The Detroit Pistons look for Stanley Johnson to become an even better defender, and continue to add an element to the Pistons defense that they are currently lacking.
The Detroit Pistons are looking to become an improved defense team in the NBA. Last season, the Detroit Pistons were 14th in team defensive efficiency. Head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy expressed how he felt on that ranking, stating that keeping that ranking will not get them to where they want to be.
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One way that they can improve on this ranking for team defensive efficiency is increasing their steals per game. The Pistons ranked 24th in the league in steals per game at 6.99 steals per game.
One of the players who got his hand in the passing lane the most was, Stanley Johnson. Even though Stanley played the sixth most minutes on the team, he was third on the team in steals with 1.2 per game.
Reggie Jackson was raving on what he’s seen so far with Johnson’s defense.
"On that defensive end, he’s really starting to be that anchor for us already,” point guard Reggie Jackson said last week after a day of precamp drills. “He’s constantly in talk, aggressive. He’s always been a dog, but he’s really believing in himself."
Furthermore, Stan Van Gundy also had high praise for Johnson, saying he offers something unique that not a lot of players have, impressive instincts and timing.
"He has great instincts,” Van Gundy said Tuesday after the first practice of training camp. “I don’t think you wanna take that away totally, because one of the things that could help us is creating more turnovers.“It was the one thing we really didn’t do well defensively last year."
What Van Gundy means, is that most Piston players, did not get their hands in the passing lanes, and cause a lot of deflections, like Johnson did.
Coach Van Gundy would normally prefer his players to just stay between the offensive players on the basket, but because of how highly he believes in Johnson’s defensive capabilities, he can handle Johnson gambling for steals.
This can lead to the Pistons getting a lot more easier, and fast break scores, and with Johnson expected to have a spike up in minutes, as Piston fans we should expect to see more of Johnson and his “gambling”.