The Detroit Pistons finished a disappointing 37-45 last season. As the team looks to improve and regain a spot in the playoffs, Detroit Bad Boys is examining three things each player can do to improve their game and improve the chance the team wins. Whether you’re new to the game or a season Pistons watcher, these are important factors that anyone can appreciate and will help you understand and evaluate Detroit’s team as we get ready for the 2017-18 season.
Rebound like a power forward
Quality rebounding can cover up a lot of sins – just ask Andre Drummond. Harris, however, definitely rebounds like a small forward. His 7.9 rebounds per 100 possessions rates 103rd of the 154 forwards to play at least 50 games, per stats.nba.com. Others ranked near Harris include Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Kelly Oubre Jr., Taurean Prince and Trevor Ariza. Harris is back in the starting lineup and playing alongside Andre Drummond his rebounding deficiencies are slightly masked. But on a team like Detroit eliminating as many extra possessions for the opponent as possible is of paramount importance. Many Pistons fans believe that Harris is the best player on this Detroit squad, but rebounding is a major hole in his game.
More Harris in the pick-and-roll
Quick, who was the most effective pick-and-roll player in Detroit last season? If you said Harris (and you probably did considering the article you’re reading) then good job. His 0.98 points per possession out of the pick-and-roll easily eclipsed scoring point guard Reggie Jackson and jitterbug Ish Smith, who were at 0.89 and 0.85 ppp, respectively. The problem, however, is that Harris only ran the pick-and-roll in 10 percent of his possessions. Stan Van Gundy must utilize Harris in this role more. With his decent handle and vision and the quickness advantage he has when going up against a big man and height advantage he has when switched onto a guard make him a threat to drive the lane and finish or find the open man. Harris should be the focal point of the Pistons offense, and allowing him to run SVG’s preferred offensive attack is a no-brainer.
If one player posts up, it should be Harris
Speaking of size advantages and being the focal point of the offense, Harris should definitely be utilized in the post more often. Harris loves to sit on that left block and take advantage of smaller or slower opponents. He has good touch, a high arc and isn’t afraid to step back and let one fly. He scored 1.11 points per possession when Detroit traded for him in 2015-16 over 27 games (best on the team) and 1.03 ppp last season (best on the team). To put it in perspective, Drummond outscored Harris in the post on the season by 129 points (246 to 117). But if Harris had as many shots in the post as Drummond had last season, Harris would have had thumped Dre 346 to 246. That’s …. Significant.