How the Pistons can keep up their recent success

Detroit Pistons Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons has been 6-1 since the All-Star break. They also have been keeping up as the best offense in the NBA in the past month, how can they maintain this?

Before the All-Star break The Detroit Pistons were struggling to get a playoff spot. The team’s bench was lackluster and inconsistent.

Making bold moves like trading the team’s top shooter in Reggie Bullock and moving on from Stanley Johnson, the team looked to turn a new page.

The only notable player the Pistons got out of these trades was Thon Maker, who we’ll talk about shortly. But the trades also allowed the Pistons to experiment with Luke Kennard and give Langston Galloway more room to play the way he wants to play.

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Another big addition was Wayne Ellington who has given the Pistons more spacing and some good defensive plays.

But additions and new rotations are not at all a reason for the Pistons spur of success.

The Pistons have been playing hard, like real hard. Never giving up on a possession, or rushing into plays, always looking for the open man.

The team has played as a TEAM. Yes, it’s crazy, we don’t need to rely on solely Blake Griffin, we can have three or four other players shoot ten or more shots a game. In fact, Griffin since the All-Star hasn’t had the best scoring efficiency, and the Pistons aren’t worried about it; and they shouldn’t.

The Pistons latest stream of wins has been coming from good ball movement. The team has not only been passing the ball well, they’ve been making their open shots. Luke Kennard’s performance is one of the best reasons as in why the team has been so hot.

Kennard has been probably the best thing for the Pistons since the All-Star break, he’s not only been making his shots, he’s been getting open with ease.

Ellington’s shooting has been great, and the guard play has been very helpful.

For a team that has a slew of mediocre guards who either average or super inconsistent, recently they’ve been the team’s biggest light.

They’ve been making shots that are just flat-out incredible and their ability to get open is awe in it of itself.

But it’s crazy that the Pistons who have been relying on Griffin for the entire season, has started using him less, and using the guards to facilitate and be the center of the offense.

We haven’t even talked about Andre Drummond who has been playing remarkably, his defense and court awareness has been what Pistons fan dream of.

Overall, almost every Piston is playing the way they should, they’re playing as a team. They had 29 assists and 44% three-point percentage against the Timberwolves.

Everyone is playing the way we want them to and the way they should.

But, how can the Pistons keep this up?

Here are some ways they can

Zaza, stop playing Zaza

I give the Pistons credit for getting Maker and giving him Zaza’s minutes.

But, Zaza still gets 10-12 minutes per game. That’s still too much, get rid of him. Throw him off the rotation. He’s not doing anything productive, he misses easy shots, out of position and his screens are not doing much. But, Maker needs some work as well.

Thon’s three-point IQ

Maker has been daring to shoot the three-point ball, shooting it at least two times a game. His IQ from there is low, he tends to shoot when he has little space, he’s got a good shot, he proved against Atlanta, but for us to see Maker do the best he can on the offensive end, he has to improve his three-point shot taking.

Kennard has to keep this up

Kennard has been great, like not good but great. He’s hit over 51% of his three-point shots in the last five games and that includes his 0-6 performance against the Spurs. He’s 3.5 three point shots per game in the past nine.

Kennard is giving the shoot they need and the rate they need. He without a doubt will come back to earth at some point, but the job for the Pistons is to make sure he stays this dominant.

Play the Griffin way, well kinda.

It’s undeniable that Griffin is having the season he dreamed of having. Scoring 25 points per game, being the leader of a playoff (potentially) team and being the face of it. But in the recent spur of the Pistons success, it hasn’t been all Blake.

Since the all-star break Griffin has shot below 40%, well below the rest of the squad.

Griffin’s three-point shot isn’t hitting and his shot quality has been lower than usual. Griffin plays with heart, and you can tell he wants to win more than any of the other guys in the locker room, he’s spreading a new energy in them telling them that we can’t be so happy with where we are.

Thank you Griffin! I’ve seen way too many Pistons teams go on good streaks but only for them to be killed by their cockiness and unwillingness to adapt with their wins. Griffin is teaching them a new motto, stick with it.

But don’t go too heavy on relying on Griffin on the offensive end, you don’t need it. Stick with the shooters for now, they’re working, Griffin should obviously be a big part of the offense, he should still have the highest usage rate on the court, but don’t allow him to be our only tool, because it didn’t work earlier in the year.

Stick with the shooting Pistons it’s working.

Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith: A perfect point guard duo?

Jackson and Smith have been exactly what Casey and Van Gundy envisioned for them. Jackson as the pick and roll, scorer, and Smith as the fast pace playmaker who finds the open shooter.

Our shooters have thrived from the playmaking from both of them. Keep it up, you guys have been doing exactly what Pistons fans want.

Next. Andre Drummond is ELITE and proving doubters wrong. dark

Pistons have been great lately, it’s hard to maintain in it, if Casey continues the strategy and the shooters shoot, the Pistons will go far. As of right now the best scenario for the Pistons would be a sixth seed entry with a matchup against the Indiana Pacers.