Film breakdown: Detroit Pistons displaying best offense of season

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have won three out of their last four games and are now 10-7 on the season. Where are they finding success? On offense.

The Detroit Pistons are coming off of a 118-107 victory against the Phoenix Suns at home. They are three games above the .500 for the first time in almost a month.

They’ve been able to change their ways on the offensive end of the floor. For much of the season, the Pistons have been dead last in field goal percentage and bottom five in three-point field goal percentage.

That is why they’ve been stuck right around the .500 mark. Defense wins championships but the NBA is becoming much more of a game decided on who gets to 120 points or more first.

The Pistons have managed to stay in the top half of the NBA in defensive rating. They’re currently 10th in the league in that category.

It’s gone up because of their success on the offensive end of the floor. Much of the early season was Blake Griffin and/or Reggie Jackson attempting to play hero ball.

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Their bench was a non-factor. Reggie Bullock was struggling to shoot the ball. Luke Kennard has been out with a shoulder injury.

There are a lot of things that have factored into their offensive struggles.

What have they changed? Dwane Casey and the Detroit Pistons have went back to some of the fundamentals of offense.

Ball movement and player movement off of the ball have been two major factors. There are perfect examples of this in their last stretch of games.

It’s led to them averaging 117.7 points a contest in their last four games.

Langston Galloway was one of the big contributors against Phoenix. What he does here is simple! However, it’s little things like this they were missing early on this season.

Galloway likely takes a highly contested three-point shot earlier this season but here he sets up Andre Drummond perfectly.

Drummond does an excellent job of recognizing how much attention his defender and Devin Booker have on Galloway moving off the ball. He rolls off the screen early, giving him a wide open paint for an easy dunk.

Again, three players touch the ball before it gets to the basket. Two players are moving well without the ball in their hands.

This might start off as a classic example of why the Pistons have struggled offensively. However, a simple cut toward the far baseline was the tipping point in Detroit’s overtime win against the Houston Rockets.

Everyone on the floor for Houston has their eyes on Blake Griffin. Why wouldn’t they? He put up 37 points in the first part of the back-to-back with the Rockets.

With under ten seconds on the shot clock and a smaller defender on Griffin, it seems like he’s going to create his own shot which he’s been forced to do at times this season.

Unfortunately for Houston, James Harden gets caught doing too much watching. Bullock sneaks away from him and hits the big shot.

Another instance where players are doing a great job moving the ball and moving without the ball. Glenn Robinson III cuts toward the basket while Bullock moves up the perimeter toward Reggie Jackson.

Bullock’s defender bites on the shot fake and then he goes toward the rim with the ball in his hands. The defense desperately collapses and Bucllock finds Drummond coming like a freight train down the baseline.

It sets up another easy dunk for the big man.

Here’s my final example. This one is the best in my opinion.

A lot of ball movement is a clear sign of players not caring who is getting the points. Overall, its playing unselfishly.

The Pistons have been moving the ball in transition as much as possible early on this season. That’s what teams typically do when they are struggling on offense.

Ish Smith always does a good job of moving when he has the ball. This time he does an excellent job moving without the ball.

Galloway finds him and then Smith dumps it off to Zaza Pachulia who gets an easy dunk.

Smith could have easily got a bucket but decided to set up his teammate instead. It’s a thing of beauty and the bench loved it.

All of this has led to less pressure on Griffin, Drummond, and Jackson to create all of the team’s offensive opportunities.

These simple adjustments have also led to a really good month of November for three players: Stanley Johnson, Langston Galloway, and Reggie Bullock.

In November, Galloway and Bullock are both shooting above 42 percent from three-point range. Johnson is shooting above 40 percent from the field.

He’s really benefited from coming off the bench with the reserve group.

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The Detroit Pistons will continue score a lot of points and ultimately win more games if they continue doing what they’re doing on offense.