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Will Josh Smith's inability to shoot haunt the Pistons?
Virtually everyone on earth has heard about the potential spacing issues the Detroit Pistons will face this season, so let's keep this brief, shall we?
It goes without saying that an entire frontcourt unable to shoot from beyond 10 feet is going to run into some issues, but with a little workshopping, Maurice Cheeks should be able to squeeze a solid offense out of the Pistons.
Don't get me wrong, short of Josh Smith or Greg Monroe morphing into knockdown shooters from mid-range/three, elite defenses are going to have no problem grinding the Detroit attack to a halt.
Still, Smith, Monroe and Andre Drummond are all talented players and as Joe Dumars pointed out to Grantland's Zach Lowe, talented players tend to work these things out. In all honesty, the best thing to do may just be to stagger the rotation so that Drummond, Monroe and Smith don't get huge chunks of minutes together.
Detroit's best offensive weapon is without question the Brandon Jennings—Drummond pick-and-roll. For all his flaws, Jennings is a creative passer and pick-and-roll player, and if Drummond can post elite numbers with Brandon Knight at the helm, he should be a monster alongside Jennings (per Synergy Sports Technology).
Unfortunately, it's hard to see that pick-and-roll getting off the ground if opposing teams are allowed to pack the paint because Smith and Monroe (as opposed to say, Charlie Villanueva) are both out there.
Even if Cheeks chooses not to go that route, the Pistons should be okay so long as their sets play to their player's strengths. There are few small forwards in the league that Smith can't bully on the low block, and Monroe's sneaky good passing should help as well.
The spacing issues Detroit will face are real, and there are no easy solutions. But the Pistons have tons of talent, and with enough time, Cheeks should be able to set up a decent offense.
(And yes, believe it or not, that was the short version).