Auburn Hills — Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy isn't sure the Dallas Mavericks turned themselves into NBA title contenders, but he said the team should be a better defensive team with Rajon Rondo as their new point guard.
The Boston Celtics traded Rondo Thursday afternoon for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, a first-round pick in 2015 and a second-rounder in 2016. The Celtic are collecting picks and getting younger pieces. The Mavericks (19-8) are trying to compete in the rugged Western Conference.
Van Gundy got a good look at the Mavericks a few days ago when they came to The Palace and beat the Pistons, 117-106.
The Pistons believed their defense was playing well until the Los Angeles Clippers and Mavericks played them.
"It is hard for them to improve offensively," Van Gundy said. "I would think the hope would be that Rondo would add a lot to their defense because that is where their struggles have been. When you have the No. 1 offense, I don't know how much better you are going to get on that end of the floor."
The Pistons have given up the most points of the season in the last three games. The Los Angeles Clippers scored 117 points, the Dallas Mavericks 113 and the Raptors 110.
The previous high was 109 points during an overtime loss at Boston.
... Do you want ugly numbers? The Pistons backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continues to struggle from the field. Jennings was shooting 36.8 percent from the field before Friday while Caldwell-Pope was shooting 37.5 percent.
... The Pistons were shooting 41.1 percent from the field, while opponents were shooting 45.5 percent.