Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy‘s roster overhaul paid off significantly as Detroit clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2008/09, David Mayo of MLive details. Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are the only remaining players from the roster Van Gundy inherited 23 months ago, as Mayo writes. Van Gundy made his first blockbuster addition with the February 2015 trade for Reggie Jackson, positioning the team for this run, Mayo adds. Jackson has become one of the league’s top point guards after serving as a backup with the Thunder prior to joining Detroit.
Here’s more out of the Motor City:
- Landing Tobias Harris in a trade at the deadline with the Magic worked out similarly to when the Pistons acquired Rasheed Wallace in 2004 because they are both power forwards who played significant roles in Detroit making the playoffs, Mayo writes in a separate piece. By trading for Harris, Van Gundy illustrated that the Pistons should be considered as a serious playoff contender, Mayo adds. “When I came over in the trade, there was one thing I texted coach about, and that was making the playoffs,” Harris said. “I just told him that was one of my biggest goals and I’m here to help you guys do that. And it would be a job undone for me, mission unaccomplished, if we didn’t make the playoffs, and I’d be pretty devastated.”
- The future looks bright for the Pistons because most of the key players in the rotation are under contract beyond this season and team still has some flexibility to make another addition in the offseason, Rod Beard of the Detroit News opines.
- With more on how Jackson transformed into a quite a catch for the Pistons, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press details how the point guard is one of the league’s most clutch shooters in an interesting profile.