Detroit Pistons head coach, Stan Van Gundy, was asked after game two what he thought about his opposite number, Tyronn Lue’s adjustment to keep LeBron James in the game for longer than usual. Van Gundy sarcastically responded, “LeBron is always a good adjustment. Always good coaching. If you want to call it that.”
Van Gundy sarcastically responded: “LeBron is always a good adjustment. Always good coaching. If you want to call it that.”
James is at the heart of the Pistons’ and their coach's problems heading into game three of this first-round NBA Playoff Series. Van Gundy has good young players like Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson on the roster. Drummond figures to be a multiple All-Star.
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Van Gundy has good young players like Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson at his disposal. Drummond figures to be a multiple All-Star talent after achieving that honor this season and Jackson has developed into a productive NBA starter.
Neither of them are LeBron James, though. The eighth seed has put up a valiant effort during the opening two encounters in Ohio. They have given Cleveland a fight and are proving a tougher opponent than any of the other top franchises across both conferences have encountered.
Unfortunately, when the Cavs get rolling, like they did in game two, Detroit will have to reach a level that appears to be beyond them to hang with their opponents. Van Gundy is trying to figure out how to help his team stifle the Cavaliers scoring bursts.
He said: “We had stretches in the game, both in the second and the third quarter, where their runs sort of took our minds for about three minutes – at a time where we just stopped doing what we were supposed to do, especially on the defensive end of the floor, and made a lot of mistakes.”
These sorts of mental lapses are deadly against the NBA’s elite teams like the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and these Cleveland Cavaliers. Drummond knows that the team has to put it all together Friday in order to make the series competitive.
He said, “Our mindset right now is that we’ve just got to get ready for a game on Friday…We need this one Friday.”
The young star is completely right. Detroit needs 48 minutes of near perfection to protect their home court. That is not a very large margin for error.
But, against a player of James’ stature, flanked by two All-Star talents in Irving and Love, the young Pistons are going to have to focus up and keep their aggressive edge to have a shot at bringing the series back to Cleveland.