The Detroit Pistons (26-47) will be traveling to Indianapolis to face the Pacers (32-42) after dismantling the Pacers at the Palace on Saturday night, 100-88. The Pacers sit in eight place in the Eastern Conference but are dangerously close to losing their grip on the final playoff spot. The Pistons moved to within 5 1/2 games of the Pacers with a game in hand. The Pistons will have two games in hand when the game tips on Wednesday night as the Pacers face off against the Celtics tonight, they are leading by 8 at half time, not good for the Pistons.
This is not a preview of Wednesdays big match-up, it is simply a perspective on the final stretch of the season. The Pistons let go of a big opportunity last Friday night when they lost to the worst team in the league, the Cleveland Cavaliers. They had an equally bad result just days before against the Heat, when they scored 13 points in the 4th quarter and lost the game because of it.
This team threw away those two games, two very big games that more than likely destroyed any chances of reaching the playoffs. Even if the Pacers lose tonight and we then beat the Pacers on Wednesday night, the Pistons will still be 4 games out, of course this is assuming the Bobcats continue to lose. My point is with only a handful of games left in the season, 4 games is simply too much to overcome, especially for a team that has no leadership.
The Pistons have no leadership on the floor, Stuckey has produced some solid numbers and has shown flashes of brilliance, but he is not a top tier point guard. His numbers from a year ago are down. His playing time is down to 30 minutes a game, compared to 34 minutes last year. He also has never shot over 30% from behind the arc or averaged more than 5 assists in any season. Not good enough to be the answer, not even close. Kyrie Irving would be nice. Obviously talking about potential draft picks is pointless until the draft order has been determined, so I will not bother.
The other leader in question is the coach. John Kuester has been less than stellar in his two seasons at the helm and I feel a new coach and a new direction is needed. Two straight seasons of not reaching 30 wins? The roster is not the best roster in the league, but it certainly is good enough to reach the .500 plateau. Kuester needs to go so this team can move forward.
The positives about this team, Greg Monroe. I like the way this guy moves on the floor and he is very versatile for a big man. I firmly believe he can become a top player in this league because he moves so well for a big guy. Monroe needs to work on his shot (that includes free throws) and needs to develop a more aggressive attitude as he simply does not demand the ball enough. He also needs more playing time, I expect that to happen next year.
A strong finish to this season and a little bit of luck in the lottery and I see this team flying into next year with some momentum that could take them out of the gutters…fingers are crossed!
About the Author
Written by Colton Turnquist
I have been an avid sports fan my entire life and even pursued a professional sports career in golf. I played professionally for three and half years trying to make it on the PGA Tour, but never broke through. I want to stay involved with sports and what better way than writing about them!