Pistons won’t ease off gas in hunt for No. 7 seed
Auburn Hills — After a well-deserved weekend off, it was back to work for the Pistons on Monday.
Coach Stan Van Gundy gave the players a two-day break, though he only took one day, getting back to the grind of game preparation Sunday. He said he did about 10 hours of prep, focusing on their remaining games — against the Heat at The Palace on Tuesday and on the road against the Cavaliers on Wednesday.
He said Monday’s practice was predictably sloppy, but the residual benefit might not be felt until later this week. But they won’t take a lax approach to finishing the regular season.
The Heat are fighting for home-court advantage in the first round and likely won’t rest anyone.
“It’ll be interesting to see the focus and concentration our guys have and if they’ll be able to match that,” Van Gundy said. “That’ll be a challenge.”
The Pistons have clinched a playoff spot but still can earn the No. 7 seed, which is currently held by the Pacers, who have two games remaining (vs. Knicks, at Bucks).
Van Gundy, in turn, said he doesn’t plan to rest any of his players.
“I don’t see myself resting guys completely, under any circumstances,” Van Gundy said. “There’s a good chance we’ll play our normal minutes and play to win, but part of that will depend on games and what happens Tuesday.”
Point guard Reggie Jackson said the Pistons aren’t content with just getting into the postseason. Rather, they’re still looking to build momentum for a playoff run, regardless of the opponent.
“We’re a team that’s hunting, so we have to go in here hungry and try to click on all cylinders and be ready,” Jackson said. “We haven’t had time to ease off the gas and we still play with that urgency and use the last two games as a stepping stone.”
‘Take a stand’
Last month, the North Carolina state passed House Bill 2, which overturned a Charlotte ordinance that offered anti-discrimination protections for LGBT rights in employment and in other public places. HB2 also prevents passing other similar ordinances in North Carolina cities.
The 2017 All-Star Game is scheduled to be held in Charlotte.
“My opinion is that game should be moved if they don’t change the law,” Van Gundy said. “We’re in 2016 and the idea that for whatever reason you want to conjure up, you have the right to discriminate against people is against everything we should stand for.”
Several conventions already have been canceled in hopes to get HB2 repealed or amended.
“We shouldn’t have the right in our country to discriminate against anybody, especially in this situation,” Van Gundy said. “The league should take a stand.”
Heat at Pistons
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, The Palace, Auburn Hills
Outlook: While some teams are resting, the Heat still has plenty to play for, namely seeding and home-court advantage in the first round. ... The Pistons are 2-1 against the Heat this season.