2019 Playoff Preview: Detroit Pistons
The Pistons started the season like a house on fire winning their first four games. Blake Griffin was an early MVP contender and everything was coming up daisies for Detroit.
Despite looking to have a playoff spot sewn up, things started to unravel in the month of April. Griffin’s injury played a huge part as they want 2-4 to end the regular season. Luckily, their final win over New York was enough to solidify the eighth spot in the East and a matchup with the redhot Milwaukee Bucks.
It’s hard to find an area where the Pistons have an ascendancy of the Bucks. Pretty much all their strengths are nullified by a superior Milwaukee team. With Griffin not 100% either they’re just going to have to grind out a few games.
They do rank first in the league in deflections and are top ten in three pointers attempted and made. Drummond’s offensive rebounding prowess could be an area they look to utilise in getting some second chance points as well.
Health and talent. Detroit just lack the talent to match up with Milwaukee. Griffin’s health will be a key sticking point into how competitive the Pistons can be. If he’s anything under 90% full health then they’ll likely be blown out. With Blake somewhere near full fitness at least gives them a chance to make some games competitive.
Team’s X Factor
Wayne Ellington is Detroit’s biggest X factor and has been tremendous since he signed with the team just a few months ago. With an emphasis on shooting in their offensive system, Ellington remains a crucial piece for the Pistons success. Ellington’s ability to get hot could give them a sneaky opportunity to steal a game.
Players To Watch
Not to harp on the obvious, but the only guy that really matters here is Blake Griffin. He’s important supersedes that of anyone else on the roster. Yes, guys like Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond will be important but it pales in comparison to the team’s focal point.
Estimated Playoff Run
Get the brooms out for this series.
Stats via NBA.com