Archive for the ‘ Detroit Pistons Blog ’ Category

Darrun Hilliard signs with team in Spain

Here’s Euroleague.net with news that a former NBA player has signed to play in Spain:

Hoping to return to the Final Four that will be hosted next spring in its own city for the first time, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz found some perimeter talent right before training camp starts, announcing on Monday the addition of swingman Darrun Hilliard to its roster for the 2018-19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season. Hilliard (1.98 meters, 25 years old) has played his entire three-year pro career to date in the NBA, including 14 games last season with San Antonio.

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Jon Leuer undergoes knee surgery

Jon Leuer undergoes knee surgery

Pistons forward/center Jon Leuer underwent surgery on Wednesday, August 8 in New York, to help fix a right medial meniscus injury that occurred during an offseason workout earlier this week.

Leuer will begin the rehabilitation process immediately and his return to full basketball activity will be updated prior to the start of training camp.

A backup for the vast majority of NBA games he’s played, Leuer career began with the Bucks in 2011. He then played for the Cavs, then spent a few seasons with the Grizzlies, then one with the Suns, and this will be his third season on the Pistons. He only played eight games last season, but in 2016-17 he played 75 and averaged a career-high 10.2 points per game, along with 5.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 25.9 minutes per outing.

Pistons name Sachin Gupta new assistant general manager

The Detroit Pistons have hired Sachin Gupta as assistant general manager.

“We are pleased to welcome Sachin Gupta to the Detroit Pistons organization,” said Ed Stefanski, Special Advisor to owner Tom Gores. “Sachin is a creative thinker, extremely intelligent, and has a great handle on the analytical side of basketball operations systems. His analytics and salary cap background will be a tremendous resource while serving a leadership role for our basketball operations team.”

Gupta spent last season as a special advisor to Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey, his second stint with the organization. The Boston-area native began his NBA career with the Rockets in 2006 as Morey’s first hire, laying the foundation for the team’s extensive analytics undertaking, which the Rockets would later become renowned for. In addition to his responsibilities as an analyst, Gupta also assisted in managing the team’s salary cap during his six-year tenure in Houston.

Gupta transitioned to the Philadelphia 76ers front office in 2013 as a consultant prior to the NBA Draft while finishing MBA studies at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. He then moved to a more permanent position, Vice President of Basketball Operations in 2014 and served as General Manager Sam Hinkie’s top lieutenant. Gupta served a substantial role in driving the club’s overhaul that led to this past season’s return to the NBA Playoffs.

Prior to joining the NBA ranks, Gupta spent two years at ESPN where he had a hand in fostering basketball’s analytical movement, implementing advanced NBA metrics on ESPN.com before their use had become widespread across the league. While at ESPN, he also became well versed in the CBA when he developed the widely popular NBA Trade Machine.

Gupta earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT.

The Detroit Pistons hired Tim Grgurich and Micah Nori as assistant coaches today.

Grgurich, a longtime NBA veteran and highly respected assistant, most recently served as an assistant coach for Milwaukee as a member of Jason Kidd’s staff and has spent the last 27 years with a number of NBA teams including the Seattle Supersonics (1991-98), Portland Trail Blazers (1998-2001; 2004-05), Milwaukee Bucks (2001-02; 2016-18), Phoenix Suns (2002-04), Denver Nuggets (2005-10) and Dallas Mavericks (2011-16). He was honored earlier this month with the 2018 Tex Winter Assistant Coach Lifetime Impact Award by the National Basketball Coaches Association (NBCA).

Grgurich spent many years on George Karl’s staffs in Seattle, Portland and Milwaukee and also overlapped with Pistons head coach Dwane Casey when they both served under Karl’s Supersonics teams from 1994-98, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 1996. The duo also spent one season together with Rick Carlisle in Dallas (2011).

Grgurich was the lead assistant for Jerry Tarkanian at the University of Las Vegas-Nevada, preparing emerging NBA standouts such as Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Armen Gilliam and Sidney Green. The Runnin’ Rebels won the 1990 NCAA Championship and made three Final Four appearances while he was part of the program.

He began his coaching career at the University of Pittsburgh, his alma matter, where he was also a three-year letterman in both basketball and baseball.

Nori joins the Pistons after spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets. Prior to Denver, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings. Overall, Nori has spent 20 years working in the NBA – including 15 seasons with the Toronto Raptors in various roles. He served as an assistant coach during his last four seasons with the Raptors organization and previously served as Toronto’s director of NBA scouting and as an advance scout.

A native of Middleton, OH, and multi-sport athlete, Nori was four-year starter and captain of Indiana’s baseball team that won the 1996 Big Ten Championship. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Organization from Miami (OH) University.

The Detroit Pistons made a front office move this past Friday, naming Gregg Polinsky the team’s new director of player personnel.

Polinsky is coming off a massive work stretch with the Brooklyn Nets, where he worked a variety of roles over the last 19 seasons. His most recent role with the Nets was director of college scouting. He originally joined the Nets back in 1999, working as a scout. By 2004 he was named Nets director of scouting. He later served as director of player personnel for eight years.

Before his work in the NBA, Polinsky was Georgia Southern University’s head coach from 1995-99. His ccoaching career began with a job as an assistant at Howard College from 1981-83.

Polinsky played college ball at the University of New Mexico. He has a degree in physical education from Northern Arizona University.

Pistons waive Dwight Buycks

The Pistons yesterday requested waivers on guard Dwight Buycks.

Buycks, 6-3, 190, was originally signed as a two-way player by the Pistons on September 7, 2017 and later had his deal converted to a full NBA contract on January 12, 2018. In a career-high 29 games, he averaged 7.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 14.7 minutes per game.

Pistons sign rookie Bruce Brown Jr

The Pistons yesterday signed rookie guard Bruce Brown Jr.

Brown, 6-5, 202, was selected 42nd overall in the 2018 NBA Draft after averaging 11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists last season for the University of Miami (Fla.). A 2017-18 Preseason All-ACC Second Team selection, Brown was also a 2017-18 Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 and was on the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year watch List.

A native of Boston, MA, Brown averaged 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 52 career games for the Hurricanes. As a freshman, he scored a career-high 30 points against eventual national champion North Carolina. He also recorded two of the three triple-doubles in Miami program history.

The Detroit Pistons yesterday signed free agent guard Jose Calderon and free agent forward Glenn Robinson III.

Calderon, a 13-year NBA veteran, returns for his second stint as a Piston. The 6-3, 200-pound guard played in 28 games for the Pistons during the 2012-13 season after he was acquired from the Toronto Raptors in a three-team trade which saw the Pistons send Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to Memphis and the Grizzlies trade Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi to the Toronto Raptors. Calderon averaged 11.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists for the Pistons.

A native of Spain, Calderon spent last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers where he appeared in 57 games and averaged 4.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists and helped the Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals. In 846 career NBA games, he has averaged 9.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists with Toronto, Detroit, Dallas, New York, L.A. Lakers, Atlanta and Cleveland. He’s also appeared in 37 career playoff games averaging 7.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

A two-time Olympic silver medalist with Spain’s national team, Calderon won medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China and at the 2012 Games in London, England.

Robinson III, 6-6, 222, played the last three seasons with the Indiana Pacers. In four NBA seasons, the Gary, IN native has averaged 4.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 172 career games with Minnesota, Philadelphia and Indiana.

Drafted 40th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Timberwolves, the 2017 NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner, played collegiately at the University of Michigan for two seasons. He averaged 12.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 76 career games and helped the Wolverines reach two NCAA Tournaments, including the 2013 NCAA National Title Game and 2014 NCAA Elite Eight.

The Detroit Pistons yesterday hired Sidney Lowe and Sean Sweeney as assistant coaches.

Additionally, DJ Bakker has been added to the basketball operations staff as a player development coach.

