As we roll into the final games of the regular season and start looking at the possibility of a post season we gauge opinion on necessity of a playoff berth, possibility of an offseason shake-up, and confidence in Stan Van Gundy.
1. True or False: Missing the playoffs rather than sneaking in would be the reality check this franchise needs to make the changes necessary to get it to contention.
Ben Gulker: False. I think it's obvious to everyone that this isn't a contending roster. Making the Playoffs is better for everyone, from the fans all the way up to the owner.
Jamie Delaney: True. A playoff appearance (or even dare I say a competitive run) clouds the long-term judgement of what to do with the two biggest building blocks and biggest question marks this season: Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond. A longer offseason than expected will force the front office and ownership to evaluate these two with a harsher lens.
Lazarus Jackson: False. The fact that this team isn't a solid playoff team in a weak conference (in the vein of Atlanta or Washington) - where DBB and, by all accounts, the front office expected them to be - is already reality check enough. The trade deadline discussions around Reggie and Andre should be evidence that the franchise is willing, but not eager, to make "necessary changes."
Steve Hinson: False - Either way, I think Stan Van Gundy's going to be taking a good, hard look at the folks on his roster. We kind of already had a preview that was the case at the trade deadline.
Kevin Sawyer: False. Missing the playoffs is never good. It's bad for the fan base. It's bad for morale. It's bad for attracting free agents. Insofar as it serves as a wake up call, that could easily translate into making panicky moves in the offseason that will only make the team worse.
Gabriel Frye-Behar: False. Up and down the roster there have been enough struggles to provide the proverbial wake-up call.
revken (Ken Wallace): False: I don't think Stan Van Gundy is some starry-eyed optimist who needs a return to the lottery to wake him out of the doldrums. Barring an astounding finish, it is clear even if we do make the playoffs that this team needs to keep making changes to become a contender.
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: False. I don't think the goal is necessarily championship contention - it's to be a good playoff team for a while, and the Pistons can likely still do that with the current roster. Wholesale changes probably aren't in order, especially not based off one seeding space.
Justin Lambregtse: False. Playoffs should always be the goal, unless you are in a position to tank for a star.
Ryan Pravato: Maybe... They need to make the playoffs (avoid Cavs first round) and see what this team really has going forward. Don't we all want to see how far (or close) this team is to Boston or Washington or Toronto? As I and others have said often recently, this team has a real chance to beat those teams. It will be a big boost to everybody in all facets related to this organization and fanbase, no matter if this roster can contend for a title as-is or not.
2. True or False: Regardless of whether or not the team makes the playoffs there needs to be a shake-up in the roster and/or management structure.
Ben Gulker: False. First, no changes to the management are necessary. SVG and company are doing a good job, in spite of this season's disappointments. Second, it was clear going into this season that additional pieces were necessary, even if everything went perfectly, so roster building would have been on the radar regardless.
Jamie Delaney: True-ish. Roster-wise, there will be a shakeup. Baynes will leave. KCP will need max money. And suddenly this is a team in the luxury tax that doesn't look like a contender.
Lazarus Jackson: True. The Pistons are still missing things they need (a knockdown shooter, a bigger elite wing defender, presumably an Aron Baynes replacement), and they won't have a lot of cap space to acquire them. They also don't REALLY need a 19 year old rookie anywhere and have blown second-round picks on non-NBA players consistently (happens to everyone). Trades are incoming, probably.
Steve Hinson: False - Because of the word "needs." There needs to be an evaluation of whether Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond are the correct cornerstones for this team, but the answer coming out of that evaluation might still be yes. If that’s the case, no shake-up needed.
Kevin Sawyer: True. Outside of Drummond, and maybe Boban, none these players would start on a contender. These contracts should be movable, but management needs to take a realistic look at their value.
