Archive for the ‘ Detroit Pistons Blog ’ Category

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.

Blake Griffin’s Pistons play his former team, the Clippers, this evening. Here’s what Griffin said earlier in the day, per

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin downplayed any extra motivation in his first game facing the LA Clippers, telling ESPN just hours before tipoff Friday night that “they’re just another team we’re trying to beat.”

“I spent a lot of time with some of those guys in that locker room,” Griffin said ahead of the 7 p.m. ET tipoff in Auburn Hills, Michigan. “Shared some memories, some good, some bad. At the end of the day, we’re worried about our playoff position, we’re worried about keeping this ship moving forward.” …

Asked if he’s spoken to Clippers coach Doc Rivers since the deal went down, Griffin said “no” without elaborating.

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The Detroit Pistons today acquired forward James Ennis III from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for forward Brice Johnson and a 2022 second-round draft pick.

Ennis, 6-7, 210, is in his fourth NBA season and has averaged 6.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 20.4 minutes in 193 career games with Miami, New Orleans and Memphis. The 50th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, Ennis is averaging 6.9 points, career-high 3.5 rebounds, career-high 1.1 assists and 23.4 minutes per game this season. Ennis has also averaged 8.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in six career postseason games.

A 27-year-old native of Ventura, CA, Ennis played his junior and senior collegiate years at Long Beach State University after playing his freshman year at Oxnard Junior College and his sophomore season at Ventura College. As a senior, he averaged 16.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.3 blocks and 33.1 minutes in 33 games (32 starts). He shot .491 from the field and .834 from the free-throw line and led the team in scoring and rebounding. Ennis was named the Big West Conference Player of the Year, an Associated Press Honorable Mention All American and earned All-Big West First Team honors while leading the team to the Big West Conference regular season title.

Johnson (6-10, 230) has appeared in 12 regular season games during his two-year NBA career and has averaged 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 3.8 minutes for the Los Angeles Clippers. The 23-year-old was traded by Los Angeles on Jan. 29 as part of a package that sent Blake Griffin to Detroit but was assigned to the NBA G League’s Grand Rapids Drive and did not appear in a game for the Pistons. A native of Orangeburg, South Carolina, Johnson was selected in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft following a four-year collegiate career at the University of North Carolina, where he was named a consensus First Team All-American as a senior.

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured New York Knicks forward/center Kristaps Porzingis on Team LeBron in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles (8 p.m. ET; TNT/ESPN Radio).

In addition, 2018 NBA All-Star Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons will replace Porzingis in the Skills Challenge.

Walker becomes an NBA All-Star for the second time, having made his All-Star Game debut last year in New Orleans. The seven-year veteran is averaging 22.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 51 games, joining new All-Star teammate LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers as the only Eastern Conference players who are producing that many points and assists per game.

The 6-1 Walker has scored at least 40 points in a game three times this season, one of eight NBA players to do so. He also ranks ninth in the NBA in three-pointers made with 141. On Feb. 4, Walker became the Hornets’ all-time leader in three-pointers made, passing Dell Curry’s record of 929.

Since Jan. 1, Walker has led Charlotte to a 10-7 record while posting the third-highest scoring average in the Eastern Conference (24.6 ppg) to go with an increase in assists (6.2 apg). For the season, the Hornets are 17.4 points per 100 possessions better when Walker is on the court than when he is off the court, the highest mark among all qualifying NBA players, according to

Porzingis will not play in the NBA All-Star Game or defend his title in the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge after sustaining a torn ACL in his left knee in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 6. A first-time NBA All-Star selection in his third season, Porzingis is averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and a league-leading 2.40 blocked shots in 48 games. He was selected by NBA head coaches as an All-Star reserve and drafted to Team LeBron by James.

According to NBA rules, when an All-Star is unable to participate, the commissioner shall choose a replacement from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Porzingis and Walker both play for Eastern Conference teams.

The Chicago Bulls in a trade today acquired Willie Reed and the right to swap second-round picks in the 2022 NBA Draft from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Jameer Nelson.

In an immediate subsequent move, the Bulls waived Reed.

Nelson, 6-0, 190, has averaged 11.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 28.0 minutes in 871 career NBA games with Orlando, Dallas, Boston, Denver and New Orleans. A 13-year NBA veteran, he’s played in 44 career playoff games and averaged 15.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Selected 20th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Nuggets, Nelson was part of a draft-day trade that sent him to the Magic where he played 10 seasons, including from 2007-12 for head coach Stan Van Gundy. A 2009 NBA All-Star, he averaged a career-best 16.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.2 steals during the 2008-09 season and helped the Magic reach the 2009 NBA Finals.

