The season is lost but we still don’t know what we have. Stan Van Gundy paid Boban Marjanovic $7 million per season, and he was effective every time he saw the floor. But he almost never saw the floor.
Instead, we trotted out an obviously unhealthy Reggie Jackson, perhaps the most damaging player in the NBA this season. And Van Gundy gave Andre Drummond minutes based on his contract and not the results on the floor.
The Pistons maxed out at barely mediocre, but instead of a proper tank we’ll get a four-game sample of “the future.”
The Pistons are not yet mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but it will happen any day now.
With the playoffs out of the picture, Stan Van Gundy has finally decided to wave the white flag on the season.
Ellenson, the No. 18 pick in last year’s NBA draft, has played just 57 minutes spanning 15 games this season. Second-round pick Michael Gbinije is battling an illness, but if he gets healthy he will see more playing time as well. He has only see 32 minutes of action.
Marjanovic, a handsomely paid free agent signed in the offseason, has seen more than 10 minutes of game action in only eight games, scoring in double figures three times.
He hasn’t gotten much run at center because Drummond and Aron Baynes have been healthy all season. The team always planned on treating this season as a developmental year for the rookies. A time to learn during practice and play sporadically in the D-League.
Ellenson played in 21 D-League games and averaged 17.9 points and 8.9 rebounds. He struggled somewhat scoring, hitting just 53.9 percent in the restrict area and not finding a solid 3-point stroke despite hoisting 5.5 per game. In 16 D-League games, Gbinije scored 12 points per game.
Leuer has been a valuable role player for the Pistons this year, but his perimeter shot has abandoned him and because of that he goes long stretches where he’s invisible on the offensive end.
SVG apparently wants to see just how much small-ball five he can handle so he will slide into a reserve center role more often in the team’s final four games.
Van Gundy also announced Jackson would remain shut down for the rest of the season, and would only play if there was an injury to Ish Smith or Beno Udrih.
The tank is here, but it is much too late to make a difference. But at least we’ll have a chance to get excited about the rookies ... or we can panic over a four-game sample size of rookies playing poorly in the NBA.
So that will be a fun thing to look forward to.