Will the Detroit Pistons make the playoffs in 2018

The Detroit Pistons are a fun long shot pick because of LeBron leaving (again.) The Pistons have far less to worry about knowing they won’t be playing behind LeBron and the Cavs, a very good feeling for any Eastern Conference team, this year.
It is certainly a little hard to get a full feel as to how talented the Pistons team can be, because they have quite a few guys who have put some miles on their feet.  They have been counting on Blake Griffin to bring his 25pts + and ready to go for them, and their front-court to contribute significantly. And that isn’t really a bad thing. Griffin brings offense, Andre Drummond can rebound with anyone, and has done it with ease. 27 year old Reggie Bullock brings deep shooting skill for them at the guard position, and Drummond also has brought a greatly improved passing game from the 5 spot. The Pistons need to still improve defending the ball but they have improved their scoring greatly, up from 104 to 111 this season. If the Pistons offense keeps getting better with the 6-11 Andre Drummond and a fully healthy Blake Griffin, and continued improvement from Reggie Bullock, the Pistons could end up being decent. Their scoring has gotten better with an improved game on the court. A mix match backcourt has done just fine for them.
And this year with the Cavs drowning and Boston struggling like they have, things have opened up tremendously this year. Overall, the East has declined significantly with the leaving of LeBron to the Lakers, and other teams have added their different parts, and it has been a lot of fun seeing how they have meshed together as the East’s biggest mountain has now left the building. It seems that the Pistons and their fans have accepted a losing culture, with a sad 38 game win avg/season since 2010 and just 3 seasons with 35 or more wins, this is now their chance to make a move.
The big gift is that, LeBron James is not in the conference, or the division this year, which adds pressure to all of the teams, as he was constantly leading his teams to championships each and every year for almost a decade says Vegas Expert Mike Anthony. So now, the teams that were close, feel they should be next in line, and the teams that were on the outside looking in, are feeling they can make it now. The Pistons were significantly weaker last year vs the division, than they should be now.
Their starting line-up , decent depth & made a serious needed change at head coach – it is now time to man up & play with the big boys, the Milwaukee’s, the Raptors and the 76ers in the East. With the quiet talent that the Pistons have on their roster they should be able to make the post season. And the truth is, Detroit is probably the 2nd best team in the Central division. Not to say they can’t blow it, so they need to stay on track, solo led Charlotte can show up and wreck all their plans, and the Heat are not that great, and Cleveland are not even close right now.  And the Bulls are not just a player or 2 from being good – they are several players away from being even tolerable to watch.
Detroit has seemingly overtook the Washington Wizards and their dynamic duo in the conference this year. I see 40-43 wins for them this season and that puts them just getting into the playoffs. This Detroit team won just 39 games last year, and the Pistons have been a struggling team that has made the playoffs just once, since 2009. But, I would say, the Pistons are much further along talent wise than they have been in some time.

Are we convinced Blake Griffin is going to the next level?

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When we watch highlights and –Sportscenter– there are likely going to be highlights from the LA Clippers power forward, Blake Griffin. Dazzling fans with his ridiculous dunks, and big time power play moves on the court. His athleticism has never been a question. He has always been a very good rebounder, with a career 10.3 avg off the glass, who is fast heading up the court, and he’s very strong. But the question I have had for a long time, which could be answered finally is. How limited he is on offense?

It has appeared for quite some time that most of Griffin’s points come on lightening fast break dunks and alley-oops from the back door screen. And for years he has struggled with an inconsistent jump shot. I mean I have seen some real bricks.

But, there are a lot of things going on in LA. Blake is starting to finally develop a dependable post game. Which was something he seemed to have missed in his game before, lacking what power forwards are typically supposed to have. Griffin has had a lethargic game down low, playing back to the basket. And at times, his ball handling has been awful, where as so bad, the basketball almost looked foreign in his hands. And he still seems to struggle with the ball at times. But Griffin and his inside presence is a vital component to the complete package of the LA Clippers.

Griffin has established himself this year, by being more aggressive. He has picked up the scoring, taking the team on his back, when needed. He is getting to the line more than he did before. Getting more attempts a game than he has in the last 2 years. He has also improved his free throw shooting greatly, now hitting 70% from the charity stripe.

When he was struggling at the line, it makes a player think twice before playing aggressively, but this is the new Blake Griffin, a new player. Who seems to no longer be shook when he needs to score points. He drives to the basket, off the one or two power dribble, and gets to the line with authority. Some can argue who the best power forwards are in the game, and many may feel Griffin is one of them. His numbers certainly are in comparison with the best PFs in the game. He is 3rd in scoring, 5th in rebounding with 10/game, and even 3rd in apg at 3.5, which is excellent.

And with all of it being said and done, the Clips are a real deal team, playing great and making teams shake. They are easily on their way to 50 or more wins, and playoffs again. So Griffin’s numbers are backed up by winning games as well, which makes them that much more sensational. They aren’t empty statistics.

Blake is facing up more and taking his man off the dribble, to the left and to the right. And has improved to get himself a respectable 12-15 foot jumper as well, which keeps defenders off balance. His rookie year he came in and we were all admiring his skills, and enjoyed the power game, But he is elevating his game to another place now.

Blake is demanding the ball more, made sure his team didn’t slip out of contention because of the loss of their court general. At this time now in the season, Blake has become the robust backbone of the Clips, and I think that everyone knows it now. Blake Griffin has lead his team to a winning record even without the best PG in the game. Griffin has a great future, he has reached superstar status. He can now rightfully claim that he has become an all around better player, playing the best ball of his career now. And is quickly climbing the charts as one of the top players in the NBA right now.

They can matchup with anyone, including the high scoring Thunder. I expect nothing but CP3 to keep Griffin involved and keep the Clips rolling. As the new “kings of LA.” As long as Blake continues to play like this, as well as the role players continue to knock down their shots, I can’t see anyone in the West beating the Clips 4 times in 7 games.

Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com