good friends bitter game day rivals over at Mavs Moneyball invited us over for a game day chat about the Pistons. As you'd expect, they're curious about the post Josh Smith Pistons, and I was more than happy to oblige.
I'm digging the the way the Pistons are playing right now as much as I am the winning. Winning one hundred percent of their games obviously isn't sustainable, but the style of play producing the wins is, which should add up to some good basketball for the remainder of the season.
The Pistons rattled five consecutive wins, each by a margin of at least 10 points, since waiving Josh Smith. What is the team doing differently now?
First and foremost, Josh Smith is no longer leading the team in minutes and shot attempts. Josh Smith was demonstrably playing some of the most damaging offense in Pistons' history this season, and he is no longer doing so. Addition by subtraction (as I wrote about here).
Digging more deeply, I would point to shot selection. Instead of the stagnant, ball-stopping offense that plagued the Smith seasons, the Pistons are now generating lots of open looks. They are running primarily through Monroe in the post and with Drummond in the pick-and-roll. This has resulted in shots close to the basket and from behind the three-point line, which is exactly where this roster should be looking to score. It helps that our shooters have been hitting shots of late, especially Jodie Meeks.
Even though the team's torrid shooting isn't going to be sustainable over the long term, but the types of shots the offense is generating should be, and there should be enough firepower to be competitive.
Be sure to click through and join the conversation. We've had some friendly visitors from Mavs Moneyball recently, and it would be good to return the favor.