Van Gundy expecting more from Pistons starters after loss to Nuggets
NBA.com Global on Dec 14, 2017 07:40 AM
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 29: Andre Drummond #0 and Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons high five fans after the game against the Phoenix Suns on November 29, 2017 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Peaks and valleys mark most NBA seasons, and right now, the Detroit Pistons are decidedly in the latter. The good feelings and success that stemmed from a 10-3 start have been replaced by concerns and letdowns as the Pistons suffered their seventh straight loss.
After that 103-84 defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy could point to at least one problem for his team's woes of late. In particular, he called out the play starters Tobias Harris, Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond and Avery Bradley have delivered of late. So far in December, all four of those players are performing well below their season averages, something Van Gundy pointed out after Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) loss.
“The answer for us, in large part is Tobias, Andre, Avery and Reggie Jackson — those four guys, those are our four best players,” Van Gundy said. “Those guys have to play better. We can sit them all down and play the other guys. We’re not going to be a better team unless those four guys play better. Period.
“However we do it — maybe it is bringing one of them off the bench — I don’t know. But those guys have to play well for us to be good and we’re in holes too many nights with them and I’ve got to find an answer to that.”
While the attention is on the starters, it’s also on Van Gundy, who accepted the accountability for the poor play in his dual role as team president.
“I can take those guys and sit them down and not play any of them on Friday. The bottom line is we have to have those four guys playing well,” he said. “I’m not blaming them for tonight any more than myself or anyone else. I’m saying for us to be a good team, those guys have to play well.
“I don’t think we can get to where we want to go if we basically eliminate two or three or four of those guys and win with the other nine guys. I don’t think we can be a good team.”