Continuing on from my first installment of this series, I want to compare the second set of 8 games from last year to this year. Last year, after the 2-6 start the Pistons only won 1 of the next 8 games, leaving them at 3-13 (on their way to that 4-20 start). This year the Pistons started out the season worse than any other year in the franchise's history going 0-8. However, since then, after quite a few key changes in the lineup, the Pistons have gone 5-3 and are now 5-11. The record looks better, and in my first installment it looked like that stats showed improvement as well, but again, we need to actually see if there is improvement.
|Number of days||12||15|
|Number of Time Zones Played||3||1|
|Number of Home Games||3||5|
Well, if you ask me, our second 8 this year was MUCH easier than last years. Mind you, our 5 homes games don't account for all 5 of our wins, but it does account for 4 of them (the other win coming in Philadelphia). Just as our bad start to this year seemed to have much to do with the scheduling, our sudden surge may also be a product of scheduling.
Now, even though 5-3 is a good record in 8, especially for our team, we should really be 7-1 in that 8. Both games against Orlando should have been wins and it's really upsetting that they weren't (especially the first one, at home no less). Philadelphia is finally starting to play like a playoff team, but they weren't at the time we beat them. Boston is currently an enigma to me (did losing Allen really hurt them that bad, or are they just that old now?). And yes, even though I'm happy we've won two straight games against Western Conference opponents, let's be real. They were both wins at home, against struggling teams, who were both on the back end of a back-to-back, and third game in 4 nights. So again, the scheduling really favored us in this 8.
Before I've even looked at the stats, I can already tell you Detroit's offense has really seemed to be kicking the last 4 games if not really over the last 8. But, how does it compare to last year.
|Assist Per Game||18.375||22.125|
|Possessions Per Game||86.83||91.2899|
Oh if only we could sustain this offense. Our offense really seems to be clicking. While every category could obviously always get better, the only one where we're not doing as good or better as we were last year is Offensive Rebounding, and more minutes to Andre should take care of that issue.
Honestly, this is very encouraging especially when you compare it to the first 8 games of this year as well. We're almost +8 PPG in scoring, allowing just under 8 fewer PPG, doing all of this on fewer possessions, and shooting the 3 much better. Again, Offensive rebounding took a dip, but that could possibly because of our efficient offense. I'm all smiles though I know it could still get better (and that our scheduling does have something to do with some of it).
|Blocks Per Game||4.25||3.75|
|Steals Per Game||7.125||6.63|
|Opponent Offensive Rebounds||10.000||11.250|
The only really good thing I can say about our defense is somehow we're keeping our opponents shooing percentages down, leading to more defensive (and offensive for them) rebounds. But sadly, our defense has been rather lackluster. And the thought of what our record could look like if our defense had been average. BEN WALLACE, WHERE YOU AT?
Compared to the first 8 games of this year, the last 8 have had an improvement defensively (somehow) except for when it comes to blocks, they went down. Originally, I thought I might need to check my numbers, but when you consider we were averaging 6+ blocks per game in the first 8 games, that's pretty much not sustainable. But we're rebounding more, keeping their shooting percentages low, and even got their offensive rebounding numbers down (though they need to go down much more).
So our offense has been better compared to both last year's second 8 and the first 8 games of this year, our defense has gotten better compared to this year but not last year, and our schedule was much easier in both instances. Sadly for me, this means we're soon likely to get a swift kick in the gonads.
In our next 8 games, we have:
- 4 home games, 4 road games
- 4 Western Conference, 4 Eastern Conference
- 5 teams from last year's playoffs
- 5 games against .500+ teams
- 2 games against Cleveland
I feel that with that schedule, we can likely come out of those 8 with a 3-5 or maybe even a 4-4 record, putting us at either 8-16 or 9-15. Thoughts?
P.S. I'm sorry for this being short and I'm not sure how the formatting looks since I, and others, have been experiencing issues with the site (for me, only when I'm at work or connected to my work's network). I'll look over this tonight when I get home and make sure it's not FUBAR. Thanks.