Surging Detroit Pistons starting to earn fan confidence
Detroit Pistons fans are rightfully weary to jump head first into the deep end of believing in the team.
The Pistons have made the playoffs one time in the last 10 seasons, with several failed playoff runs in recent years.
But with a regime change and addition of Blake Griffin, the Pistons look like a different team -- and their recent stretch is starting to convince fans to take the dive.
Detroit has now won 10 of their last 12 games, sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, which is essentially their ceiling for playoff seeding this year. Boston, in fifth place, is 5.5 games ahead with 19 games remaining.
The Pistons will continue to battle with Brooklyn, Miami, Orlando and Charlotte for the final three playoff spots, but almost no team is playing as well as Detroit in the last month.
With Wednesday's win over Minnesota, Detroit is over .500 for the first time since mid-December, and the remaining schedule is pretty favorable.
The Pistons have upcoming games against the Bulls (twice), Nets, Lakers, Raptors, Cavs, Suns and Trail Blazers. They will finish the season with games against the Grizzlies and Knicks.
While Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin have been lights out during the recent run, a couple of other players have helped to push the team forward.
Surging Reggie Jackson
One of the biggest reasons for the recent success is the resurgence of point guard Reggie Jackson. It's been a long road back to "the old" Reggie Jackson, as fans call it.
Now looking healthy, Jackson has been hitting on all cylinders. His shooting averages are up nearly 10 percent compared to earlier in the season.
In February, Jackson averaged 19.7 points per game, four points above his season average, and shot 45 percent from the three point line, compared to 36 percent in January.
Introducing Luke Kennard
Fans have been waiting to see if Luke Kennard can turn into a real contributor on the floor and that time looks to be now.
Kennard, post all-star break, is averaging 16.7 points per game (9.7 season average), shooting 52 percent from the three point line.
Kennard's emergence has opened the floor up for the Pistons as defenses begin to allocate resources to the three point line.
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