Stan Van Gundy has vastly changed the look around the Detroit Piston locker room since his arrival. He acquired some new pieces right before the trade deadline, getting Tobias Harris from the Orlando Magic as well as Donatas Montiejunas and Marcus Thornton from the Houston Rockets.
I can see these guys quickly making a impact on this young team. Montiejunas is a 7 footer that can stretch the floor and shoot from the outside. Combine that with Harris who’s a scorer at the forward position that has a ‘good but not great’ outside shot. But that’s something I’m sure Van Gundy will help him improve on in the upcoming years. Marcus Thornton is a pickup that should not be slept on. He has a career average of 12.4 points per game and he can provide solid scoring off the bench for a team that’s ranked 29th in the NBA in bench scoring. With these acquaintances that Stan Van Gundy has gathered, it seems like he’s forming a team that’s similar to what he had back in Orlando in 2009. A lot of pick and roll with Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond and a well spaced floor with guys that can shoot the ball.
Van Gundy and the Piston organization have a ‘win-now’ mindset and it’s evident in the moves they pulled this week. Stan was quoted in saying:
“I didn’t say we would never give up an asset; we’re not going to do it for a rental guy. Every move we make, we hope, helps us in the present. We’re trying to win as much as we can.”
The Pistons currently sit right out of the playoff picture at the 9th seed with a 27-27 record, but with a lot of time left, they can easily creep up the standings. The Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat are currently facing vital injuries within their teams which creates a lot of room for error. It will take time for the new pieces in Detroit to get acclimated but if they can find a groove swiftly, the playoffs are right in their grasp. With all these young players, the Pistons have a lot of potential to be good in the next couple of years. And with a coach like Stan Van Gundy who has been to the NBA Finals and is forming a team to his liking, Deeeeeee-troit basketball is a team we must keep our eye on.