Rebounds, blocks and lobs: Are the Detroit Pistons too small?

Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk (13) blocks a shot by New York Knicks center Taj Gibson Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons are one of the only teams in the NBA that doesn’t feature a seven-footer.

Kelly Olynyk is the team’s tallest player at 6-foot-11, and he is currently out for six weeks or more with a strained knee and even when healthy he plays more like a stretch-four than a center.

Second-year center Isaiah Stewart definitely has the strength to body most bigs in the NBA, but he is just 6-foot-9 and some believe that his destiny may also be at the four. He has had trouble defending bigs without fouling, which is something he needs to improve.

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Second-round pick Luka Garza is more of a traditional center but he is still developing and his defense is not yet there, evidenced by the way he was worked by Jarrett Allen in the loss vs. the Cavaliers.

The Detroit Pistons somewhat make up for their lack of interior size by having big guards and wings who can defend and rebound their positions, but they are still getting killed in some key statistics, which leads me to the question: Are the Detroit Pistons too small?

Detroit Pistons: Blocked shots

The Detroit Pistons are currently 13th in the NBA in blocked shots, which is not bad for a team that doesn’t have a true rim protector.

Stewart and Jerami Grant lead the team with 1.3 blocks per game, but other than that, the Pistons don’t have a single guy averaging at least one swat per contest.

The Pistons make up for their lack of shot blockers by having four guys who average over a steal per game, led by Killian Hayes, who is currently swiping 1.5 a night.

But the lack of rim protection is hurting them, as the Pistons are currently dead last in opponent’s field goal percentage, allowing teams to shoot 48 percent overall.

However, the Pistons are 3rd-best in the NBA at opponent’s field goal percentage in the restricted area, so they are getting it done on the interior, it’s the mid-range and 3-point shots that they have struggled to stop.

When it comes to blocked shots, the Pistons are just fine, but there are other areas where they definitely need more size.