Matthes Manifesto II: Where do the Indiana Pacers stack up in the East?

Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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EAST LANSING, MI – OCTOBER 12: Detroit Pistons  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI – OCTOBER 12: Detroit Pistons  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons

There are a lot of reasons why the Detroit Pistons should make the playoffs this season. They have a strong leading trio: Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson. Griffin still demonstrates the versatile offensive game that can lead teams to the playoffs. No one rebounds better than Drummond, and while Jackson isn’t a prolific three-point shooter, he can attack and score admirably for a third option.

The Pistons also just added the reigning NBA Coach of the Year, Dwane Casey, to give them more structure. On the surface they appear like a playoff team, and if they have an injury-free season, they should find their way into the postseason.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

But, and there’s always a “but” with the recent iterations of the Pistons, Detroit is never healthy. Outside of the reliable Drummond, the Pistons other stars (Griffin and Jackson) missed a combined 61 games last year, 112 over the last two. Stanley Johnson missed 13, stretch four Jon Leuer played just 8 games in 2017-18.

On top of that two of their most recent draft picks (Luke Kennard and Henry Ellenson) have yet to inspire confidence in taking bigger roles.

Another issue, the Pistons have been scrambling to replenish its wings for almost a year now. They took two guards in the draft (Khyri Thomas and Bruce Brown Jr.) and signed Glenn Robinson III. Detroit’s hoping some combination of those three, Kennard, Johnson, Reggie Bullock and Langston Galloway is a winner.

Whether it’s a winner or not, the wing rotation will hardly matter if Griffin and Jackson aren’t healthy.