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Pistons brass not looking to trade way out of morass

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
President Stan Van Gundy: The roster looked fine after last season and the additions of Jon Leuer, Ish Smith and Boban Marjanovic were not blockbuster deals, but they’ve paid off at different junctures of the season first half. GRADE: B+

With so many questions surrounding the starting lineup and rotation and the disappointing 14-17 start to the season, the Pistons are in a bit of disarray.

But coach Stan Van Gundy isn’t necessarily itching to break up the whole thing in a trade to try to turn things around with some quick-fix pickup. While there are trade rumors and options out there, he said he and general manager Jeff Bower are just monitoring the situation.

“We’re where we always are. Jeff is talking to everybody and listening to everybody. I really don’t think that’s our issue right now,” Van Gundy said Friday morning. “We’ve got a body of work that both last year and the earlier part of this year that leaves us with a confidence level that this group can win. We’ve got to get playing a lot better.”

The injury to Reggie Jackson for the first 21 games was a bit of a setback and with only 10 games back in the starting lineup, Jackson isn’t back to the level he played last season in helping to end the Pistons’ seven-year drought of making the postseason. The free-agent signings of Ish Smith, Jon Leuer and Boban Marjanovic have paid off, but the chemistry of having it all flow together is the last step in the process.

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“It’s not like we’ve got a group that has not shown they can win together or we brought in guys that we feel didn’t make an impact — Jon and Ish have been great. Our bench should be better.”

But with the Eastern Conference lagging behind its performance from last season — where the Pistons’ 44 wins got them just a No. 8 seed — there’s still a long way to go. The Pistons are only a couple games out of fourth place in the conference and the small sample size of 10 games isn’t cause for panic.

“We should be better than we are right now, certainly in the last 10 games; we should be playing better basketball than we are right now,” Van Gundy said. “You can come up with reasons for all of it but you can’t come up with any excuses. We have to play better.

“I don’t feel like we have to move two or three guys, (as if) these guys have proven they can’t win. I think it’s the opposite.”

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard