5 Things Detroit Pistons Must Do to Get Back into the Playoffs Next Year

Jay WierengaCorrespondent IApril 25, 2012

5 Things Detroit Pistons Must Do to Get Back into the Playoffs Next Year

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    It has been a long time since 2004.

    Heck, it has been a long time since the Detroit Pistons made it to the playoffs.

    And while plenty of teams find themselves in a hopeless endeavor, the Pistons at least know that a title is possible.

    In fact, this team is far from a lost cause.

    Here are five things that must happen in order for Detroit to get back to their rightful spot in the playoffs.

Fully Commit to Greg Monroe

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    Greg Monroe is easily the best big man to play for Detroit in decades.

    Sure, Ben Wallace was a much better defender, Rasheed Wallace was a more talented post player and Bill Laimbeer was the superior defensive rebounder, but Monroe is something special.

    Monroe combines elite rebounding skills, excellent offensive post skills and youth to make him one of the best big men in the league.

    Yet Detroit seemed apprehensive to run their offense through him.

    Part of this was the fact that injuries were an issue, and part of it was a new coach finding his way.

    But Monroe is the kind of big man that needs to touch the ball on every possession.

    He can play with his back to the hoop, he is developing a good mid-range jumper and he has elite passing skills.

    Run the ball through him and good things will happen.

Strike It Big in the Draft

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    Okay, so we all agree that Anthony Davis would be a great fit in Detroit.

    That probably isn't going to happen.

    So who else fits with the Pistons?

    If Detroit gets lucky, they could have a transcendent player in this draft.

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could be an elite defender, Harrison Barnes might be an elite scorer, and Thomas Robinson might be an elite rebounder.

    No matter who they pick, they need to get someone that does something really well.

    This may sound like an obvious trait, but it really isn't. There are a handful of players that don't do anything overly well, but have potential.

    Potential should be a four letter word at this point for Detroit.

    Avoid Perry Jones, Andre Drummond or Terrence Jones. Get someone that can help right now.

Cut Ties with Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon

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    The toughest thing for most people to do is admit failure.

    But team president Joe Dumars needs to do just that, and admit that the signings of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon were mistakes.

    The last time he admitted a mistake, he dealt Darko Milicic for Rodney Stuckey, and we all know that that was a good move.

    The Pistons still can amnesty one of these guys, and they could take pennies on the dollar for the other.

    They must do this, and rid themselves of a bad era in Detroit basketball history.

Sign a Winner

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    The Pistons have done a good job of building their roster with young players that have the right mindset to be champions.

    But they also need people that actually know how to be one.

    That's why the Pistons need to do their best to sign a veteran that has championship-level experience.

    Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups and a whole host of other amazing veterans will be available this offseason, and Detroit needs to gobble one up.

    Sure, this won't be a surefire way to get back to championship caliber, but it is a great way to help your young guys learn how to win.

Get Back to Your Roots

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    Detroit was built on toughness, grit and the defense of something real.

    So, too, must the Pistons be built.

    The Detroit Pistons have been winners when they commit to hustle and defense.

    They must scrap the idea of a finesse team and re-commit to a gritty, defensive-minded squad.

    They probably will need to sign a big man or two, but they will need to get bigger and stronger quickly, or risk losing their fanbase forever.