Can the Detroit Pistons improve their struggling offense?

Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons struggled offensively in their first game of the regular season despite beating the Brooklyn Nets. Can they improve?

The Detroit Pistons struggled for a majority of the preseason offensively. It wasn’t until the final game of the preseason that they exploded on that end of the floor.

They scored 129 points, shot 51 percent from the field and 46 percent from three-point range.

I don’t expect them to replicate those numbers in every game.

I do think they can get this offense going in the right direction, however. The Pistons have a lot of athleticism and talent on their roster this season.

Why have they struggled so much to start the 2018 campaign? I think part of that has to do with the new coaching staff.

Blake Griffin talked about some of their new offensive philosophies in Keith Langlois’ article before the start of the regular season:

"I think you’ll see the ball move around a lot, a lot of drive and kicks, a lot of shots at the rim, a lot of threes – kind of cutting out some of those unnecessary low-percentage shots as far as analytics go.”"

This is considered a much more modern style of basketball. Other Pistons have also talked about Casey letting them play with less boundaries and better pace.

We witnessed some of that in Detroit’s first game of the season. They defeated the Brooklyn Nets 103-100 in their home opener.

Griffin and Andre Drummond combined for 50 points in the game. Reggie Jackson scored 19 points as well. This is a fantastic sign that the Pistons are getting these kinds of numbers from their main core of players.

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There was just zero consistency on the offensive end of the floor as a team for the Detroit Pistons. They fell behind by 12 in the first quarter and then gave up a double-digit lead in the third quarter because of their inability to keep their foot on the gas.

I think the lack of boundaries is part of that. You have to remember that a lot of these guys played under Stan Van Gundy where things were much different.

It has to be difficult to adjust. Now that the players have the ability to do more things on the court freely, it just seems like they still are not used to that type of coaching.

Another problem offensively for the Detroit Pistons in their first game was movement. That goes for ball movement and player movement.

At times throughout the game, guys were just standing out by the three point line while someone with the ball was trying to force a play.

There has to be a balance of cutting without the ball and trying to be open for a catch-and-shoot situation around the perimeter. It just felt like the three-point shot was more important at times.

Another reason I believe they struggled offensively is because of how much Casey was tinkering with lineups on the floor. Part of me also believes that was part of the plan in the first game.

He knew they were playing against a Nets team that was without two of their starters. Allen Crabbe and DeMarre Carroll were both out with injuries.

The Pistons were also without two of their own. Reggie Bullock was sidelined by the flu and Stanley Johnson has had a lingering toe injury.

Bullock is the team’s best shooter and Johnson does a good job at getting to the basket. Those two would’ve likely helped their offensive output.

Ultimately, I believe the Detroit Pistons will be a better offensive team once rotations are set and Casey continues to emphasize movement with and without the ball.