow now.
This is Van Gundy’s best team since he has taken over in Detroit, and the starters have now had a year playing together. They also have playoff experience which should take them a long way.
The East did get better and 44 wins might not be enough to make the playoffs.
The Pistons do not have any players over 30 on their team currently. Most of the Piston starters are about to enter their primes and with a year together under their belts, improvement as a unit should easier.
However, with the starters’ experience, a coach who demands accountability, another year under Van Gundy’s system, a vastly improved bench, and potential throughout the team, there should be no question that this team will improve from where they were last year.