Detroit Pistons' report card for January: The rise to mediocrity

Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
2 of 3

Forwards: C

The forward position for Detroit got smaller with the Isaiah Livers trade in mid-January. The rotation is now primarily Ausar Thompson, Bojan Bogdanovic and Kevin Knox. But the trade of Livers was clearly addition by subtraction. All three of these Pistons increased their nightly outputs this past month. Ausar’s ppg did decrease by .4 down to 6.1, but his rebounding, steals, and blocks improved in January. Bojan increased his points per night to 21, his three point percentage up nine whole points to 46 percent, and his turnovers decreased as well.

Knox started three more games this month than he did last, and saw every one of his stats increase or remain the same. Points (8.2), field goal percentage (47%), three point percentage (33%), rebounds (2.7), and assists (.9) all went up. 

Centers: C

January was a big month for Detroit centers. Jalen Duren was finally able to get, and stay healthy, tripling his games played compared to last month. For the most part, his stats remained constant from December to January, only changing by less than one for most categories. His presence and health was the most promising in January.

Isaiah Stewart saw his points per game increase by five points a night, up to almost 14 points, which is a great increase. Outside of that, most of his numbers took a hit in January however. His field goal percentage went down eight percent, three point shooting dropped by 15 percent, down to 30, and assists, rebounds and turnovers all worsened. Stewart is currently injured, so it’s hard to say how many of these stats were affected by his current injury. 

The big change for the centers was the addition of both Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari. Coming by way of the trade with Washington, both have provided exactly what Detroit needed them to. Stretch four/fives that have spaced the floor tremendously. In their first five games with Detroit, the Pistons went 2-3 with an offensive rating of 119.3 (11th in the league), NET rating of -.4 (14th in the league), and a true shooting percentage of 60.4% (9th in the league).

They are both shooting better than 44 percent from three with the Pistons, and in Muscala’s case, have even cracked the starting lineup already. These two, while not all-stars by any means, have been great additions thus far for Detroit.