Rod Beard’s Detroit Pistons midseason grades
Go through the gallery above or go here to view Rod Beard’s midseason grades and analysis for the Detroit Pistons.
Auburn Hills — Before the season, many expected the Pistons would improve over last season and vie for a playoff spot. They had a hot start at 14-6 but injuries to four of their starters at different points over the past few weeks have depleted their rotation and they’ve been 8-13 since.
After 41 games, they’re still in playoff position, but it’s been a rocky road to get here.
Andre Drummond has flourished in a new role in the offense, and Tobias Harris has become and high-level 3-point shooter. Still, the injuries have drained them, with Reggie Jackson (sprained ankle) out until at least mid-February and Jon Leuer (sprained ankle) questionable to return this season.
They’ve notched some impressive wins against the top four teams in the Western Conference and at Boston. At the halfway point, the Pistons are within striking distance of fourth place in the East, but they are pondering some trades ahead of the Feb. 8 deadline to help bolster the roster and fill in for the injured players.
Several players, including Reggie Bullock, Anthony Tolliver and Eric Moreland, have been pleasant surprises. Others, such as Henry Ellenson and Stanley Johnson, have not quite performed up to expectation.