Lowe returns to the Detroit Pistons for the third time during his basketball coaching and playing career. He spent the 2005-06 season as lead assistant to head coach Flip Saunders and played six games for the Pistons as a point guard on the 1984-85 squad. The Washington, DC, native and former NBA point guard has spent eight years as a head coach and 12 years as an assistant coach in the NBA and NCAA, most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards the last two seasons. Lowe began his coaching career in 1992, when he became an assistant coach under then-head coach Jimmy Rodgers, eventually being promoted to head coach midway through the 1992-93 season and remaining in the position through the 1993-94 season. In addition, Lowe served three seasons (2011-14) as an assistant with the Utah Jazz after previously serving as head coach at his alma mater, North Carolina State (2006-11). In his first season at NC State, he became the third coach in school history to win 20 games and defeat the three other ACC North Carolina institutions (North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest).

As a player, Lowe was originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the first pick of the second round (25th overall) in the 1983 NBA Draft and spent time with Indiana, Detroit and Atlanta. He also spent time in the Continental Basketball Association, leading the Albany Patroons and Tampa Bay Thrillers to CBA titles. Lowe played college basketball under the late Jim Valvano at North Carolina State, earning Final Four All-Tournament honors while helping lead the Wolfpack to the 1983 NCAA Championship.

Sweeney enters his first season with the Pistons after spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach with Jason Kidd’s Milwaukee Bucks squads from 2014-18. The St. Paul native entered the NBA assistant coaching ranks with Kidd as part of this 2013-14 Brooklyn Nets team after serving two season as the Nets’ assistant video coordinator. Before joining the Nets, Sweeney served as video coordinator for the University of Northern Iowa, and previously held the position of director of basketball operations for the University of Evansville. Sweeney played one season at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay before transferring to the University of St. Thomas where he was a three-year starter and earned all-conference honors as a senior in 2005-06.

Bakker served as a member of Dwane Casey’s basketball staff in Toronto the last two seasons as assistant video coordinator and will join the Pistons as a player development coach.

Pistons hire Malik Rose as assistant GM

The Detroit Pistons announced today that Malik Rose has been named assistant general manager.

“We are pleased to welcome Malik Rose to the Detroit Pistons organization,” said Ed Stefanski, Special Advisor to owner Tom Gores. “Malik has been around successful teams throughout his NBA playing career and now, as a young executive, he brings great basketball knowledge from both a playing and administrative perspective. His engaging and collaborative spirit fits perfectly with the basketball operations staff we are looking to construct.”

Rose has spent the last three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks as their manager of basketball operations. He also served as general manager for the club’s NBA G-League affiliate – the Erie BayHawks.

The 13-year NBA veteran appeared in 813 regular season games with the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder where he averaged 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game. The Philadelphia native was drafted by Charlotte in the second round (44th overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft. He signed as a free agent with San Antonio in 1997 and was traded to New York in 2005. Rose finished his career with Oklahoma City in 2009. He appeared in 82 playoff games, recording averages of 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game and won NBA Championships with the Spurs in 1999 and 2003.

After retiring from the NBA, Rose worked as a television analyst for the Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Austin Toros of the NBA G-League, NBA TV and NBA Radio from 2010-2015.

Rose played collegiately at Drexel University from 1992-96 where he earned degrees in computer information systems and education with a mathematics certification. He also owns a Master’s degree in sports management.

The Detroit Pistons announced today an agreement with Dwane Casey to join the organization as Head Coach. Casey, who will be formally introduced at a news conference in Detroit next week, is expected to start immediately with player meetings and staff development starting this week.

“Dwane is one of the most successful and highly respected coaches in our league,” said Pistons Owner Tom Gores. “He’s a great communicator and a leader who will connect with our players and accelerate their growth. Having spent many hours with Dwane over the last few weeks, I’m confident he is the right person to get us to the next level.

“In our meetings he displayed great insight into what this roster can accomplish, and great passion about our city and the team’s role in bringing people together,” Mr. Gores said. “He’s an outstanding man with impressive character. He embodies our culture and will be a great representative for our franchise.”

Mr. Casey, who led the Toronto Raptors to 59 wins in the most recently completed season, is a finalist for the NBA’s 2018 Coach of the Year Award, which will presented on June 25 at the league’s awards dinner in Los Angeles. Last month, he was named the Coach of the Year by the National Basketball Coaches Association.

