The Detroit Pistons are doing something a few other NBA organizations have decided to do this season. They are starting over. What’s unique about the Pistons, though, is that they have some veterans. Could they be a good choice for over with your NBA picks?
Why The Pistons Will Go Over The Number
The Pistons are like the Utah Jazz in that they’ve decided to have a new approach. The Pistons, like the Jazz, are bringing in a new coach. The Jazz, though, are calling upon a young and untested coach in Quin Snyder. The Pistons are bringing in a proven coach, Stan Van Gundy, a man who took the Orlando Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals and brought the Miami Heat within one win of the 2005 NBA Finals before that team lost to the Pistons in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Van Gundy knows how to get the most out of players, and whereas the Jazz are looking to a bunch of young players, the Pistons have some veterans who can produce at a higher level, well enough to get this team to the playoffs. If the Pistons do get to the playoffs, they’ll be well over the win total set forth for them above.
Josh Smith is a maddening player, a guy who takes a lot of bad shots and brings a halfcourt offense to a halt, but Van Gundy could get him to focus on his defense and to be more of a rebounder on offense, using his leaping ability to become a more effective player. Van Gundy could solve Smith and other mysteries on the team, and if those kinds of changes take place up and down the roster, the Pistons could have a surprising season on their hands, one in which they might be able to get to 40 wins in an Eastern Conference that, while better than last year, could still be ripe for the taking.
Why The Pistons Will Stay Under The Number
Why the Pistons could stay under the total is that they have so many issues on defense. This team was slow to respond to its deficiencies at the defensive end of the floor. Detroit was 25th in made field goals allowed, 27th in field goal percentage defense, 23rd in made threes allowed and three-point attempts allowed, 29th in two-point percentage defense, 27th in assists allowed. Young guards such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were not able to pick up the team’s defensive system, and a constant lack of defensive preparedness took its toll as the season continued. Detroit might make small improvements this season, but last season was so bad that the Pistons will have to be a lot better than last year, not just a little, if they want to get where they want to go.
Detroit also couldn’t shoot very well last season. The Pistons were next to last in the 30-team NBA in three-point shooting percentage. The overall shooting-percentage ranking in the league was 20. That was on live-ball field goals. In terms of foul shots, Detroit hit only 67 percent from the charity stripe, the worst mark in the league. If you just can’t shoot, a quality coach such as Stan Van Gundy can only do so much.
The Pistons could be a playoff team in a year, but their weaknesses are so basic that Van Gundy won’t be able to get them over the hump. Go under the NBA odds.
NBA Pick: Under 36 at 5Dimes