Despite owner Tom Gores’ publicly stating that he expects his team to make the Playoffs this season, the Detroit Pistons (19-28) are once again a mess. Soon-to-be free agent guard Rodney Stuckey says the pieces simply don’t fit in Motown:

“It seems like every year there’s new players who you’re trying to get accustomed to,” Stuckey told USA TODAY Sports by phone recently. “It’s just trying to figure each other out and all being on the same page. I really don’t think right now …”

“We’re not on the same page,” he continued. “It’s difficult to try to go out there and try to win games and win games consistently.”

The allure of being an unrestricted free agent for the first time is always added motivation for any athlete, and Stuckey — who signed a three-year, $25 million deal in the summer of 2011 as a restricted free agent — is certainly looking forward to having complete freedom over his next move when July 1 rolls around. But he swears that’s not the explanation for his improved play, instead citing the collective settling of the Pistons’ situation that has helped all involved.

“Detroit is always an option,” he said of free agency. “It’s going to be a tough situation, the first time I’m going to be able to go out and test the market and see what else is there and what not. It’s going to be all new to me. I’m excited for the opportunity, but right now I’m not trying to focus on that. I’m just trying to live in the moment right now and worry about making the playoffs first and foremost.”