DETROIT - The Detroit Pistons were sweptMonday Nightby the one seeded Milwaukee Bucks with score of 127-104 in game 4.
Andre Drummond who faced mass criticism from the media and fans alike came energized and ready to play but the Bucks and potential NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo were just to much for Detroit in game 4 and all series.This was the expected result for the matchup between the Pistons and the Bucks, although it would have been nice to stop the current playoff loss streak which is now at 14 games.
The Pistons have a lot of question marks heading into the offseason and will need to do some major roster maneuvering if they want to return to the playoffs next year and be more competitive the next time around. It starts with Reggie Jackson who is in the last year of his 4 year, $80 million dollar contract.
A pass first point guard is the type of player that you would want to pair with scorers Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard. Jackson being a shoot first guard has been troublesome more than it has been helpful and it wouldn’t hurt to see if a team would be willing to take on his last year in exchange for wing players which the Pistons so desperately need. Back-up point guard Ish Smith’s contract is expiring and I don't expect the Pistons to resign him based on his inconsistent play the second half of the season.
Bruce Brown was your shooting guard starter for most of the season because of his ability on defense and expect him to work on his offensive game with Dwane Casey and the Pistons coaching staff this offseason. Luke Kennard will need to work on his defense but his ability to score and shoot the three gives him a reason to be the Pistons starting two of the future. The development of these two players will be instrumental for the future of Detroit.
Whether it is through free agency the draft or trade, the wing position is the number one need for the Pistons. Glenn Robinson III has barely been able to crack the rotation, Langston Galloway seems to forget he is a shooter most of the time he's on the floor and that is extent of Detroit’s wing depth. Wayne Ellington was nice pick-up off the waiver market but he will be looking for a bigger deal and the Pistons won’t be looking to keep him around most likely.
Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will be your bigs moving forward barring a trade of either of the two, which does not seem likely. Zaza Pachulia’s contract is up and is another player Detroit will unlikely resign.
Thon Maker and Svi Mykhaliluk are very raw and young players but still have untapped potentialas well as rookie Kyhri Thomas. The Pistons bench for next season is a pretty cloudy image and it will be interesting to see what Casey and Ed Stefanski do in the NBA draft and free agency.
Pistons owner Tom Gores said after the loss “I’m not in the business of tanking or whatever you call it, but I understand there needs to be changes”.
Whatever changes come, they will have to be drastic if the Pistons wish to be on the level Milwaukee is, who represent the East in the NBA finals.
“This summer will be a big one for our development coaches and our young players” said head coach Dwane Casey “I know what they can do after a year of being here and what they need to work on to get better”.
Not the ending the Pistons wanted for this season but a playoff birth is still a success and something to build on for the future.