“I am excited and honored to join the Detroit Pistons, a franchise with a championship history and a roster that is ready to win now,” Mr. Casey said. “Tom really won me over with his vision for the team and the city. He clearly wants to deliver for the fans in Detroit and I believe in the strength of his leadership to do so.

“I’m confident that this team has the pieces in place to compete at a very high level,” Mr. Casey added. “There is a lot of talent, a solid core and some exciting young players eager to get better. We’re getting to work right away on the things that will make us all successful.”

Casey, 61, has served as a head coach, associate head coach or assistant coach in the NBA for 23 of the past 24 years. He has coached in two NBA Finals (1996 and 2011) and three NBA All-Star games (1996, 1998 and 2018).

Casey most recently served as head coach of the Toronto Raptors from 2011-2018 where he compiled a 320-238 (.573) regular-season record and led the Raptors to a franchise-record five consecutive playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals. The all-time winningest coach in Raptors history, Casey led Toronto to the franchise’s first 50-win season in 2015-16, recorded 50-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and posted a franchise-record 59 wins and the top seed in the Eastern Conference in 2017-18. Toronto won four Atlantic Division titles during Casey’s tenure. He was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month five times, and last February, became the first coach in Raptors history to be selected to coach in the NBA All-Star game.

Prior to his appointment with Toronto, he served as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2005-07. Casey’s 2005-06 squad finished in the NBA’s top 10 in fewest average points per game and lowest opponent field goal percentage.

Casey began his NBA career as an assistant coach with the Seattle Supersonics where he served from 1994-2005 under NBA head coaches George Karl, Paul Westphal and Nate McMillan. Promoted to associate head coach in November 2000, nine of his teams in Seattle finished above .500 with five winning 50 or more games. The 1996 squad won the Western Conference Championship after finishing the regular season with a franchise record 64 victories.

He also spent three seasons (2008-11) as an assistant with Dallas under Rick Carlisle where he directed the club’s defense and helped lead the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA Championship. Dallas posted a 162-84 (.659) mark during that span, winning 50 or more games in each of his three seasons with the team. His defensive unit held opponents to 96.0 points per game (6th in the NBA) and .450 percent shooting from the field (8th in the NBA) during the 2010-11 regular season.

In 14 seasons as an NBA assistant, Casey’s teams registered a 689-427 (.617) mark with eight campaigns of 50 or more wins. His teams qualified for the playoffs in 11 of those 14 seasons.

Prior to the NBA, Casey spent five seasons as a head coach in the Japanese Basketball League and worked with the Japanese national team. In the summer of 1998, he helped to guide Japan to its first appearance in the FIBA World Championship, which marked a first for Japan in over 30 years.

A native of Morganfield, KY, Casey played collegiately at the University of Kentucky. During his junior season, the Wildcats amassed 30-2 record and captured the 1978 NCAA Championship. As a senior, he was named team captain and won Kentucky’s all-academic award.

Will former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, recently let go by the team after years of success, become the next head coach of the Pistons? Maybe. Here’s Michigan Live with an update:

After dropping a strong hint Friday on ESPN’s First Take that he will be coaching the Detroit Pistons, Dwane Casey tapped the brakes a bit shortly after on another of the network’s shows.

Casey, appearing on The Jump with Rachel Nichols, said nothing is finalized with the Pistons but spoke glowingly of the organization and praised the roster.

“I had a couple of great meetings, one with the management, with Ed Stefanski, who’s a great GM, a great guy, he’s a main reason why the job is appealing, along with (Blake Griffin) and also Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson,” Casey told Nichols.

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Team mini-camps are typically for free agents who haven’t really proven themselves in the NBA yet. There are exceptions, of course. But generally, if you’ve been in the league for a while, having to participate in a free agent mini-camp isn’t a positive sign. Here’s Michigan Live reporting on the Pistons and Derrick Williams:

Derrick Williams participates in Pistons mini-camp

Seven years after being the second overall selection in the NBA draft, Derrick Williams participated this week in Detroit Pistons free-agent mini-camp, trying to work his way back into the league.

