DETROIT – With All-Star weekend and the halfway point of the season approaching, the Detroit Pistons are currently sporting a 19-24 record, good for third in the Central Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference.
Here are the comments from the report card:
"Injuries haven't made things easy on the Pistons. Luke Kennard, a pivotal floor-spacer, missed a chunk of the season with a right shoulder injury. Ish Smith has a groin issue. Zaza Pachulia, Detroit's best backup big, has missed time with a leg injury.
"None of which says much about the Pistons' roster construction. Kennard's playing time has seesawed since his return. Glenn Robinson can't crack a rotation starved for wings. Bruce Brown is a quality defender and attacker, but he sports a shaky jumper. Stanley Johnson has either regressed or plateaued.
"Blake Griffin's All-NBA efforts at the offensive end are too often futile. Detroit ranks 23rd in points per scored per 100 possession and doesn't have the surrounding shooters to capitalize on the attention he monopolizes off the dribble and in the post."
This season, Griffin is averaging 25.5 points, 5.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game, exceeding his career averages. Plus, he's improved from behind the 3-point line, shooting 36 percent, and averaging 75 percent from the free-throw line, compared to a career average of 68 percent.
Here's more from Bleacher Report:
"Make of this what you will: The Pistons won't be fixed from within. Short of Drummond recalibrating his approach to focus solely on defense and rebounding, they need to pick up a shooter or two at the trade deadline to have a convincing chance of re-entering and remaining in the East's postseason bracket."
The Pistons are currently one game behind the Charlotte Hornets for the eighth seed in the playoffs, with 39 games remaining.
Their next contests include two home games against the Miami Heat and Sacramento Kings before a three-game road trip to visit the Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks.