Detroit Pistons: Best shooting lineup when the team needs a bucket

Isaiah Livers #12 and Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Isaiah Livers #12 and Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons will have a much-different roster next season with more options when it comes to shooting.

The Pistons were one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA last season, ranking near the bottom of nearly every category, coming in 29th in 3-point percentage as a team and 27th in 3-pointers made per game.

Detroit was relying on guys like Frank Jackson and Kelly Olynyk to provide some of that shooting, but they were either injured or ineffective, putting up some of the worst shooting numbers of their careers.

Rookie Cade Cunningham struggled from 3-point range early, as did Saddiq Bey, and the Pistons never had that one guy who really scared people from behind the arc, no offense to Cory Joseph.

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Even after making some additions this offseason, the Detroit Pistons could still use more shooting, but they at least have a lineup of shooters they can run out when they need a bucket.

Detroit Pistons: The best shooting lineup

When the Pistons needed a hoop last season they turned exclusively to Cade Cunningham, who carried a heavy offensive burden and often had little help around him.

Cade faced constant double teams and had few options for kick-outs or lobs, which led to a lot of turnovers for the rookie point guard.

But with the addition of a real shooter, a full season of Isaiah Livers and internal improvement from three core players that should change next season, when the Pistons will be able to roll out this lineup when they need a bucket:

  • Cade Cunningham
  • Alec Burks
  • Saddiq Bey
  • Isaiah Livers
  • Isaiah Stewart

This is a group I really like for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is one of their best groups of shooters, though you could certainly argue that to fully maximize shooting Kelly Olynyk would replace Stewart.

But Stewart has shown improved shooting touch and would give this group a much-better chance defensively. That’s the other thing I like about this group, every guy in it can defend up and switch around the perimeter, so the Pistons could maximize shooting without completely giving up on the defensive end.

Burks and Livers both shot over 40 percent from long range last season, and I think we can expect improvements in efficiency from Saddiq Bey that will get him close to that number.

That is a lot of space being created for Cade Cunningham to go to work, a luxury he didn’t really have last season when the Pistons didn’t have enough shooting threats around him.

Dwayne Casey will have a lot of lineup options at his disposal next season, and finally has a group he can send out there when the team needs a hoop.

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