He worked out with 17 others at the Pistons practice facility, most with no NBA experience, several who played for the G League Grand Rapids Drive this past season.

It might have humbling for the 2010-11 Pac 10 player of the year at Arizona, a someone who the Minnesota Timberwolves took one pick after Kyrie Irving, ahead of players such as Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker and Isaiah Thomas.

But it’s part of the process that Williams hopes will lead to a free-agent contract or at least a training camp tryout with a team.

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Detroit Pistons hire Ed Stefanski

Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gores announced today the hiring of Ed Stefanski as a senior executive reporting directly to Mr. Gores with responsibility for helping reshape the team’s basketball operations infrastructure and strategy.

In this new role, Mr. Stefanski will assist in the searches now underway for a new head coach and new head of basketball operations; conduct a broad review of the existing structure in which the two jobs were previously combined; recommend enhancements and improvements to that structure; and act as a long-term strategic adviser to Mr. Gores and the Pistons’ ownership team.

His contract has a three-year term.

Mr. Stefanski brings nearly 20 years of NBA executive-level basketball operations experience to Detroit after serving in lead management roles with Memphis (2014-18), Toronto (2011-13), Philadelphia (2007-11) and New Jersey (1998-2007). He most recently served as executive vice president for the Memphis Grizzlies. Previously, he helped transform the Nets into the team that won back-to-back Eastern Conference Championships in 2002 and 2003.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Mr. Stefanski played three seasons for the Penn basketball team, where he was coached by Chuck Daly, who later would lead the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back NBA championships, become the franchise’s all-time winningest head coach and be named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Mr. Stefanski was a member of two Ivy League Champions (1974 and 1975) and helped the Quakers reach the NCAA Tournament in both of those seasons. He was drafted by Philadelphia in the 10th round of the 1976 NBA Draft.

The Detroit Pistons announced today that Stan Van Gundy will not return as the team’s President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach. The search process for new basketball leadership, including a new head of Basketball Operations and a new Head Coach, will start immediately.

“We have decided that this change is necessary to take our basketball organization to the next level,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “This was a very difficult decision and we did not come to it lightly. I am grateful to Stan for everything he’s done for the Pistons and for the City of Detroit. He rebuilt the culture of our basketball team, re-instilled a winning attitude and work ethic, and took us to the playoffs two years ago. He went all-in from day one to positively impact this franchise and this community.

“But over the past two seasons our team has not progressed, and we decided that a change is necessary to regain our momentum,” Mr. Gores said, emphasizing that Mr. Van Gundy, who has a year remaining on his contract, wanted to return.

“Stan is a competitor and he wanted to finish the job,” Mr. Gores said. “He retooled a roster that we think can be very competitive in the East. I know he’s disappointed, and that he cares deeply about his players, his staff, this organization and this city. He’s also a professional who will make sure this is a seamless transition, and someone I hope will be a friend and adviser to me long after this transition is completed.

“I have nothing but respect and love for Stan. I think he is a great coach and a great man, and his presence and leadership helped move this franchise forward,” Mr. Gores said. “Although we did not get the success both of us wanted, his efforts and leadership have put the franchise in better shape today than when he came on board.”

According to the Detroit News, “Van Gundy was one of the last remaining figures to hold both roles as team president and coach and although Gores said he saw value in that synergy, it was one of the things that made assessing them difficult. Van Gundy had one year remaining on his five-year deal worth $35 million.”

Van Gundy, who was named president of basketball operations and head coach on May 14, 2014, tallied a regular-season record of 152-176 (.463) in four seasons with the Pistons. He posted a 44-38 (.536) regular-season record in 2015-16 and led the club to its first postseason appearance since the 2008-09 season. As president of basketball operations, Van Gundy and general manager Jeff Bower initiated the re-signing of Andre Drummond, selected first round draft picks Stanley Johnson, Henry Ellenson and Luke Kennard and made notable trade acquisitions for Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley.

Fan reaction and discussion of this news is here

Will Pistons stick with Stan Van Gundy?

With a huge dual role as Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations, Stan Van Gundy runs the show in Detroit. Will the team take some of his responsibilities away? Part ways altogether? With the team’s lack of success in recent seasons, anything is possible. It’s worth keeping an eye on. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

It has been a week since the Detroit Pistons season ended and there is no word yet on the fate of Stan Van Gundy, or whether he has met with owner Tom Gores.

Gores said during the April 9 home finale that he planned on meeting with Van Gundy this week, likely at the owner’s home in the Los Angeles area. Gores said changes need to be made after the team missed the playoffs for the third time in Van Gundy’s four seasons as coach and president of basketball operations but did not mention anything specific.

Van Gundy has one year remaining on his contract.

Three teams have fired coaches thus far - the New York Knicks (Jeff Hornacek), Orlando Magic (Frank Vogel) and Charlotte Hornets (Steve Clifford).

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The Pistons got off to a nice start to the season, began to fade, traded for Blake Griffin, but have kept fading, and are now four games behind the Heat for the 8th spot in the Eastern conference. Detroit needs a serious rally starting fairly immediately if qualifying for the playoffs is something they aim to achieve this year. Here’s the Detroit News reporting after tonight’s results:

The result could be the death knell for the Pistons season: a 105-96 loss to the Heat on Saturday night at American Airlines Arena.

The loss is the second straight and eighth in the last 10 for the Pistons (29-34), who fell four games behind the Heat for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 19 games remaining.

Blake Griffin had his best game since the trade to the Pistons, with 31 points, four rebounds and six assists and Andre Drummond added 22 points and 18 rebounds. Reggie Bullock was the only other Piston in double figures with 11 points and nine rebounds.

The Pistons needed more.

More defense. More scoring. More fight.

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Struggling Pistons currently 9th in East

The Pistons (28-32) have lost three straight games and through Monday’s action are in 9th place in the Eastern conference. That’s lottery territory. Sure, Blake Griffin is fairly new to the squad, but you think he and Andre Drummond want to sit there and look at the standings together and accept this? Well, they may have to. Here’s the Detroit News with the latest:

The buzzards are flying overhead, attracted by the Pistons’ carrion. In the midst of a horrendous skid of six losses in the last seven games, the Pistons are struggling and sinking, matching their low-tide mark for the season at four games under .500.

Seemingly, the blood is in the water and the Pistons have been looking for anything to grasp onto to avoid drowning in the remaining 22 games of the regular season. What’s more, of the final stretch of games, 13 are on the road, including nine of the next 12.

The tail end of that string is a 12-day, six-game western trip…

Coach Stan Van Gundy said Monday that Reggie Jackson could return ahead of the big road trip, a potential life preserver to help them stay afloat. He said Jackson is projected to return to practice ahead of the western trip, which could be the boost they need. Before Jackson’s injury, the Pistons were 19-14; they’re 9-18 since. There’s something to be said for that.

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Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson is entering the next stage of his rehabilitation this week in preparation for a return from a Grade 3 right ankle sprain suffered Tuesday, December 26 vs. Indiana.

Jackson has been cleared to begin light running, shooting and continued ankle strengthening exercises. The Detroit Pistons medical staff will monitor progress throughout the week in anticipation of beginning an escalation process towards resuming normal basketball activities.

No timeframe has been set for a return to practice or game action.

Pistons season has been a roller coaster

This has been a wild Pistons season, first with stretches of success and also plenty of losing, then a huge trade for Blake Griffin, and to make sense of some of this, here’s Michigan Live reporting:

Said forward Anthony Tolliver: “All the years I’ve played in this league this team has been a little bit more roller coaster as far as high highs and low lows.”

The Pistons reached the All-Star break at 28-29, 1 1/2 games behind the Miami Heat for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

It’s not where they hoped to be following a promising 14-6 start. But they’ve had issues offensively, have lacked intensity on defense on too many nights, have lost too often to bad teams and haven’t capitalized enough at home (19-12). Losing point guard Reggie Jackson to an ankle injury on Dec. 26 also has hurt.

The Pistons return to practice on Wednesday and host the Boston Celtics next Friday (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit). With 15 of their final 25 games on the road, reaching the playoffs for only the second time in nine years will be a challenge.

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