Can the Pistons make it 2-1?

The Pistons didn’t trail at all in the first quarter Wednesday night against Cleveland, unfortunately they lost the next 3 quarters by a combined 22 points falling to the Cavs 107-90. LeBron James decided he wanted to impose his will on Detroit’s front court and led the Cavs with an efficient 27pts on 72.2 eFG%. James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and JR Smith accounted for 86 of Cleveland’s 107pts. Andre Drummond shouldered the scoring load for Detroit with 20 points and 7 rebounds, however no one had a wildly efficient night for the Pistons; as the team shot 43% from the field.

43% from the field isn’t winning you many regular season games, let alone a playoff game against the #1 seed on the road. Stan Van Gundy has been more than willing to throw different looks at the Cavs both offensively and defensively, something he will need to continue if the Pistons have any hope of winning 1 or 2 home games and making this a series. With that said, let’s look at a couple of these adjustments SVG has made and look forward to what types of moves he may use in Game 3.

Substitution Pattern

Lebron struggled in the 1st quarter but was able to getting going in the 2nd, scoring 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting in the second quarter alone. A majority James’ points in the quarter came against Detroit’s notoriously bad 2nd unit. The 7-minute stretch in the without a starter on the floor evaporated any gains the starting unit had made for Detroit. While the starters were able to regain the lead after coming back in in the 2nd, the game never felt quite the same. Continue reading

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Detroit Vs. Cleveland Series Preview: Guard Match Ups

                  It is very easy to be dismissive of the 2015-2016 Detroit Pistons’ chances against Cleveland.  The Cavaliers come into the first round series as the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and with LeBron James at the helm.  LBJ is joined by a supporting cast that includes 2 other players with All-NBA talent, a former 6th man of the year(and 2012 Chinese Basketball Association scoring champ) along with numerous other quality role players who have  playoff experience.  This reality couldn’t be further from the fact for Detroit, who enters the game with exactly 1 All-Star appearance on their roster.  The Pistons also have only 1 starter who has appeared in a playoff series and while the bench contains a little more playoff experience; most of those players are on the wrong side of the ageing progression curve.  However, the 2004 Finals are the first I remember sitting down and watching as a kid and looking back those finals taught me 1 thing, the NBA is a game of match ups. Detroit has pieces that create for an interesting look and counter to The Cavs’ star driven lineup.  Let’s first start by looking at the guard match ups

Point Guard

Reggie Jackson and Kyrie Irving are healthy heading into the first round, which is great news for the Pistons and Cavs respectively. Kyrie is a scoring machine when he is healthy, while Jackson fulfills more of a traditional point guard role.  Despite being different players on that end, Detroit and Cleveland rely heavily on their point guards as sources of offense(Both were top 25 in BPM per Basketball-Refference.com), both teams will also look to hide their starting point guards on defense whenever possible.  Continue reading

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