Detroit Pistons head coach (and ball-handling wizard) Stan Van Gundy told his team that they couldn’t dribble at Wednesday’s practice, unless it was the result of a pick-and-roll or it was for the purpose of a dribble handoff.
SVG wants to eliminate bad habits that have so far led to sloppy halfcourt offensive execution in the preseason.
— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) October 12, 2016
All-Star center Andre Drummond said the Pistons benefited from the edict.
From the team website:
“It was fun. Made guys think and really swing the ball,” Andre Drummond said. “I think it was really helpful and useful.”
Van Gundy’s overriding criticism of last season’s offense sounded a similar note. The Pistons managed it pretty well thanks to the dynamic playmaking of Reggie Jackson off of pick-and-roll sets. Nobody leaned on that most basic staple of NBA offenses more than the Pistons last season. But Jackson’s out, perhaps for a quarter of the season, and Van Gundy hears the tick-tock of the countdown clock.
“It was a very, very difficult practice for them because it was just going against everything that they want to do,” he said. “We struggled mightily with trying to play that way. You couldn’t drive the ball, so the guys who just want to put their head down and go on every catch were forced into some very uncomfortable situations. But as we told them, if playing that way worked then I’d be fine with it. But it clearly hasn’t, so we need to make some adjustments and to do that we’re going to have to give it some conscious thought.”