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Pistons Links: Reggie Jackson with big goal and more Andre Drummond free throw talk

As the leader of the franchise, Reggie is not shy about setting this team's goal very high for next season. Links ahead.

Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

Pistons' Jackson: Next year's goal is NBA Finals -- The Detroit News

Reggie Jackson is definitely not the bashful type, as we've come to learn many a time this past season:

"It was a good season," Jackson said Wednesday as the Pistons cleared out their lockers. "When you look back and have time to reflect, it was a successful season. We accomplished some of the goals that we set out for.

"Of course, we always want to achieve more than what others expect from us — we set really high goals. The goal next year: Finals."

Terry Foster: Pistons Should Sign Drummond To Long-Term Deal, Flaws And All -- CBS Local

But here are the cold, hard facts. If you let Drummond walk, you get nothing in return. And DeMarcus Cousins is not walking through that door. In fact, the Pistons won't be able to sign another high profile center or power forward unless he comes in with enough fleas and flaws to make you shiver.

Detroit is not a free agent destination.

The last significant free agent the signed was Chauncey Billups at a time the rest of the league did not want him. And how did you like the Josh Smith, Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon signings?

Drummond might not be the perfect player but he works well enough with Reggie Jackson to make the Pistons better with growth and maturity.

Foster goes on to write that Drummond won't figure out his free throw shooting. Evidence? Just look at some of the worst free throw shooters in the history of the league. Foster cites only Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard. Foster makes an error in writing that Shaq made "58.2 percent" of his free throws -- instead Shaq actually made 52.7 percent.  But really, we have to figure that Andre can get to 50 something percent from the foul line, right? For what it's worth, at least Drummond's free throw technique normally looks a lot smoother than Shaq's ever did. Again though, that mental aspect that plays such a huge role...

All things being equal, Foster's larger point is still correct -- let's roll with Andre because he's a beast in many other ways and I'm not sure he's even close to his ceiling -- free throw shooting aside, perhaps.

Seidel: Stan Van Gundy can work his playoff magic again with Pistons -- Detroit Free Press

And there's one other thing: In 2007, the Magic learned a valuable lesson by getting swept by the Pistons.

"After getting swept, they learned, ‘OK, we have to get a lot better, and this is where I've got to improve, and I don't want to be a first-round-and-out team,' " Van Gundy said. "It's every step in the development, and that's really key."

What happened next? In 2007-08, the Magic won a first-round series against Toronto, then lost in five games to the Pistons in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The season after that? In 2008-09, Van Gundy got the Magic in the NBA Finals.

The Detroit Pistons? Gone till November -- Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie

I'd like to highlight one particularly intriguing part of Kelly Dwyer's article -- what do you think of his take on this?

(And, while we're at it, once again I have to relay that I'm not displeased with a millionaire basketball player missing nearly two-thirds of his free throws in the regular season. Finishing at a high percentage near the rim and leading the league in rebounding is an entirely different game than hitting a 15-foot set shot. We don't ask 6-1 guards to pull in 12 boards a night and shoot 70 percent from at the rim, so why this exchange? We don't chide pitchers for not hitting .300, y'know?

It's akin to asking a pro golfer, after getting on the green in two, to then use the stick of their putter to bunt their way to the cup.)

And We Bid You Goodnight: Detroit Pistons shooting for more -- Hardwood Paroxysm

Going forward, this team is going to have address its shooting. While the Pistons played a mostly competitive first round series against Cleveland — aside from Game 2 — they were still swept. Their weakness was really underscored in the fourth quarter of Game 4 where the Cavaliers got big 3-pointers from J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving but failed to keep pace. At one point, the team missed six in a row and went 2-for-9 on three-pointers in the fourth quarter after shooting 53.3 percent through the first three quarters.

Not being able to get the big shots when they needed them was all the difference in a two-point game like Sunday's 100-98 contest. Finding more shooters like Morris and Harris in the offseason will help. They may not even have to turn to(o) far if career 37.3 percent 3-point shooter Jodie Meeks can return to form and young players like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson blossom.

Reggie Bullock too, as there's also a lot to like about his game. It's great to have another potential option for the rotation already in-house.


For most of you reading this it is currently April 27. That means only 248 days left until the end of the year. Seems like a lot? Well, they are going to pass quickly whether you like it or not. Make the most of them starting with today!