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NBA Power Rankings, Week 10: Pistons hold position somewhere in the middle

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With some impressive wins and lousy losses, the Pistons confuse the media each week in their Power Rankings.

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Due to the holiday season, a couple of Power Rankings Roundups were missed. Well, we're right back at it today pulling the data from weeks 8, 9 and 10 (this week). Do you agree with them?

Week 7: 14

Week 8: 8

Week 9: 10

This Week: 12

Week 8

The Pistons blew a late lead against the Clippers on Monday, but won their two more important games, including Friday's four-OT marathon in Chicago, last week. Every Detroit bench player, with the exception of Joel Anthony's minus-3 in 30 seconds of Wednesday's win over Boston, had a positive plus-minus in all three games, a real Festivus miracle. They're the only East team in the top 11 on both ends of the floor in December.

Week 9

Thanks to three big shots from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope down the stretch of Tuesday's visit to Miami, the Pistons managed to squeeze out a win in a week when they trailed all three games by at least 16 points. The Detroit bench shot 10-for-17 from 3-point range against the Heat, but 4-for-17 in losses to Atlanta and Boston, and it doesn't sound like Brandon Jennings will make his return this week.

Week 10

There's an idea that Brandon Jennings is a prime candidate to be traded now that he's returned from a torn Achilles. But the primary concern for the Pistons should be decreasing their reliance on Reggie Jackson, which sounds like a job for Jennings. He played 57 minutes in his first three games back, but they were all in relief of Jackson. Coach Stan Van Gundy has yet to use the two point guards together.

So we are the anti-Golden State? If you end up leading us by at least 16 points, we're going to win. I need to get some heart medication.

Week 7: 14

Week 8: 12

Week 9: 14

This Week: 14

Week 8

December’s been kind to the Pistons, who are 7–3 since the start of the month and remain squarely in the playoff picture. They’ve already beaten fellow hopefuls Miami, Atlanta and Boston this season and can solidify their standings in rematches with all three this week.

Week 9

Detroit emerged 4–3 from a seven-game stretch against playoff-level competition; strong results for a team some thought might have been exposed by now. Andre Drummond (23.3 points,15 boards in those games) and Reggie Jackson (23.3 points, 6.3 assists) have proven capable of driving this team, and Stan Van Gundy’s done a remarkable job of maximizing his pieces.

Week 10

At present, the Pistons hold an elusive 0.0 net rating (they have allowed exactly as many points per 100 possessions as they have scored), which is good relative to preseason expectations but not ideal given the highs they’ve shown as we near mid-season. It all depends how you view the glass.

I like to view my glasses half full. But I agree, the Pistons won't go far if they keep this up.

Week 7: 16-24

Week 8: 12

Week 9: 16-24

This Week: 12

Week 8

The Pistons were gifted the most needed break in NBA history – three days off following the team’s four overtime win over the Chicago Bulls. The spate allowed them to consider how, exactly, to fit returning point guard and former starter Brandon Jennings into the rotation as he recovers from an Achilles tear and a one-game stint with the team’s D-League affiliate.

Jennings (the team’s second-highest paid player) has already claimed that he wouldn’t mind in the slightest if coach Stan Van Gundy brought him off the bench in back of Reggie Jackson. Now he’s going for uber-mensch status in pointing out that he still feels as if he has to earn the right to play backup point guard with Steve Blake on the roster.

From David Mayo at MLive.com:

"If I've got to earn my second spot, then let's practice for it. Let's go play for a spot. I'm with it. I'm up for it," Jennings said.

Brandon was a starter the last time he put on a Piston uniform. Even if this is false modesty, just admitting that he needs to prove his worthiness as a backup point guard is a textbook example of saying the right things.

Week 9

N/A

Week 10

N/A

O. M. G. We are relevant again in Yahoo's eyes...oh, nevermind.

Week 7: 13

Week 8: 12

Week 9: 14

This Week: 17

Week 8

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Stan Van Gundy's decision to outright release Josh Smith with two years and $26 million left on his contract. Those Pistons were at their 5-23 nadir at the time and are 43-39 since, peeking over .500 thanks in part to their East-leading three wins in OT after that marathon they won in Chicago.

