Today we are going to be looking at how the Pistons have been performing up to now and how they can improve in the second half of the season. Before we start to review, I would like to remind you that we will be starting the Pistons Week in Review on Saturday, March 3 and adding a new post every Saturday until the end of the season. To stay updated on future posts, follow my Twitter here and like my Facebook page here.
First Half Review
The Pistons are 28-29 at the break but are 6-3 since acquiring Blake Griffin. I think the deal they made to get Griffin was worth it and might be the deciding factor as to whether they make the playoffs or not. I think the Pistons can easily be a 6 seed if they keep playing like they have been lately, but they can’t lose games to bad teams. I also think there are a few pieces they could add to make the team more prepared for a playoff push.
Ways to Improve
I think the Pistons should sign a backup center to give Andre Drummond some rest. The only other centers listed on NBA.com’s Pistons roster are Jon Leuer and Eric Morland. They are both listed as forward centers, and Leuer is out for the season. Also, Morland averages just 1.5 points and 3.5 rebounds a game. I’m not saying the Pistons have to trade away key assets to get a backup center, but if they can sign a free agent for a cheap price, or trade away unwanted players or picks (which should only be second rounders), they could make sure Andre gets the rest he needs to play extra games if they make the playoffs.
I also think the Pistons should trade away some of their guards. Once again according to NBA.com’s Pistons roster, the Pistons have 8 guards. I don’t see how they could get all of those players in games consistently, and they could potentially get some good items back for trading away useless players. Obviously, they shouldn’t trade away their best guards like Reggie Jackson, Ish Smith, or Luke Kennard, but they could trade away Dwight Buycks or Reggie Hearn.
This will conclude the Pistons Mid-Season Review, and I hope you will read the Pistons Week in Review when it starts. Also, vote down in the poll whether you think the Pistons are going to make the playoffs or not. Thank you!
Earlier this week I posted an article about the AFC Championship, previewing the matchup and making a prediction as to who I think will win. You can read that post here. Today we will be doing the same thing, just for the NFC Championship game. Make sure you like my facebook page here and follow my Twitter here.
Minnesota Vikings vs, Philadelphia Eagles
I predicted earlier this year that the Eagles were going to make it to the Super Bowl, but things have changed now that Carson Wentz is out for the season with an ACL Tear. But before we predict the game, let’s preview the teams. The Vikings are lead by former backup QB Case Keenum, and they throw for about 234 yards a game. On the running side, they would have started Dalvin Cook if he hadn’t torn his ACL. So they instead start Latavious Murray, and all the Vikings combine for 122 yards rushing per game. Their defense gives up 192 yards passing and 83 yards rushing per game, both great numbers.
The Eagles would have Carson Wentz, but because of his injury in Week 14, they will instead start Nick Foles. They pass for 233 yards per game. Their rushing game, led by LeGarrette Blunt, runs for 132 yards a game. Look for the Eagles to run more because it is an outside game and they might not want to take risks with Foles having started just 4 games so far this year. The Eagles defense gives up 227 yards passing and just 79 yards rushing per game.
I think that the Eagles are going to win because of home field. The playoffs often are decided based on who is the home team because of how loud the fans are when the other team has the ball, and the home team feels more confident when they have the crowd backing them. The 2 teams in this game are very evenly matched on both offense and defense, so I think the deciding factor will be home field.
I will be doing another post like this to preview the Super Bowl matchup once it is decided, so make sure you read that when it comes out.
The Pistons had a very disappointing season last year. They were supposed to get a high seed in the playoffs, and they missed the playoffs, getting 10th in the Eastern Conference. Lots of teams have upgraded this offseason, but this is why the Pistons will still get a high seed in the playoffs in 2018.
They Made Smart Upgrades
The Pistons have gotten a lot of new players this offseason, but they are all because of smart signings or trades. They acquired Avery Bradley from the Celtics for Marcus Morris, and they got a second round draft pick for 2019. They also signed Langston Galloway and Anthony Tolliver. These are smart signings that are good because they didn’t give up anyone big.
Stan Van Gundy is a Good Coach
Stan Van Gundy has a .587 win percentage in the NBA, and he has made the NBA Finals. This is good experience for a coach. He is also in his 4th season as the Pistons coach, and he is getting used to coaching for this organization. They should do better under the experienced coach this season.
The Pistons will probably get the 4th or 5th seed in the Eastern Conference this year, and they will win a series in the playoffs. The better they do, the more interest people will have in playing for them next year.
Today I will be looking at the second round of the NBA Playoffs. The 8 remaining teams all have one goal: get to the Finals. But with two superstar teams, that will be hard for the other six.
1 Celtics vs 4 Wizards
The Celtics survived a scare after going down 2-0 against the Bulls in the first round, while the Wizards won their series in 6 games. The Celtics have the home court and the better team with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. The Wizards don’t have a true leader on their team, and the Celtics have veteran guys that have playoff experience. I believe that the Celtics will win in 6.
2 Cavs vs 3 Raptors
The Cavs swept the Pacers in their playoff opener, while the Raptors took 6 to beat the Bucks. The Cavs are only the 2 seed because they rested their starters and their team chemistry was at a low near the end of this season, so they have the firepower to march straight to the Finals. They will win this series in 5, and we don’t need to explain why the Cavs are better than the Raptors. Just look back to last year when the Cavs beat them in 6. And then they didn’t have Kyle Korver or Derron Williams.
1 Warriors vs 5 Jazz
The Warriors just have too many stars on their team to lose with the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. The Jazz has a competitive team, but they are no match for the star-loaded Warriors. The Warriors will sweep this series.
2 Spurs vs 3 Rockets
The Spurs are a team that always seems like they will decline because of the age of their players, but they keep winning. The Rockets, however, are a team that is built around James Harden with young players. The Spurs will win this series because of their depth and their experience, but the Rockets will be a competitive team for years to come. Spurs win 4-2.