clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA power rankings roundup, Week 4: Pistons fall hard

Unlike last week when the Detroit Pistons barely moved in the media's Power Rankings, thanks to going 0-3 for the week the Pistons fall down the rankings hard.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons had a chance to gauge themselves last week. They faced a bad team (Orlando Magic), a good team (Atlanta Hawks), and a very good team (Phoenix Suns). The results in the record book show 0-3, but the eye tests are a little blurry. The Pistons only lost to the Suns by two while holding them (or them holding mean) to almost 20 points fewer than their season average. The Pistons lost to the Hawks by 10, but they were tied with seven minutes to go in the game. And then to a team the Pistons had a good chance to win, they entered the fourth quarter only down by two points to lose the game by 14 (they were within four with 6:28 to go in the game). What kind of team do the Pistons have? Let us see what the media says.

Last Week: 22

This Week: 27

Detroit is very bad this year. Josh Smith was kind enough to show us how bad it's been in a single Vine:

I pray that before the end of this season, we can compile a video of all the dumb plays Josh Smith has done while on the commemorate his trade hopefully. Only a couple of problems. First, I believe YouTube has a limit on video length. Second, I think it is illegal to induce mass vomiting/seizures. Though Josh is not the only person to blame, I do believe that if you want to see how bad the Pistons are this year, watching Josh Smith sums it all up: bad free throw shooting, ill-advised and ill-timed shots, and no cohesion.

Last Week: 26

This Week: 29

Not even your lefties-obsessed committee (of one) can focus on Greg Monroe's free-agent drive. Or Brandon Jennings' PER renaissance. Or Josh Smith's struggles in an SVG world. The story continues to be Andre Drummond's 11.6 PER and .397 field-goal percentage ... after last season's .623.

I do not blame the field goal percentage issue on Drummond alone. I think there are equal parts blame for Stan Van Gundy and all of the other "passers". Lobs by Dre® was a staple of the Pistons offense last year and it is one of the main reasons why Dre was so efficient. This year, I can hardly remember many lobs to Dre and it is both boring to watch and devastating to our offense. I know Van Gundy has alluded to other teams having taken that away from Dre's options, but a part of me really disagrees with that being the case. Also, Van Gundy was trying to open up Dre's post game more and that has resulted in a major drop in his field goal percentage.

Last Week: 24

This Week: 26

Detroit has dropped four straight games. The struggling Pistons’ next four are against teams that do not have losing records. Philadelphia has lost 13 straight games and their next 13 games come against teams with a win. See, I can do that too.

Last Week: 25

This Week: 26

This team is awful, and isn't young. They can't score, a concern because of firepower they boast. No team needs a trade more.

The statement "No team needs a trade more" is one that will follow Smith around wherever he goes. Honestly, I am not even sure it is a "big 3" issue with Smith anymore being miscast as a small forward. With Monroe out, he shot a ton and did not need to. Even when there is only two bigs on the floor, he is still shooting from outside. It is not a "big 3" thing, it is a Josh Smith thing.

Last Week: 25

This Week: 28

The Brandon Jennings-Stan Van Gundy passive-aggressive feud is the most interesting thing here.

I honestly do not know who I agree with in this feud. I have not seen shootaround, but if they are not shooting, what are they doing? If they are concentrating on defense, ok. I know they have to shoot to score points but it also helps to stop the other team from scoring points. If they are practicing the offense without actually practicing the shot, that would explain a lot of things. It is possible that in the middle of running the plays Stan Van Gundy will stop the play to explain the defensive breakdown or what the offense did right. I have heard he is meticulous like this. Maybe he expects them to be practicing their own shots on their own time. I pray that is not the case.

Last Week: 24

This Week: 29

A team with Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith shouldn't rank 29th in restricted-area shooting. And Drummond shouldn't be one of two players shooting less than 50 percent on at least 75 attempts in the restricted area, where he shot 67 percent last season. Yeah, the Pistons need perimeter shooting, but making layups would be a good start.

This is so disturbing to think about. And the issue is not even the other teams as much as it is missed opportunities. I think I have seen more times the Pistons have missed two or more offense rebound layups (on the same possession) than I have seen designed Lobs by Dre® this year. Josh Smith is shooting more in the paint than he is from three point land (though he is just making them into long twos), but he is converting them at a career worst rate.


The Pistons are bad. It hurts to watch them. Yes, new system, missing players, yada yada yada. That doesn't stop what they are. Revken took some time to see if the Pistons could possibly win the next seven games and tie last season's 10-10 record after 20 games. It is not looking promising.

However, let us look on the bright side of things. The Pistons are not the worst team in the league. The Pistons have the same number of wins as one of the most winningest franchises in history, the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James' team only has two more wins than the Pistons do. The Pistons have lost as many games in a row as LeBron James currently has. We allow the 12th fewest points in the league. Ok, that is all I can come up with. While I will not think about the draft until the season is over, part of me can not wait until this season is over. I do pray that these are just growing pains though.