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This Week in Overwatch | June 4th - June 10th

Monday

Overwatch Anniversary Drip Cake

Overwatch Anniversary 2018 Highlight

Tuesday

Developer Update | Upcoming Social Features

Overwatch PTR Patch Notes – June 5, 2018

Overwatch Patch Notes – June 5, 2018

A new Overwatch patch is currently in development and now available for testing. To share your feedback or report and issue, please post in the PTR Feedback or PTR Bug Report forums.
Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes will also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and therefore will only reflect changes coming specifically to that platform.

PATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Endorsements
Acknowledge your fellow Overwatch players’ positivity with endorsements! Recognize commendable behavior for players exhibiting sportsmanship, being a good teammate, or for shot calling. Commend players who lead you to victory, put the team’s needs above their own, or exhibit humility in victory or grace in defeat. Endorsements are readily available to view on Career Profiles, the Groups menu, and more so you can tell at a glance the types of players you’re playing with. Those who consistently maintain a high endorsement level will receive periodic rewards, while those who display negative behavior or accrue suspensions will lose their endorsements.
Looking for Group
Play your way using the Looking for Group feature! You can craft your gameplay experience before stepping into a match by using specific parameters to create your dream team. Join a team of other like-minded players or lead a group of your own by creating a group with your personal preferences such as game mode, role enforcement, and more. Those who want to queue up for Quick Play, Play vs AI, or any competitive mode can set the types of roles others can play. These specifications will then be activated in-game (e.g. players who chose a Support role will be restricted to only using heroes in that category).

GENERAL UPDATES

  • All heroes in the Defense and Offense categories have been merged into a new category: Damage
Developer Comments: Since the line between Offense and Defense heroes has become increasingly blurred, we’ve decided to group all those heroes into a single new “Damage” category. We believe that the term more closely matches the role name used in Overwatch League and across most of our community.
  • Combat can now be heard 25% further away
  • Changed the name of the Varok spray to Saurfang
  • Added an Inspire Uptime Percentage statistic for Brigitte on the Career Profile
  • Removed some statistics for Symmetra on the Career Profile
  • Added a Scoped Critical Hit Accuracy statistic for Widowmaker on the Career Profile
  • Players must have Blizzard SMS Protect enabled on their account to be eligible for the Top 500
  • Career Profiles will no longer be public by default (now defaults to Friends Only). An option to make Career Profiles visible has been added under Options > Social > Profile Visibility

GAME BROWSER AND CUSTOM GAMES

  • Symmetra can now be played in 1v1 duel game modes (e.g. 1v1 Limited Duel and 1v1 Mystery Duel)

HERO UPDATES

Doomfist

  • Meteor Strike
    • Bonus movement speed increased from 150% to 200%
  • The Best Defense…
    • Shield gain increased from 30 to 35 for normal abilities
Developer Comments: The increased movement speed on Meteor Strike gives Doomfist new options in how and where to deploy it. His passive is also being increased, allowing him to survive more often when diving into enemies
Developer Comments: The increased movement speed on Meteor Strike gives Doomfist new options in how and where to deploy it. His passive is also being increased, allowing him to survive more often when diving into enemies

Orisa

  • Supercharger
    • Ultimate cost reduced by 15%
Developer Comments: Supercharger wasn't getting enough use, considering its impact. This change allows Orisa to user her ultimate more aggressively, knowing that she will be able to generate them more easily.

Symmetra

New Abilities
  • Photon Projector
    • No longer locks onto targets
    • Range increased to 10 meters
    • Damage ramping now takes 2 seconds per damage level instead of 1 second
    • Damage ramp increased from 30/60/120 to 60/120/180
    • Now generates ammo instead of spending it when hitting a barrier
  • Alternate Fire
    • No longer pierces targets
    • Now explodes on contact
    • Projectile speed increased
    • Charge up speed increased
    • Damage changed to 60 impact / 60 explosive
  • Sentry Turret
    • Turret is now placed like a projectile instead of being set in place
    • Can hold a max of 3, down from 6
    • Can now deploy a max 3, down from 6
    • Damage increased
    • Amount of slowing effect increased
  • Teleporter
    • Can now place the exit up to 25 meters away from Symmetra
    • Entrance will automatically be built in front of Symmetra, rather than at her team’s spawn point
    • Lasts 10 seconds
    • Health lowered to 300
    • More things can teleport through it (e.g. Junkrat’s RIP-Tire)
    • Entrance can be destroyed
    • If either the entrance or exit is destroyed, the other is removed
  • New Ultimate: Photon Barrier
    • Deploys a barrier that is big enough to span and cut through an entire map
    • Orientation can be changed by pressing the ultimate button again
    • Has 5000 health
Developer Comments: The goal of these changes is to move Symmetra to her new damage role and make her more flexible and viable across more areas of the game than she was previously. Now that Symmetra is no longer a support hero, she is expected to be able to dish out heavy damage, and these changes allow for her to do so. She should be more powerful and interesting in more team compositions and maps, and she should also be stronger on offense and defense.

