This article is a facsimile of an earlier version published on The Basketball Writers (TBW), which recently closed its doors
At 11-7, the Detroit Pistons are an upstart in the Eastern Conference.
New head coach Dwane Casey has revitalized Blake Griffin's career, who is putting up All-Star caliber numbers among the league leaders in offensive output. The Pistons took a road win over the East-leading Toronto Raptors while claiming early-season wins over the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers. They've won seven of their last nine, scoring over 115 in five of those contests.
A deeper dive into Detroit's start should raise some red flags, though.
The Pistons are last in strength of schedule thus far, according to Basketball-Reference. Their top-ten defense—likely more than due to their schedule—is primed for a regression: teams are only shooting 32 percent from deep against them, and that number could drastically swing their defensive efficiencies. Detroit must improve on the offensive side, which will help them keep pace with the aforementioned numbers jumping closer to normal.
More specifically, Detroit needs outside shooting.
This article is a facsimile of an earlier version published on The Basketball Writers (TBW), which recently closed its doors.
Few teams, and even fewer coaches, can claim to have the number of Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
The Indiana Pacers and Nate McMillan might be able to lay to claim to such an accomplishment. Those Pacers have foiled Boston on three-straight occasions dating back to last season. The latest chapter in their series, a 102-101 home victory on Saturday night, was a thrilling neck-and-neck battle down the stretch. Both squads saw their top players make winning plays, and a few key plays in crunch time served as winning ingredients for the Pacers.
So what went into those final minutes and the few plays that made the difference? For those answers, we have to dive into the film – and not just the game tape from Saturday. We'll examine three different sets and areas where the Celtics offense and end-game counters were either successful, provided missed opportunities, or foiled by great preparation on the part of the Pacers.
Head Boys Basketball Coach, Boys' Latin School (MD).