Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, three of us will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. Please add your responses in the comments.
1. Brandon Jennings‘ performance against Boston may have been his best as a member of the Pistons. What is the biggest part of that performance he needs to do more consistently?
Dan Feldman, PistonPowered: Nothing. That seems like a strange answer considering how good Jennings was, but he was successful again Boston because he dominated the ball, dribbling and shooting a lot. That worked in that game, and it will work other games, too. But Jennings certainly doesn’t need any encouragement to dominate the ball more.
Tim Thielke, PistonPowered: Hit threes. Apart from that, Jennings played well, but wasn’t spectacular in any one facet. And this team can desperately use any more perimeter shooting.
Dakota Schmidt, Behind The Buck Pass: This has been a topic of concern since his rookie year in 2009-10, but Jennings just needs to become a better and more consistent overall shooter. Some of the more major aspects of his game has improved since he moved to Detroit but his 49 TS% is really not that great for an offensive-minded guard like Jennings.
2. Conversely, what’s the one thing Jennings needs to nip in the bud now in order for the Pistons to be better as the season progresses?
Dan Feldman: Reduce his turnovers. Jennings has usually taken care of the ball very well, but his turnover percentage this season is easily a career high. His assist-to-turnover ratio is about his career norm, so this just seems to be Jennings adjusting to pass more. Hopefully, he can bring the turnovers down a little, because on the NBA’s best offensive-rebounding team, even missed shots are much preferable.
Tim Thielke: Throwing the ball away. I don’t always love his shot selection, but when teams pack the paint successfully, somebody has gotta let it fly. However, Jennings turns the ball over on 33 percent more of his possessions than he did in Milwaukee. That’s a problem.
Dakota Schmidt: His lackadaisical play on the defensive end? While I admittedly haven’t seen much out of Jennings with his new team, his overall defensive rating and defensive PPP (Points Per Possession) has made me believe that he really hasn’t improved much in that certain area.
3. Where can this team go in the Eastern Conference if Jennings corrects some, not all, of his bad habits?
Dan Feldman: Third place. That’s pretty much their ceiling, regardless of what Jennings does. They’re only 1.5 games out of third right now, so they don’t even need a transformation from Jennings to make up that small amount of ground.
Tim Thielke: The third-place spot in the East is open for the taking. And the Pistons could make the second round, but that’s Detroit’s upside; with or without improvement from Jennings.
Dakota Schmidt: With how the Eastern Conference is currently aligned, I think Detroit can move up to the 3rd or 4th seed if Jennings can correct all of his bad habits.
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