Detroit Pistons live practice provides insight into key players


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AUBURN HILLS, MI – APRIL 10: Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons during the game against the Indiana Pacers on April 10, 2015 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.(Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Hussein Murray, Staff Writer


With the 2015-16 NBA season on its way in, the Detroit Pistons held a live practice on Saturday, October 3.

Showcasing a variety of Pistons talent, team “Hustle,” led by point guard Reggie Jackson, took the floor against team “Grind,” led by recent acquisition, forward Marcus Morris.

Pistons fans were entreated to some delightful back and forth basketball between the two teams. Pistons center Andre Drummond alternated between both teams, as coach Stan Van Gundy wanted to test out different lineups with his newly acquired players.

In 2009, coach Van Gundy implemented a system for the Orlando Magic surrounding the star of the team, center Dwight Howard, with numerous shooters surrounding the perimeter. The result? An NBA finals appearance.

While the finals seems like a ways away for Detroit, the Pistons are clearly attempting to add the system for the benefit of up-and-coming star Andre Drummond. New additions like Ersan Ilysova from Milwaukee and Morris are the first steps in the process.

Throughout the game, Morris and Ilyasova did exactly what coach Van Gundy desired, as both stretched the floor as three-point shooters. Both can provide for Van Gundy’s notable 4-out 1-in system.

Morris showcased abilities that weren’t around during his days besides his twin, Markieff, with the Phoenix Suns. Attacking the basket and creating off the dribble helped in a big way for Morris, and a slew of points came in return.

Ilyasova, another stretch big, helped in the rebounding efforts and had a steady scoring night. Using his body in size mismatches, Ilysova showed a versatility at the forward position that has been missing from the Pistons since Tayshaun Prince from 2002 to 2013.

Rookie Stanley Johnson struggled at first from the field, but came back with a stunning behind-the-move in the third period, leading to an and-1. Johnson also played the aggressive, blue-collar defense he is known for.

Reggie Jackson, starting point guard in place for Brandon Jennings, who was sidelined with an achilles injury, played very well. Jackson shot the ball well and created for his teammates.

Andre Drummond struggled mightily, failing to score points from the post, and it is clear his struggles from the free throw line are still lingering. Drummond’s defense was alright, but not spectacular.

After the scrimmage, team president Dennis Mannion discussed new renovations to the Palace, with new seats being installed, starting in the front rows. The East Terrace received new renovations, and new restaurants were all over the place.

Another surprising addition was uniforms. On Oct. 30, the Pistons will reveal their new “Chrome,” alternate uniforms. The uniforms were inspired by the automotive industry.

As the NBA season reaches the final lap before it begins, the Pistons are looking like a strong team overall. Hopefully, Mason, the team announcer, will finally be able to yell “DEEEETTTROOIIIT BASKETBALL!” for the first time in six years in the playoffs.