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Reggie Jackson.

Reggie Jackson says the Pistons' next goal is to reach the NBA finals

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After being swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in their first playoff series since 2009, the Detroit Pistons are already looking ahead to next season and what further progress they can make under Stan Van Gundy.

The first-round sweep somewhat flattered the Cavaliers as the Pistons gave them a run for their money in all four games and gave a really good account of themselves for an eighth seed.

Young players like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson rose to the occasion and made people stand up and take notice with some impressive displays.

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Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, despite being just 22 and 26 respectively, are seen as the leaders of the team and the latter has been forthright in what their goals are for the 2016-17 campaign.

“Finals,” he said, via the Detroit Free Press, when asked the question.

“That’s what I set each year. I want to win the title, so I’m sure the team does, as well," Jackson said.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Detroit Pistons Game Four

It is some leap for a team who just failed to get past the first hurdle in the postseason, but it displays a confidence which is flowing throughout the organisation at present.

“We’ll talk and figure out what we want to achieve, but I know, in sitting down and talking to (center Andre Drummond) and (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope), there’s not really any other goal," Jackson added. "That’s kind of where our mind-set is each and every year.

“That’s kinda how far we aim. But sit down and figure out some other things until then. I’m sure we will.”

Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One

The future

The Pistons players gathered once more for their exit interviews at the team's practice facility this week and there wasn't an air of dejection or sorrow after going down to the Cavs, but instead, there was a real sense of optimism at what lies ahead.

“Some of us have been here for a while and haven’t made that playoffs, haven’t had that taste,” said Caldwell-Pope.

“So, just for us to get that taste, it was great. I really thank everybody on the team for even just putting the effort in and getting us there. Just knowing we got swept but just take away from that we played the No. 1 team in the East, and we know we could’ve beat them. So we’ve just got to come back with that same fight next year.”

Drummond, the team's franchise player, will be a restricted free agent this summer and owner Tom Gores has already said he will have no hesitation in re-signing the big man to a max contract. 

With up to an extra $17m in cap space and a first-round draft pick, the franchise is in a really good place and can add to the talented roster they currently have in place. 

After finishing with a 44-38 record in the regular season - 12 wins better than the previous year - Van Gundy's men are showing gradual improvement and have an appetite to get better. 

Topics:
Andre Drummond
Detroit Pistons
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Reggie Jackson

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