Gabriel Frye-Behar: Management: False. Roster: True. SVG and Co, even if I've disagreed with some of their moves at times, are still doing a solid job and deserve the chance to continue to re-work things. My hope with the roster was that SVG's offensive system might help boost the production of some players, but that doesn't appear to be happening. The whole seems to be less than the sum of its parts - this off season there should be a roster shake-up to see if that can be remedied.
revken (Ken Wallace): False: I think "shake-up" is the wrong word to use for what's needed. Changes in the roster are needed, but they need to be made carefully rather than in a knee-jerk fashion. Clearly we need more quality shooting, but it remains to be seen what the best way will be for us to add that to the playing rotation.
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: False. The Pistons' main pieces don't have enough trade value where a shake-up wouldn't net diminishing returns. Unless it's a surefire fleecing I wouldn't be too aggressive.
Justin Lambregtse: False. I've always kept the mindset this season that things are not as bad as fans make it out to be. This team may be capped out as never being a contender, but I don't really see how a management or roster shakeup really changes much unless the team somehow lucks into a star.
Ryan Pravato: False. Some small-ish tweaks are needed for sure. Such as more actual shooters, less guys making excellent money while not playing for weeks at a time. Since I'm in a good mood and the Pistons just beat the Knicks, I'm rolling on the positivity train. A shake-up isn't what needs to happen. Can't panic yet. Panic later...
3. True or False: Tom Gores is right to put his continued faith in Stan Van Gundy.
Ben Gulker: True. SVG the President of Basketball Operations (is that his title?) is doing a good job, and the last thing this franchise needs in instability.
Jamie Delaney: True. Front office SVG has done nothing but make the right moves and put the franchise in a better competitive position. The coach SVG might be infuriating in moments, but has done a masterful job of making adjustments on the fly during this disappointing season. He can only do so much when guys aren't putting in consistent effort.
Lazarus Jackson: True. GM Stan might have handcuffed Coach Stan a bit, but the Pistons are in position to make the playoffs in consecutive years after missing the playoffs for what, eight straight seasons? Stan's still the man in Detroit.
Steve Hinson: True - SVG has shown to be a smart and shrewd leader of the franchise. He's not the problem. Besides, remember back when SVG was hired? The alternatives were folks like George Karl (who much of DBB was pretty excited about, including me) or Lionel Hollins. Like with most coaching changes, the grass probably ain't greener on the other side.
Kevin Sawyer: False. I don't think a termination is in order (yet), but the synergy between Managing and Coaching is unfathomable. In particular, insisting on the one in, four out approach when you have a very effective big riding the pine is absurd, especially when your team can't shoot. That said, SVG is a plus defensive coach, and that's more than most coaches offer. The team would do well to add some analytics-focused individuals and give them a voice in personnel decisions.
Gabriel Frye-Behar: True. SVG is stubborn and sometimes slow to react, but he's a good coach and has been at times very good as a GM, giving him more time and hoping for a lucky break or two (i.e. maybe Stanley Johnson starts putting it together in a big way next season) still seems like by far the Pistons best move.
revken (Ken Wallace): True: The Pistons have definitely improved under Van Gundy, so it's too soon to start all over just because this season has been disappointing. We need to keep the long view in mind.
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: True. Assuming the goal is to be a consistent playoff team, sticking with SVG is the right call. But the path to a title just isn't there, so if they decide to hit the reset button and go ringz or bust, that's when I would move on from him.
Justin Lambregtse: True. I've had my complaints about SVG, mainly his rotation decisions. However, a coaching carousel is never the way to go and I don't think there are any obtainable coaches who would be an upgrade.
Ryan Pravato: True. Stan's been pretty solid and I'm on board with him despite small things here and there that he's screwed up on. Stuff happens. The Pistons are back on the map (even if just barely) and Stan's been a big reason why. Let's give him time to really make his mark. Things seem to be headed the right direction.
What are your thoughts? Want this team to feel the hurt of missing the playoffs or better if they make them? See big changes coming in the offseason or happy standing pat? Think Stan is doing a good job or needs to hit the curb? Let fly in the comments below.