Detroit Pistons Playoff Preview; First Round vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Detroit Pistons have a lot to feel good about this season. They finished with a 44-38 record and made the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08.
The Pistons now have the daunting task of trying to upset the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. Even though they won the season series 3-1, let’s face it – everyone except Piston fans are predicting they don’t have a chance. It may be difficult to pull off, but there is hope they can make it a competitive series.
Jackson is enjoying his best season yet, averaging 18.8 (PPG), 6.2 (ASS), and a 35.3 (3P%). His performance will be a key factor in the Pistons’ chance in the 1st round. The energy he brings is what makes this team tick. He is most effective running the pick-and-roll. With his improved three-point shot, opposing defense can no longer dare him to shoot, which makes him more of a threat.
There is some concern with Jackson’s health. He is currently nursing an abdominal injury that could linger throughout the playoffs. If this limits his effectiveness on the court, it could spell disaster for the Pistons.
The Pistons are the best rebounding team in the league and convert the most 2nd chance points. Drummond has almost single-handedly made them dominant in these two areas. He terrorizes the boards, averaging a league high 14.8 rebounds.
He also dominates the offensive glass, which leads to his NBA-best 5.3 2nd chance points. Drummond’s ability to control the boards will be another key factor in the Pistons chances of making it past the first round.
When the Pistons acquired Harris at the trade deadline, it really helped transform their offense. It gave them another capable scorer and someone who can stretch the floor with good three point shooting. Since being a member of the Pistons, he has been the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 16.6 (PPG).
He is also second on the team in rebounds with 6.2 and is shooting 37.5% from deep. His combination of scoring, rebounding and three point shooting will be very valuable in his team’s chances of playing spoiler.