Final Pistons grades: Things finally looking up

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Andre Drummond and the Pistons finished 44-38 in the regular season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Go through the gallery above (mobile users go HERE) to see the final Pistons grades by Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

After a 44-38 regular season, the Pistons shattered a six-year hex of missing the playoffs. They had mirror 22-19 first and second halves — and it was a necessary step forward for one of the NBA’s up-and-coming franchises.

All of the first six players in the rotation are younger than 27, with Andre Drummond as the centerpiece, earning his first All-Star selection.

In turning things around from their period of futility, they made positive strides — including giving the Cleveland Cavaliers, the defending Eastern Conference champions, a tough first-round series that ended in a sweep on Sunday night at The Palace.

Throughout the season, the Pistons had their ups and downs, with some signature wins against some of the league’s best teams, but also some inexplicable losses against the dregs. That’s to be expected of a young and developing team.

But as coach Stan Van Gundy pointed out during the run to the playoffs, the trip to the destination makes everything worth it.

The midseason trade to bring in Tobias Harris will change the trajectory of the short-term future and Pistons will look to build on their experience and be one of the contenders in the Eastern Conference as soon as next season.