‘We have a whole plan’: Pistons’ Casey puts premium on offseason improvements

Detroit News

Detroit — The Pistons look like they’re getting close to something bigger happening, and each game presents a different opportunity, whether it’s hanging with playoff teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers or Brooklyn Nets.

Those who have paid attention closely enough can see that there are some signs, with Cade Cunningham going shot-for-shot with Luka Doncic. Maybe it’s Isaiah Stewart hitting three 3-pointers in a game or Killian Hayes playing up to the level of expectation for his No. 7 overall pick.

It’s not hard to imagine the Pistons not just contending for a play-in spot — but also a playoff spot — if they can build on the progress that they’ve had this season and have a strong offseason either in trades or free agency and through the draft.

The young core has provided enough evidence that they’re getting close. They’re a team that other teams acknowledge is staying in every game and fighting tooth and nail until the fourth quarter.

“I think just all of the pieces that we have, I think we have the right mindset about our future, how we want to grow and the type of team that we want to look like night in and night out,” Cunningham said. “I think we are on the same page about that; now it’s just being consistent in every approach to our game.

“I like the fact that we take pride in trying to be a tough team, be physical, defend and play through each other. I think if we keep doing that and being consistent, we will be all right.”

Pistons mailbag: Memorable moments on the Detroit beat

Instead of just playing out the string of games, the Pistons are playing tough every game, making it hard for teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Sixers, who are still trying to improve their playoff positioning. The Sixers saw first-hand on March 31 that they can’t take the Pistons lightly, because they’re a team that could sneak up and take a win.

Having a higher level of competition to gauge the progress has provided some positives that they can take into the summer of individual workouts and improvements.

“The positives, that is the thing. To go against a team like Dallas who is one of the top teams in the West, and we have one of the top teams in the East coming in,” Casey said. “(We say), ‘Here are the things you did well against the best, here are the things you can get better at against the best,’ that is the positive of playing against some of the top teams these last few weeks and playing pretty well.

“But that is the value that you get out of these games, and to take it into the summer for summer workouts.”

With the players’ progression this season, it puts that much more importance on individual improvements in the offseason. Casey said that there are already plans in place for each player for what they’ll work on, along with the development staff.

It’s been a staple of the Casey coaching plan for years, but this year, in particular, will be critical for the Pistons.

“We have a whole plan. We have a book for each player, and a plan for each player for what they need to work on, their shooting and the type of shooting that they need to work on for each player,” Casey said. “So, it has been broken down, and we will present it. We have exit meetings coming up (next week). So, we will present it to them then, because that is where you want to take advantage of your continuity.

“We are going to run a lot of the same offenses. All of the numbers show that we are getting the right shots and the open shots, so the key is getting to those spots and knocking them down now.”

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

We’re offering a great rate on digital subscriptions. Click here.

Articles You May Like

G League Ignite’s Tyler Smith can help the Pistons stretch the floor
The Pindown: Searching for New Leadership
Detroit Pistons Player Grades: Pistons’ young core showed flashes but mostly didn’t measure up
Should the Detroit Pistons go star hunting this offseason?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *