The Detroit Pistons’ biggest problem on full display vs. Knicks

Detroit Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons dropped another close game to the New York Knicks yesterday, which has been a theme of late.

The Pistons haven’t been blown out since the middle of February and since then have only failed to cover the spread one time.

They’ve been competitive in every game, which is a good sign that next season might be different.

Even though they all have a ways to go, we’ve seen improvement from Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and even Killian Hayes this season, so it hasn’t been a total loss even though Detroit is currently tied for the worst record in the NBA.

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However, there is one area that hasn’t improved and has even gotten worse as the season has progressed, and if the Pistons don’t do something about it this offseason, we can expect similar results next season.

With just a handful of games left in the season, the Detroit Pistons still can’t shoot.

The Detroit Pistons: The NBA’s worst shooting team

The 3-point shot is obviously a huge part of the modern NBA game, but someone forgot to tell the Pistons. They were broke again from long range last night, hitting just 8-of-29 for a pathetic 27 percent, which has been their average over the last three games.

Detroit shoots just 32.4 percent from 3-point range as a team, which is good for 29th in the NBA. Even though they can’t make them, the Pistons are still middle of the pack in attempts, showing that they either need to change their game plan or find some guys who can shoot.

It’s not just long-range shots though. The Pistons are dead last in 2-point percentage, shooting under 50 percent as a team. Their true shooting percentage is just 29th in the NBA.

Teams like Chicago have shown that you don’t need to hit a ton of 3-point shots to be successful, but if you have to be efficient everywhere else, and the Pistons are not.

Their leading 3-point shooter is Cory Joseph, a guy who is not known as a sharpshooter (34.4 percent for his career) and is having the best season of his career from behind the arc.  He takes 2.4 attempts per game, so it doesn’t really matter.

Aside from Joseph, the Pistons don’t have a single regular who shoots better than 35.4 percent from 3-point range, which is Jerami Grant’s (another guy not known as a great shooter) percentage on the year.

The only two players they have shooting better than 50 percent from the floor are Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Stewart.

We’ve talked a lot about getting a bouncy big this season, but the truth is that the Detroit Pistons need shooting efficiency more than anything else, whether it comes from inside or outside of the 3-point line.

Detroit not only needs internal improvement from guys like Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey, who has been very streaky this season, but they need to add some shooters who are efficient scorers.

This was the biggest problem coming into the season and remains so, but hopefully adding a few shooters this offseason will be part of what turns some of these close losses into wins.

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