New Years Resolutions to Save the Detroit Pistons
We are less than a week into the new year and I have no doubt that some of you have already broken your Neww Years’ resolutions. Maybe it was to work out every day or maybe it was to quit a bad habit. I’m sure it was most likely something that you thought would help improve your life. For the Pistons, there are a few resolutions I would like to see made to improve our lives as Pistons fans. Here’s what I want to see from each of the impact players in 2017.
Reggie Jackson – Smarter shot selection
While Reggie is an exciting player who can create his own shot, as well as opportunities for teammates, he will sometimes take some ugly looking and I’ll advised shots. And yes, we all love seeing him make those highlight reel type of shots, but more often than not he misses them. I don’t want Jackson to shoot less or be a smaller part of the offense, not at all. However, I wish he would be a little more efficient with his scoring. If there isn’t an opening, pass it to a teammate. Utilize the pick and roll more. Reset the offense. This team plays well when Jackson is picking his spots to score and getting everyone involved. A smarter shot selection would help that all the way around.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Fill the stat sheet
KCP has really impressed me in 2016. His defense is always very good and over the last year we saw him start to become more consistent with his shooting. Going into 2017 I’d call him one of Detroit’s best, if not their very best, two-way player. Now I want to see him start improving in other areas as well. Specifically rebounding and assisting. In the past, KCP has brought little to the table in these areas (averaging three rebounds and one and a half assists per game over the course of his career). Currently, he is averaging 0.5 more rebounds per game than his career average and is more than doubling his average with assists per game. Building on this strong start to the season would be huge for the Pistons shooting guard in becoming a complete player.
Marcus Morris – Catch fire in 2017
During his time in Detroit, Morris has always been a streaky player offensively. There were long stretches last season where it felt like he couldn’t miss from downtown. There are also times, like right now, where it feels like he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. So right now Morris is basically dead weight on offense, throwing up a lot of shots and making very few of them. For the Pistons to get back on track he will need to start making shots. Becoming a three-point shooting threat again would really open this up for his teammates to operate.
Tobias Harris – Improve as a defender
Harris might be the Pistons most consistent and effective scorer this year. It doesn’t matter if he’s starting or coming off the bench, he just puts the ball in the hoop. What he needs to keep working on is his defense. Not that he’s an awful defender now, but he’s certainly not locking too many people down in this league. With his length and quickness, there is no reason he can’t do it. With KCP and Morris as solid defenders, it would go a long way for the team if Harris showed the same defensive ability while playing on the perimeter and keeping his man in front of him.
Jon Leuer – Find the three ball
Over his career, Leuer has shot better than 35% from three, including his 38% performance over the course of last season. This year he is hovering just under 31%. This isn’t terrible, but it’d be very nice if he showed the same shooting touch he had last year with the Suns. Part of this may be a comfort issue. This is his first year with the Pistons and he has moved from his normal bench role to the starting lineup. Whatever the reason, Leuer shooting better from outside, the way he’s shown he’s capable of, would be very nice for the Pistons.
Andre Drummond – Bring intensity every night
Drummond can be a dominating force in the NBA on any given night. What I want is for him to be a dominating force every single night. There are times when Drummond looks lackadaisical, both as a rebounder and as a defender. I never want to see half effort from him in 2017. I don’t care if he is tired and can’t play at a high level for more than 25 minutes that night; I want those 25 minutes to feel like 25 years for the other team. He is far too talented to be held back by a thing like not hustling on every play. Even I can go out and hustle on every play. So this year I want to see that fire from Drummond every night. I believe this, more than anything else, is the key factor in getting the Pistons back on track this year.
Featured image: Duane Burleson/Associated Press