Detroit Lion’s own Matthew Stafford and friends sat court side as the Pistons won their 9th game of the season. Detroit is 2nd place in the Eastern Conference – the only team with a better record is the Boston Celtics at 11-2. The Pistons are 6-1 at home this year, that home being the brand new Little Caesars Arena that opened up at the start of this season in downtown Detroit.
Last season at the trade deadline there was a much different feeling surrounding this team – when many thought that Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson might be traded. Reggie Jackson just couldn’t get healthy and Andre Drummond continued to struggle at the free-throw line causing coach Stan Van Gundy to often take him out late in games to avoid opposing teams purposely sending him to the line. They ended the year with a record of 37-45 with no hope of a playoff spot.
But this year, this year is different – you can just feel it. Reggie Jackson is back healthy and hungry, Andre Drummond has vastly improved his free-throw percentage – hitting both from the line in the 4th quarter against Atlanta to put Detroit up 2 after the game being tied up. Tobias Harris consistently hits clutch shots. Avery Bradly – who was acquired from Boston during the off-season has added a huge piece on defense, as well as putting up his fair share of points on offense. Andre Drummond was quoted saying “My prime subject is Avery Bradley now, he’s open I give him the ball.” Stanley Johnson is developing into a phenomenal young talent on both sides of the court. Ish Smith, Anthony Tolliver, Langston Galloway, and Reggie Bullock all play extremely vital roles coming off the bench for Detroit.
After beating the Atlanta Hawks 111-104 coach Stan Van Gundy was not impressed, stating “They totally outplayed us in the 2nd half.” Reggie Jackson hit two clutch late three’s that helped the Pistons put away the Hawks. Drummond ended the night with 15 points, 20 rebounds, and a career high 7 assists. Avery Bradley had 20, Tobias Harris had 16, and Reggie Jackson had 22.
Although it’s still very early in the season – this is the most exciting the Detroit Pistons have been in years. Will they be able to sustain this success? That’s still up in the air. But the fact of the matter is the Pistons have won 9 of their first 12 games this season. That’s including wins on the road against the Clippers and even more impressive – a road against the Golden State Warriors. If I had to pick now, I’d say as long as everyone stays healthy the Pistons make the playoffs and get through the first round, after that it’s up in the air.
With all that being said – Smile Detroit, the Pistons are back.