The Detroit Pistons have found themselves in a very particular place as they head for an extended break before returning to action on February 23rd against the Boston Celtics. As the standings sit right now, the Pistons are in the 9th spot and are currently a game and a half back from the Heat for the 8th and final playoff spot. That would set you up with a first sound match up with the Toronto Raptors who have always given this team trouble and would setup for a possible nightmare scenario for the Pistons. If you want to have any fighters chance in the playoffs, you do not simply want to just back in and hope for a miracle series win playing against the number one or two seed in the East even if it is a "weak" conference as a whole. This team has had trouble finding consistency for the majority of the season, with the only exception being when they started the season off with a 14-6 record and made quite of few people believe in this team. Since then, they have went 14-23 including a seven game losing streak, and a eight game losing streak as well. The way this team tries on the defensive front of things night in and night out is not ideal at all. This team lacks effort and heart a lot more than you would like and it shows when you watch them play on the court. You will constantly hear the head coach and team president, Stan Van Gundy always knock on his own players for their defensive efforts and himself at times as well which is very troubling. Stan is the guy who chooses who exactly he wants on the team, and controls the rotations and minutes as well. I often find myself questioning the way his rotations are set and are never usually a consistent thing which doesn't always allow players like Stanley Johnson, Langston Galloway and Luke Kennard valuable playing time down the stretch at times. With Andre Drummond being the lone All-Star on this team and Blake Griffin being pretty close to one, they both will be relied on pretty heavily to take the load off for the rest of the team down this very important stretch of the season. Reggie Jackson will be making his way back into the lineup after the All-star break soon, which will yet again give this team another obstacle to try to get Jackson involved back into the offense side of things and hopefully make the trio of Drummond, Griffin, and Jackson succeed as quickly as possible with time running short on the season at a quick pace. It is now or never for these Detroit Pistons who will not have a first round pick into this years draft unless they just completely fall off the map and get into one of the first four picks which will not happen, let's be honest. Detroit desperately needs a competitive team in the postseason and the Pistons could provide if only they really turn up the defensive side of things and start playing with heart and hustle the rest of the way. Let's hope for a quick turnaround and find these Pistons in a great playoff position come in April.
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