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NBA Power Rankings, Week 7: Pistons consistently inconsistent

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The Pistons' rank in the media's Power Rankings continues to ebb and flow.

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Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

First off, my apologies for skipping a few weeks on this. Holidays and all. Now let's look at how the Pistons have held up since Week 3, our last incarnation of the Power Rankings Roundup.

Week 3: 15

Week 4: 16

Week 5: 20

Week 6: 17

This Week: 14

Week 4

The Pistons got a nice win against the Cavs on Tuesday and their defense has kept them above .500. But their bench continues to be a big problem. In their three games last week, their five starters all had a plus-minus of plus-30 or better, while their five subs were all minus-21 or worse. In 179 minutes this season, they've scored a brutal 78 points per 100 possessions with less than three starters on the floor.

Week 5

The Pistons got a good win over the Heat on Wednesday, but shot 34 percent in their three losses last week. With an effective field goal percentage of 45.3 percent, they're the second worst shooting team of the last 10 years, depending on second-chance points for more than 15 percent of their offense. A soft, four-game homestand (all four opponents are bottom-10 defensive teams) could get them back on track.

Week 6

(Player of the Week?) Reggie Jackson and the Pistons took advantage of a soft, four-game homestand last week. Jackson averaged 27.0 points and 8.8 assists with an effective field goal percentage of 64 percent, and the Pistons won all four games to improve to 8-2 at the Palace and to get back into the East's top eight. They're 4-1 against the other East teams over .500, with seven of their next 10 games within the group.

Week 7

The Pistons' offensive improvement (105.3 points scored per 100 possessions over the last eight games) was validated by Saturday's big win over Indiana. They had six guys in double-figures in that game and Marcus Morris has been shooting well, but, ranking 29th in passes per possession, they tend to go as Reggie Jackson goes. They're 10-1 in games he has shot 45 percent or better and 4-10 otherwise.

This is why it is important for Reggie Jackson to make the right decisions with the ball. And recently he has seemed to. This team will go where Jackson's offense, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's defense, and Andre Drummond's intimidation will take them.

Week 3: 14

Week 4: 12

Week 5: 17

Week 6: 14

This Week: 14

Week 4

Conditioning. Detroit’s starters have logged 82 more minutes than any other lineup in the NBA, and have justified it with a 12.4 net rating when playing together. But with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris and Andre Drummond all in the top 10 in minutes per game, Stan Van Gundy might do well to find more balance going forward.

Week 5

Andre Drummond can’t do everything. The Pistons are the league’s worst-shooting team, owners of the lowest assist rate and look predictable offensively, with almost everything funneling through Reggie Jackson—who isn’t exactly conducive to improved ball movement. An astounding 51.4% of Jackson’s shot attempts come after seven or more dribbles.

Week 6

The Pistons are back on another roll, and not surprisingly, Reggie Jackson’s strung together quality games. Eight of Detroit’s nine losses have come with him shooting under 45%, and because Andre Drummond is a walking double-double, it’s no surprise Jackson’s performance has often dictated results. The question is whether he can come through enough to steer this team all season.

Week 7

If he maintains his current marks, Andre Drummond will become the first player to average more than 17 points and 16 rebounds over the course of a season since Moses Malone in 1979. What’s more? Only 12 players have ever done that, and all are in the Hall of Fame. One caveat: Drummond’s shooting 36.6% from the free-throw line.

I still like Drummond's chances to make it into the Hall of Fame if his career hovers around these numbers. Yes, people may laugh at his free throw numbers, but he's still dominant.

Week 3: 16-24

Week 4: 16-24

Week 5: 16-24

Week 6: 16-24

This Week: 16-24

N/A

We are so uninteresting that they didn't take the time to write about the Pistons, or nine other teams. You have a player who is doing things that hasn't been done since the 70's, three of the seven Player of the Week awards...but we're not interesting. Ok.

Week 3: 15

Week 4: 17

Week 5: 19

Week 6: 13

This Week: 13

Week 4

After nine straight games with at least 15 rebounds, Andre Drummond managed just 24 combined in the Pistons' weekend split against Minnesota (road win) and Washington (narrow home loss). For historical context: Ben Wallace had a 14-game run of 15-plus boards in '02-03; Dennis Rodman had streaks of 14, 22 and 24 in the Bad Boys glory days.

Week 5

The Pistons are the only team in the league to use the same starting lineup combination in every game so far this season: Reggie Jackson/Kentavious Caldwell-Pope/Marcus Morris/Ersan Ilyasova/Andre Drummond. The bad news: Detroit's punchless bench continues to put all the onus on Drummond and Jackson to carry this crew.

Week 6

It's true: We're fairly predictable with our Pistons mini-commentaries. But it's hard to resist writing over and over about Andre Drummond when he's averaging 18.5 PPG and 17.5 RPG. If he can maintain those standards for the entire season, Drummond would be the NBA's first 18 and 17 guy since Moses Malone way back in 1978-79.

