Three-point shooting was a skill the Pistons lacked entering the 2014 offseason, and it was an issue to be addressed by a new and improved Pistons front-office. Detroit signed five free agents, four of which -- Caron Butler, D.J. Augustin, Cartier Martin and Jodie Meeks -- were three-point threats. Halfway into the season, the fruits of their labor are plain to see.
Ryan Van Dusen over at Detroit Sports Nation points out that Stan Van Gundy's Pistons are on course to beat the franchise record for most threes attempted and made within a season -- by quite a lot. Van Gundy's teams have always relied heavily on the three-point shot, with the Orlando Magic's three-point franchise records for makes (841), attempts (2241) and percentage (38.6%) all belonging to his teams.
You'd only have to look at the previous season to find the team that topped team history in three point attempts (1580), but you need to wind back the clock even further to find the squad boasting the most makes in a season. Your winners? The '96-'97 Pistons, who knocked down 582 of the 1499 triples they launched, good for a scorching 38.8% (Second only to the '95 team that shot an eye-popping 40.4%). Halfway into the season, the 2015 Pistons currently sit at 406 makes from 1173 shots, good for 34.6%; a definite improvement over last year's team, but also on pace to claim both franchise records.
We've already been witnesses to the team's long range barrage multiple times this season, with the Pistons attempted a franchise-best 43 attempts against the Hawks in Detroit and buried the Cavs in Cleveland under another franchise-record 17 threes. Throughout the year, we've seen Jodie Meeks, Kyle Singler, Brandon Jennings and many others light up from deep; and the team's newfound love for the three-ball isn't at all surprising considering Van Gundy has surrounded himself with 3-point marksmen.
The trade for Anthony Tolliver in December only served to bolster an already threatening three-point offense, and gave Stan Van Gundy more options, as the forward's addition meant that more than 75% of the Pistons' roster had range extending past the three-point line. The first-year Pistons coach has certainly succeeded in recreating the Magic teams that terrorized the East with their three-point shooting and dominance on the boards, but a lot remains to be done to emulate their success.
Van Gundy led a Magic team comprised of a dominant center and an amalgamation of three-point shooters to multiple playoff appearances, it wouldn't be hard to make a case for this current Detroit team to become a powerhouse in the upcoming seasons with its current core of players. Only time will tell what awaits the Pistons, but if history proves anything, it's that the future looks mighty bright in Detroit.