Pistons’ coach Stan Van Gundy knew his team needed a shakeup after their recent eight game losing streak.
A “shakeup” may be an understatement as the Pistons went and traded for Blake Griffin out of basically nowhere. Van Gundy knew that this team needed a star, so he decided to go all in on Griffin.
Van Gundy also probably felt pressure to start to get this team headed in the right direction. There was a beginning sense that his job might be on the line.
Yet, as soon as those rumblings began, Van Gundy made a bold move and brought excitement back to this organization. This is exactly why the Pistons fans shouldn’t give up on “SVG” just yet.
blake griffin gets his first basket as a piston in his patented broken post up game pic.twitter.com/UfjNHvflrR
— nbaayy (@nbaayy) February 2, 2018
Van Gundy’s Track Record
Anyone who questions SVG’s ability to lead this team must be forgetting about his track record. Van Gundy has a nearly .600 career winning percentage as a head coach, which is more than respectable.
He also took an Orlando Magic team to the finals in 2009 with Jameer Nelson as his point guard, and with quite a few average players on that roster other than Dwight Howard.
As we know, neither the Orlando Magic or Dwight Howard have sniffed a title since then, so you have to give him credit for that run. While a coach can’t live completely off of past success, it has to be taken into consideration that he has gotten the job done in the past.
“Started From the Bottom”
Before Stan Van Gundy took over in 2014, the Pistons had cycled through five different coaches since the 2008 season. These names include: Michael Curry, John Kuester, Lawrence Frank, Maurice Cheeks, and John Loyer. These coaches didn’t exactly lay much of a foundation for SVG to work with.
Therefore, Van Gundy had to basically revamp the entire roster when he took over. He drafted Andre Drummond (who has turned into a star), and traded for Reggie Jackson later on in his first season. In his second season, the Pistons made the playoffs as the youngest team in the NBA and looked to have a very promising future.
Last year, Reggie Jackson was plauged with injuries after being outstanding the year before. This season, Jackson has again been hit with the injury bug.
The bottom line is simply this: Van Gundy has tried to build a foundation for success for this franchise. He was given nearly nothing to work with when he first took this job, and he has turned the Pistons into a respectable team again. Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond were good building blocks to start.
When SVG realized more changes needed to be made to improve this team, he made a big move and got Griffin. There is no reason to think that coach Van Gundy won’t figure this out. His willingness to make changes and to push his players should be something that Pistons fans admire.
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