Week 7

Our standard Andre Drummond update: Detroit's big man is the first player in the league to amass at least 400 points and 400 rebounds through the first 25 games of the season since Atlanta's Kevin Willis did so in the 1991-92 season. Even more meaningful: Drummond is at the center of the league's seventh-ranked defense.

Andre Drummond has to make the All-Star game. What he's doing is amazing. If Porzingas gets selected over him...argh. I understand that it's an All-Star game, has no weight on the season like the MLB, but I should think it would be based on ability to dominate. And Andre can absolutely dominate.

Week 3: 19

Week 4: ??

Week 5: ??

Week 6: 16

This Week: 13

Week 4

??

Week 5

??

Week 6

??

Week 7

The Pistons win games by roughly the same margin per 100 possessions as the Cavaliers. They just get obliterated (22nd in net rating) in losses. Every time I'm ready to bury them they have a performance like the beat down of Indiana Saturday night. (Pacers played on a back to back.) I'm still not sure what to make of them.

As stated previously, unfortunately CBS does not keep a history of the rankings, so I'm unable to go back and look at them. Either way, you can see we've gone from 19 back up to 13th. And I agree with Matt, I'm not sure what this team is yet. They've been consistently inconsistent.

Week 3: 17

Week 3: 15

Week 3: 16

Week 3: 18

This Week: 14

Week 3

The Pistons had some struggles last week, as evidenced by Reggie Jackson’s benching during the fourth quarter of a loss to the Lakers. Then they turned around and beat the Cavaliers. It seems an apt summary of Detroit. The potential is there for anything. Inconsistency, however, is a daily problem.

Week 4

Stan Van Gundy has called Andre Drummond the prototype for what a modern center should be, and Detroit’s franchise player is rewarding his coach with the nightly threat of a 20-20 game. As a team, though, the Pistons are having an awfully hard time scoring despite shooting 3s at a fairly decent rate.

Week 5

On Wednesday, the Pistons came back from a big deficit against the Suns. The secret, according to coach Stan Van Gundy? Effort. Detroit started trying -- really trying -- on defense, and their talent won the day. It’s the story of the year with the Pistons. When the effort’s there, this is a very good team.

Week 6

Detroit dropping a couple spots is more a product of the Jazz and Suns making gains than anything the Pistons have done wrong. Detroit’s offense is mediocre at best, but the defense is very impressive. We have a question, though: Is it too soon to start Andre Drummond’s All-Star campaign?

Week 7

Up and down the Pistons go, the perfect measuring stick of the NBA’s parity. The middle of the standings is a mishmash of moving parts, with 12 teams within four games of .500. Beat the Celtics and Pacers, and hang tough with the Clippers, and you’ll move into the top half of the league, like Detroit.

It is NEVER too soon to start the Andre Drummond All-Star campaign. Why would it be? And if we beat Chicago again? And Miami? And Atlanta? What then?

Week 3: ??

Week 4: 10

Week 5: 12

Week 6: 13

This Week: 12

Week 3

??

Week 4

??

Week 5

Pistons drop two spots this week and the regression for Reggie Jackson is hitting big time right now. Since the Pistons' 5-1 start, Detroit is just 3-8 and Jackson has been shooting just 37.6 percent from the field and 28.3 percent from deep. Teams are taking away the lobs to Andre Drummond and forcing the Pistons' guards to beat them. They aren't.

Week 6

The Pistons have won four straight with two of those wins coming against Houston and Phoenix, and they look to be taking back a little bit of the magic they had at the beginning of the season. Key for them, which is battling the neutral site percentage, is their dominance at home. 10th best net rating in the league at home and they're 8-2 there. It's what's keeping them afloat in the standings.

Week 7

While some teams are hitting the mat face first faster than a Conor McGregor opponent, the Pistons have been bobbing and weaving all season. You can't get rid of them and they just keep finding ways to stay in the picture. They're good against the spread and have a very good shot at the postseason. This is all happening while having the seventh worst effective field goal percentage. What happens if they start making shots?

Unfortunately, SportsLine has been inconsistent. Some of their Power Ratings articles have been blocked for privileged accounts, others aren't. I only know they were ranked 10th in Week 4 because of the comment for Week 5. As to the question about them making shots, what happens indeed? I mean seriously, if they start hitting at a league average rate, and the defense doesn't suffer too much, you're talking about a top 10 team in the league. That is polar opposite of what we've dealt with for the better part of a decade.

*****

Well, there you have it. I'll try to keep up with this more from now on so I don't miss any of the quips the journalists have. However, we still have Christmas and New Years coming up, and I've just started to coach my Upward team (and both of my boys are playing Upward also). So, time is short.