A native of Chester, PA., Nelson played collegiately at Saint Joseph’s University where he was named the Consensus National Player of the Year as a senior (2003-04) by earning the Associated Press, Wooden, Naismith, Rupp, Robertson and Chevrolet Player of the Year Awards, after leading the Hawks to a perfect regular season (27-0), the school’s first #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a trip to the Elite Eight. Nelson averaged 20.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.0 steals as a senior in 32 games. He was also chosen as Player of the Year by The Sporting News,, and and garnered First Team All-America selection and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

Reed, 27, was acquired from the L.A. Clippers on January 29, 2018. He saw action in three games with the Pistons and averaged 0.7 points and 0.3 rebounds. The 6-foot-11 center has career averages of 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 152 games with Brooklyn, Miami and Detroit. The former Saint Louis University product averaged 5.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.66 blocks and 14.5 minutes in 71 games with the Miami HEAT last season while shooting 56.8 percent from the field.

Like you, like me, like everybody, Blake Griffin wants to be wanted. The Pistons appear to want Griffin. That they traded for him is a good indication of this. After you contemplate our impressive detective work, read the Detroit News report below:

After a couple days to think about the trade and his new fit in Detroit, Griffin kept it positive, focusing on the opportunity with the Pistons. With such a mega-contract, Griffin didn’t negotiate a no-trade clause, which left him open to a trade.

“I want to play for an organization that wants me to play there — and clearly this is an organization that wants me to play here,” Griffin said. “The stuff with the no-trade clause, it was something that was brought up, but not something we went about, obviously.

“This is where I want to be. This is the place that wants me and that’s the type of organization that I want to play for. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a place that wasn’t working.”

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Blake Griffin traded to Pistons


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The Clippers are shaking up the entire foundation and future of their franchise, by reportedly agreeing to trade Blake Griffin to the Pistons. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

They acquired All-Star forward Blake Griffins from the Los Angeles Clippers for a package of players and draft picks, according to various reports.

The Pistons sent foward Tobias Harris, guarfd Avery Bradley, center Bob Marjanovic and a first- and second-round draft pick to the Clippers, ESPN reports. The Clippers also sent Brice Johnson and Willie Reed to Detroit.

According to ESPN, protections on Detroit’s 2018 first-round pick include 1-4 in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and unprotected in 2021.

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Forward Jon Leuer has played in just eight games for the Pistons (22-21) this season. And that’ll be it for him in 2017-18. Here’s the Detroit News reporting:

After suffering a sprained left ankle on Oct. 31, the condition worsened, as a later exam revealed bone fragments and other issues. Leuer has missed the last 35 games and has decided to have season-ending ankle surgery, he told The Detroit News on Friday.

Leuer, 28, has scheduled the procedure for next Friday and will have a four-month rehabilitation process.

“It’s extremely frustrating. Disappointing, anger, all those emotions … we were trying to do whatever we could to avoid this,” Leuer told The News. “I knew even a month and a half ago when I saw the specialist that he kind of suggested (surgery) right away, but we wanted to see if we could try to manage the pain and hopefully get through the season.

“As I tried to progress, time and time again, I never even got really close to being able to practice or do full basketball activities.”

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The Pistons wouldn’t mind some salary-cap relief. Here’s the Detroit News reporting:

They will seek a disabled-player exception for forward Jon Leuer, who has played just nine games this season after suffering an ankle injury on Oct. 31. The DPE is a provision that allows teams to get a break in their salary-cap numbers in the event of a catastrophic injury.

Leuer missed 34 games and was projected to be a major part of the Pistons’ rotation. Since the injury he has been limited to light shooting, but because of complications, he has had fluid injections in the ankle joint and is considering season-ending surgery.

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The Detroit Pistons today signed guards Kay Felder and Reggie Hearn to two-way contracts.

And in a related move, the club requested waivers on guard Luis Montero.

Felder, 5-9, 176, played 14 games with the Chicago Bulls this season and averaged 3.9 points, 1.4 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per game. In 56 career NBA games with the Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, Felder has averaged 3.9 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

A Detroit native, Felder played collegiately at Oakland University for three seasons and averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists in 101 games. The former Pershing High School product earned NCAA All-America honors from The Associated Press during his junior season at Oakland (2015-16) where he averaged 24.4 points, and NCAA-leading 9.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 35 games.

Hearn, 6-5, 210, has played in 14 games (10 starts) with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA G League this season and averaged 14.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30.7 minutes per game. The former Northwestern University product has played in 175 NBA G League games with the Idaho Stampede, Westchester Knicks and Bighorns averaging 10.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 26.7 minutes per game.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have two Two-Way players on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. Two-Way players for the Pistons will provide services primarily for the Grand Rapids Drive, the team’s G League affiliate, but can spend up to 45 days with the Pistons, not including any time prior to the start of the Drive’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

The Detroit Pistons signed Dwight Buycks to a multi-year contract today. He had already been under contract as a two-way player, on a deal signed September 17, 2017.

Two-way contract players spend the majority of the season in the G League. Signing a standard season contract means Buycks, a 6-3, 190-pound guard, is now a regular member of the Bucks.

Since an ankle injury sidelining Reggie Jackson on December 26, Buycks has entered the regular rotation and averaged 11.7 points, 3.2 assists and 19.5 minutes while shooting 50.9% from the field and 46.2% from three-point range.

He also spent time with the Detroit Pistons G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, averaging 22.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.0 steal and 35.6 minutes in 10 games.

