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NBA power rankings roundup, Week 2: Pistons improve slightly, like the team

The Detroit Pistons won two games in Week 2 of the 2014-15 NBA season. As such, they won a few ranking spots.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

This time last week, the Pistons were winless. Thanks to a 2-1 record for the week (which really should have been 3-0), the Pistons are no longer winless and they have moved up in the standings and media power rankings.

Last Week: 28

This Week: 25

Not much has been going right for Detroit, aside from Greg Monroe 17.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the field. Enjoy the four-game road trip!

Call me crazy, but I am actually not too worried about this road trip. Yes, the Pistons have not been a road team in quite a few years. However, I think they could have a good road trip. More on that in a few.

Last Week: 27

This Week: 26

I suspect the failure to hold a double-digit lead over Utah, despite another big dose of Greg Monroe, is going to stick with Stan Van Gundy for days. If the Pistons finished that one off at home as they should have, they'd be taking a three-game win streak into their daunting four-game road trip.

Let us hope it only sticks with Van Gundy for a few hours as we have a game against Chicago tonight. Again, I would not call this road trip daunting. Yes, the Pistons have struggled to start the season as everyone gets acclimated with the system (which is obviously still a work in progress), but I feel momentum (or maybe that's the Kool-aid).

Last Week: 28

This Week: 24

Detroit, which is shooting 40 percent as a team, is playing its next four games on the road and has dropped 21 of its last 23 away.

Exactly, we are due!

Last Week: 29

This Week: 26

When you hire Stan Van Gundy and don't get any better you're in some trouble.

Because you can tell a lot about a team within six games. What has been consistent so far? Ok, well the last three games the starting lineup has been the same. And Moose has been quite Moosey. But other than that, things have not settled yet. Stan Van Gundy may eventually go into the Hall of Fame (I'm hoping) as one of the best coaches in NBA history (heard a comment during a game about no other coach has had better defenses than his, either active or history, can't remember), but all coaches take some time to change the direction of a team.

Last Week: 26

This Week: 24

Stan Van Gundy broke the seal on the Smith-Monroe-Drummond combination last week, starting the big three in the last three games. They were a plus-5 in 38 total minutes, but the opponents (New York, Milwaukee and Utah) weren't exactly top-notch. Greg Monroe is the only one of the three that hasn't had a disappointing start to the season.

Here are some advanced stats for ya. So plus-5 in 38 total minutes means the Pistons are plus-0.132 points per minute with the big three on the floor. That is almost the absolute value of last year when they were minus-185 in 1361 minutes, good for a minus-0.136 points per minute. But three man lineups are very risky stats to use.


When you are on the bottom of the rankings, it is quite easy to move up a few spots with a few wins. Looking at this coming road trip which starts tonight against Chicago, many people are expecting the Pistons to not do so well which would likely move them back down. However, I think it is just as likely that the Pistons could go 4-0 on this road trip as they could go 0-4. Let us look at who we have coming up.

Chicago - injury riddled (not as injury riddled as us though), who is 5-2 on a weaker schedule than us, and just lost a tough one to Boston.

Washington - the same could be said for the Wizards who are 5-2 on a weak schedule (wins against Orlando, Milwaukee, New York and the Pacers twice), and while they're defense is 10th in the league, their offense is almost as bad as ours.

Oklahoma City - They will be without Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and are currently 2-5 with wins against Denver and Sacramento.

Memphis - the most likely game we'll lose on the road trip. While they haven't had a really strong strength of schedule, still have a strong defense - holding opponents to under 90 points per game. Their offense though, isn't much better than ours scoring just one more point per game than us.

The Pistons, with Monroe back, are rebounding like they should. If they can hit the threes like they did for two straight games and get to the line more than their opponent (or most importantly make them), these games can easily be wins. But, I'm an optimist. Go ????? team, go!

Note: Ugh, those jerseys.