Week 9

Shaquille O'Neal's career free throw percentage came in at a troublesome .527. Andre Drummond is presently nowhere near Shaq standards at a hard-to-fathom .380. The question we're struggling with more every day: How much do you downgrade Drummond's otherwise Moses Malone-esque season when he's such a liability at the line?

Week 10

Gotta give it up to Reggie Jackson. We were among those asking, in the wake of Jackson's $80 million contract, if he was indeed one of the game's top 15 PGs. The relevant question about Jackson now is whether both he and Andre Drummond are All-Star bound despite the fact a winning record doesn't even guarantee the Pistons a playoff spot as we speak.

By doing what Stan did against Boston. Know when they're likely to start going to it, and sub in Baynes or Anthony until Andre can reliably hit his free throws. I hate to say it, but it's true.

Week 7: 13

Week 8: 7

Week 9: 12

This Week: 14

Week 8

Where did this come from? All of a sudden the Pistons roll off four of five, with wins over the Celtics, Bulls, and Pacers. Reggie Jackson has played at an All-Star level and they get Brandon Jennings back soon. Every time you think the Pistons are too far back, they hit light speed.

Week 9

Sorry, I missed that week.

Week 10

The Pistons are 8-10 vs. teams that are currently over .500, which is a big reason why they look so good in wins. They don't have a consistent win-loss profile, in that there aren't really teams they typically beat or lose to. It's all over the place.

Beat Cleveland, lose to the Nets. Beat Atlanta, lose to the Knicks. BAH!

Week 7: 14

Week 8: 15

Week 9: 16

This Week: 14

Week 8

Stan Van Gundy doesn’t seem like the headband type, but that’s the gift he’ll receive to commemorate the recently passed one-year anniversary of Detroit waiving Josh Smith. The dead money on the books is awful. The Pistons’ performance since cutting Smoove, though, has been pretty solid.

Week 9

Play the margins during trade season. This is very much a Stan Van Gundy team, with a solid point guard in Reggie Jackson, a stellar big man in Andre Drummond and shooters rotating around the pick-and-roll. But those auxiliary pieces aren’t set in stone. If there’s a bit of improvement or an asset to be had come February, Van Gundy shouldn’t be shy about making a move.

Week 10

There’s a lot of argument about whether intentionally fouling bad free-throw shooters actually works. Pistons big man Andre Drummond offers an argument in favor of the tactic. It’s not just that Drummond is awful from the line. When he knows the hack is coming, it can pull him out of the game on a mental level. And when he’s not engaged, offenses have a much easier time scoring at the rim against Detroit.

His attitude at those times is noticeable. You can see the look on his face when he goes to the line. Not a look of "Dre, you got this." But a look of "How many am I going to miss?"

Week 7: 12

Week 8: 13

Week 9: 14

This Week: 12

Week 8

Andre Drummond is regarded as Stan Van Gundy's next Dwight Howard, but Drummond isn't exactly a great rim protector. He's allowing over 50 percent at the rim this season, which is not very good at all. There may be hope though. The last 12 games have seen him around 45.8 percent, which is up with some of the best in the NBA. Can that become a staple of the Pistons' defense?

Week 9

Andre Drummond's resolution of defending the rim better may not live up to expectations for the rest of this season. A week ago, Drummond was allowing 45.8 percent at the rim over his previous 12 games. In the three games since? 62.1 percent allowed at the rim. His inconsistency doesn't kill their defense, but it makes it harder for the perimeter guys to do their job effectively. He's maybe a year away from being lockdown there.

Week 10

In the standings, the Pistons are the No. 9 seed, which isn't actually a thing considering we just throw the 9-seeds into the lottery when the season is done. But SportsLine believes in them more than it believes in the Miami Heat. This might have to do with the Pistons playing most of their games on the road so far. A home stand could change a lot for Detroit.

Just as the Heat playing 11 of the next 12 on the road will for them. Unfortunately, the Pistons have a tough stretch coming up, and hopefully they'll weather the storm.