Prior to joining Detroit, Buycks averaged 25-plus points in each of the last two seasons with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association. He holds NBA career averages of 5.9 points, 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 28 games with the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons are 19-14 this season, which is the 4th best winning percentage in the Eastern conference. They’ve stumbled lately, however. The squad was putting up more wins earlier in the season. Although they’ve won two in a row, they’ve secured victories in just five of their last 10. And now guard Reggie Jackson is hurt. Results on his injury should be known today. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

Detroit Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson will undergo an MRI Wednesday to determine the severity of the sprained right ankle he suffered during Tuesday’s 107-83 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Little Caesars Arena.

Jackson was injured with 5:25 to play in the third quarter, when he jumped to make a pass and landed on Myles Turner’s foot, twisting the ankle.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said after the game that X-rays came back negative.

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Pistons, Avery Bradley in mini-slump

The Pistons are 14-9, which is one of the best records in the league, but they’re currently on a 3-game losing streak. Also happening lately is, shooting guard Avery Bradley has been missing lots of shots. For more, here’s the Detroit News:

Avery Bradley chased Tony Parker around. He stalked Patty Mills’ dribble. He tried to shoot the gaps on passing lanes and get a steal on a drive to the basket.

It was the least he could do in Monday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, because he wasn’t able to get much done on the offensive end. Bradley managed three points, on just 1-of-9 shooting, in the Pistons’ 96-93 loss.

There wasn’t much different about Bradley’s approach; the shots just weren’t falling. He’s mired in a mini-slump over the past three games, notching just 7.3 points and hitting just 27 percent on field goals (9-of-33) and 1-of-13 on 3-pointers.

That’s a significant drop from his previous 12 games, when he posted 18.3 points, hitting 47-percent from the field and from beyond the arc.

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Detroit (14-6) is off to its best 20-game start since the 2007-08 season. Here are some notes about the current No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference entering Friday’s game against Washington:

The Pistons rank seventh in the NBA in offensive rating after finishing 25th last season.

Leading scorer Tobias Harris (19.1 ppg) is averaging 2.9 three-pointers per game – more than double his career high – and shooting 46.7 percent from beyond the arc, also well above his career high. He was a career 33.2 percent three-point shooter when the season began.

Behind Harris and guards Avery Bradley, Langston Galloway and Reggie Jackson, the Pistons are third in the NBA in three-point field goal accuracy at 39.1 percent. Last season, they ranked 28th at 33.0 percent.

Detroit is also making nearly four more three-pointers per game than last season, improving to ninth (11.4) from 27th (7.7) in that category.

NBA rebounding leader Andre Drummond (14.3 ppg, 15.2 rpg) is shooting 63.0 percent from the free throw line. He entered the season with a career mark of 38.1 percent.

Stan Van Gundy needs two wins to become the sixth active head coach with 500 career victories.

– NBA Newsletter

Pontiac Silverdome is being demolished

Any NBA or Detroit Pistons fans who have been around for a while know the Pontiac Silverdome. The Pistons called the Silverdome home from the late 1970’s through the late 1980’s. Well, that venue will soon be just a memory. Here’s the Detroit News reporting:

Plans are set for the public viewing and farewell for the demolition of the Pontiac Silverdome, which is scheduled to begin on Sunday.

The implosion at 8:30 a.m. will be the first phase in a yearlong demolition of the 400,000-square-foot former home of the Detroit Lions.

There will be a public parking and viewing area for the demolition at the Oakland County Water Resource Commission site at 155 N. Opdyke. Vehicles must be parked by 8:15 a.m.

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Former NBA player Ben Gordon has been going through some things in 2017. There have been several incidents this year. Here’s TMZ Sports reporting the latest:

Ben Gordon reportedly arrested in Los Angeles

Ex-NBA player Ben Gordon was arrested in L.A. Monday afternoon — after allegedly roughing up a guy at an apartment building … and leaving with several thousand dollars of his money, TMZ Sports has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us … the 34-year-old went to the apartment complex where he used to live in an effort to get his security deposit back. We’re told there was a dispute about the money and Gordon allegedly put hands on the guy and threatened him.

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Cavs beat Pistons for 5th straight win

The Cavs got off to a rocky start this season. Not a big surprise, with new point guard Isaiah Thomas out, lots of new players, and many lineup changes. But lately they’re winning and looking proper and Monday won their 5th game in a row. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

The hot-shooting Cavs basically ran the Pistons out of their own building in the first half Monday, racing out to a 27-point lead, and kept pouring it on the second half, on the way to a 116-88 victory at Little Caesars Arena.

The Pistons (11-6) had their six-game home winning streak snapped.

Cleveland didn’t even need a prolific output from LeBron James. He did his damage early and finished with 18 points and nine assists in 27 minutes. Kevin Love collected 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jae Crowder scored 18 points.

The Cavaliers shot 52.5 percent from the floor (42-of-50), including 48.5 percent from 3-point range (16-of-33).

These aren’t your early-season Cavaliers, that started 5-7.

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