In their last contest, the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks squared off in a battle of a mild disaster and an unmitigated disaster. The Pistons won, giving them 24 wins after 60 games. Of course, that means they also have 36 losses, and that's where there record stands at the moment. Here's some more thoughts and numbers as we head down the final stretch of this season for Detroit.
Right now, the Pistons remain in ninth in the Eastern Conference. However, they've fallen three games behind the Atlanta Hawks, who are in eighth currently. Detroit has a minus-2.5 point differential, which is, again, ninth in the East. So, basically, the Pistons are the ninth best team in the East. And being the ninth best team in either conference is pretty much the worst place you can be.
The Pistons are 21st in offensive efficiency and 22nd in defensive efficiency. They are 25th in true shooting percentage. Given all the threes dudes like Josh Smith jack up, that's not surprising. They are seventh in rebounding rate, at least.
Brandon Jennings leads the team with 16.7 ppg, but Smith is right behind at 16.4. Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey, and Andre Drummond are also averaging double-digits. Drummond has been a beast on the boards, as he has 13.1 rpg. Monroe has 9.0, while Smith has 7.0. Jennings leads the team with 8.0 apg, while Smith and Bynum average 3.5 dimes per game. Smith, Jennings, and Drummond are all averaging well over a steal per game, while Drummond and Smith are averaging over a block per game.
Drummond is third in the league in rebounds, and has one of the top field goal percentages. That's not surprising, given he basically just dunks. Of course, he's still only making 41% of his free throws, but there's time. You look at Smith's box scores, and he is contributing across the board. And yet, that only tells a part of the story. He only has a .419 field goal percentage, and more pressingly, He is taking 3.3 three-pointers a game and only making 23% of them. That's abysmal. He's struggled at the line too, only making 56% of his free throws. Jennings is jacking up 5.8 three-pointers a game, but at least he makes 33.7% of them. On the other hand, his FG% is only .374, which is not strong.
Drummond leads the team in PER, at 22.6, which is quite good. Jennings is at 16.7, which is above average, but PER doesn't measure defense great. Monroe is at 17.5, which is solid. However, J-Smoove is at 14.8, which is below average. And he gets a ton of money.
In terms of Win Shares, Drummond leads the team at 7.6. Monroe is second at 4.2. Way down at sixth on the team? Smith, down at 1.8. He actually has been a minus on the offensive end. All his win share value is from defense.
The Pistons have won eight games for every 20 they've played this season. So, if that continues, and honestly they may get an uptick because of the teams that have packed it in, they will win around 32 games. Of course, that likely won't get them into the playoffs. It would be their best total in several years, but they would be in no man's land. They wouldn't get to keep their pick. They wouldn't make the postseason. It would be a lost year.
Changes probably need to be made. They will be, perhaps by somebody who isn't Joe Dumars. Andre Drummond is a cornerstone. Monroe will be gone, and playing Smith at the four will help. However, they need a wing player. If they could get a Andrew Wiggins or somebody in the Draft, that would be amazing. It just won't happen. The Pistons will have money. They will have a new coach. Will they finally return to the playoffs?