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Go through the gallery above to view Rod Beard's midseason grades for the 2018-19 Detroit Pistons. Click here if you’re having trouble viewing the gallery.

When the Pistons hired Dwane Casey in the offseason to become their coach, a groundswell of optimism followed. Getting the coach of the year, on the heels of trading for Blake Griffin last January, looked to be the boost they needed to get back to the playoffs.

So far, it hasn’t worked out that way. Through the first half of the season, the Pistons have been inconsistent, struggling through injuries and hot-and-cold shooting to an 18-23 record, a half-game behind the Charlotte Hornets entering Sunday for the final playoff spot in the East.

Griffin has been spectacular, but the supporting cast has had up-and-down performances from game to game. Injuries have been a big concern, with several players missing multiple games because of minor maladies.

More: Pistons midseason report: Blake Griffin shines in inconsistent first half

Casey still is putting his imprint on organization and the new front office, led by Ed Stefanski, still is finding it difficult to make a move to improve the roster through trades.

The second half of the schedule has its difficulties, with another long western trip and tougher opponents. Their strength of schedule in the first half ranked 18th in the league, so they’ll have their work cut out for them.

rod.beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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