Gores sees a future dynasty with Stan Van Gundy at the helm
The Pistons have made the postseason for the first time in what seems like an eternity, with Motown set to go up against the rival Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of the team's last playoff appearance in 2009. After going through multiple coaching changes, various roster rehauls and a change in management, Detroit is ready to compete on the big stage once again, with owner Tom Gores crediting the team's success to Stan Van Gundy, as Pistons.com's Keith Langlois notes:
"When we talked the first time, we said we wanted to win but never sacrifice the future and we didn't know how that was going to play out. Stan deserves a lot of credit. He came in, really quickly changed the culture. We worked together setting up the organization. When I met with Stan those couple years ago, what he had to say really impressed me. But more importantly now, he just delivers. He's hard working, dedicated and I think he's a great role model for our players in terms of preparation."
"I think throughout the league are disconnects between the floor and the front office, but not everybody can do what Stan can do," he said. "Coach and then think big picture, high level and what's good for the franchise long term. I thought that was a way to accelerate our progress and I had seen enough in terms of how that can be disconnected. Hopefully, it has, and we're in the playoffs now."
Gores adds that he expects Van Gundy and the team to only improve over time, bringing the city of Detroit and its' community something to be proud of. With the team managing to acquire several promising young players without having to sacrifice significant assets, the Pistons are headed for a very bright future, with it all kicking it off against the top seeded Cavaliers on Sunday.
Could Tobias Harris be the Pistons' new Rasheed Wallace?
Whilst you could probably make a successful argument stating that Harris and Wallace have no common characteristics as players, their path to Detroit yields a trove of coincidences that has many wondering if the former Orlando Magic forward could be all that it takes for the Pistons to find their groove and establish a new basketball dynasty. David Mayo over at MLive has broken down how Tobias Harris has seamlessly meshed with Stan Van Gundy's system to help push the Pistons to their first post-season appearance in several years -- much like how Sheed did in 2004.
"That fact that we didn't have to break up our team and we were able to add the guy we did, it made it a no-brainer move for us," Dumars said. "It created cap space and we didn't mess with our core, so it was a great deal for us."
Both forwards were acquired without Detroit having to break the bank, in both cases, Motown gave up two players (and a pick in Sheed's case) for an impact player who yielded immediate results. Both teams hoped that the player they were receiving would help stabilize the team and give them the extra help they needed to make the playoffs, whilst still making a long term investment without having to give up significant assets. For both general managers, the move paid off. The '04 Pistons would finish 58-24, eventually beating the LA Lakers in five games to claim the title, whilst the '16 Pistons have ended the season with a 48-34 mark and are looking to upset the Cavs in the first round.
Although it would be too much to ask for history to repeat itself, one can dream, but the similarities between both squads bodes well for Stan Van Gundy's Pistons as they look to re-establish themselves as a team to be feared in the Eastern Conference. Tobias Harris' numbers since arriving in Detroit (16.6 PTS/6.2 REB/2.6 AST) have helped drive the team out of a pre-ASG slump that could of easily led to the team missing out on the post-season yet again. Harris has so far proved to be a key performer in Piston wins, and the team will look to him -- much like they looked at Wallace -- to set the tone and help carry the team to the next level.
Lorenzo Brown expected to be more of a practice player than rotational piece
After momentarily letting the guard stray away from the team, Detroit re-signed Lorenzo Brown as an insurance policy as Reggie Jackson continues to recover from an abdominal strain. The deal, similar to the one Quincy Miller inked a year ago, is a two-year pact, with the second year being a team option (H/T The Vertical's Shams Charania). According to the Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis, Brown is not expected to see the hardwood, with Stan Van Gundy keeping the point guard as an extra body during team practices whilst Jackson rests.
The move means the Pistons will enter the post-season with four point guards, with Jackson, Steve Blake and Spencer Dinwiddie all figuring ahead of Lorenzo on the depth chart. The North Carolina State product could potentially compete for time at shooting guard, where Darrun Hilliard and Jodie Meeks will be battling for third-string minutes behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a resurgent Reggie Bullock.
Through parts of three NBA seasons the Grand Rapids standout has averaged 3.3 points, 2.3 assists and 1.7 rebounds on a .369/.152/.667 shooting slash.