It's time for the Detroit Pistons to...well, to shift gears.
The Pistons are on their fourth head coach since 2008. Last year was their fourth straight losing season. They just made their third straight top-10 draft pick. And over that same time period they've dismantled their championship team, starting with a disastrous trade that cost them their team chemistry. They lost a beloved owner, and a longtime and razor-sharp team president. They've endured a de facto owner who inherited the team only to focus solely on selling it, which handcuffed free agent contracts and trades. And they've now transitioned to an entirely new ownership.
But through the drafts of the last several years, the Pistons stocked themselves with young talent. Lawrence Frank is arguably the most hardworking and passionate coach in the NBA. They've shed themselves of one of their two truly bad contracts this offseason. And more contracts come off the books at the end of this season.
Though few expect much of the team, the reality is the Pistons now have expectations of themselves. The foundering of the last four years has netted them a core that can lead them back to the playoffs.
But first they must alter their team focus.
Here are five strategic changes the Pistons must make in the coming year.