MAP UPDATES

Horizon Lunar Colony

  • Point A
    • Added a staircase on the right when exiting the hydroponics room
    • Removed the door to the lower room on the right
    • Removed the small wall on the catwalk above Point A
    • Added some cover walls to the catwalk area
    • Moved the door next to the staircase that led to Winston’s room
    • The door is now on the side of the wall in the training pit
    • Moved the large health pack to the back of the room
    • Removed some clutter in the upper left computer room
  • Hydroponics Room
    • Switched the positions of the large and small health pack
    • Changed some of the hydroponic plant cover on the right side
  • Point B
    • Defender spawn room exits moved from the front to the sides out of direct line of fire
    • Small rooms added at spawn room exits
    • Additional cover added near the spawn room exits
    • Added a route and larger platform leading to the back right corner
    • Raised the platform to the same height as the attackers’ platform on the opposite side of the point
    • The location of the old defender exit is now an alcove with a small health pack
    • Both teams can still pass behind the point, but there is now a cut-through in the middle of the wall for better access.
    • The area above the window overlooking the point is now covered
    • A large platform with cover has been attached to the left side of the catwalk
    • The upper platform for the attackers has been reduced
    • The doorway leading to the platform is slightly smaller
Developer Comments: We’ve wanted to make some gameplay improvements to Horizon Lunar Colony for some time now. The defenders’ spawn room had a problem with its main exit that allowed defenders to quickly duck back inside and regain health while attackers shot at them without doing damage. Since we were already reworking the entire back area, we decided to make some more changes addressing player feedback. The idea behind the rework of Point A was to not only help the defenders a bit, but also provide some gameplay options aside from sitting on the point and trying to hold it for as long as possible. Easier access to high ground, as well as limiting the routes for attackers (or at least allowing for defenders to more easily spot the attackers), will allow more opportunity for counters and create a better gameplay experience.
We’ve made a lot of additions and changes to the art throughout the map for you to discover as well.

Bug Fixes

[Goodman] Symmetra Rework
Hey guys,
As you may have heard, we’re making some changes to Symmetra and you can test her rework on the PTR right now! The goal of these changes is to move Symmetra to her new damage role and make her more flexible across more areas of the game. This means that not only should she be more viable in more team compositions and maps, but she should also be stronger on offense and defense. Here are the changes you can expect to see:

Photon Projector – Primary Fire

What changed?

The biggest change to Symmetra’s primary fire is that it no longer locks onto enemies. This change, in turn, allows the weapon to deal significantly more damage and have increased range. While Photon Projector’s damage ramps up more slowly than previously, it also ramps down more slowly which makes it easier to maintain for the duration of a big fight.
  • Replaces Photon Projector
  • No longer locks onto targets
  • Range increased to 10 meters
  • Damage ramping (both up and down) now takes 2 seconds per damage level instead of 1 second
  • Damage ramp increased from 30/60/120 to 60/120/180
  • Now generates ammo instead of spending it when hitting barriers

Photon Projector – Alternate Fire

What changed?

Photon Projector’s alternate fire has changed significantly as well. It no longer pierces through enemies—it explodes on contact instead. The projectile speed has also significantly increased, making it more reliable to use the weapon at longer ranges. Explosive projectiles are even more powerful when fired above your enemies because they can deal splash damage, which is now more possible for Symmetra due to her Teleporter changes.
  • No longer pierces targets
  • Now explodes on contact
  • Projectile speed increased
  • Charge up speed increased
  • Damage changed to 60 impact / 60 explosive
  • Overall her weapon maintains its core identity while gaining much needed flexibility with how it can be used. Now that Symmetra is no longer a support hero, she is expected to be able to dish out heavy damage and these changes allow for her to do so.

Ability 1: Sentry Turret

What changed?

By far the most noticeable change to Symmetra’s Sentry Turrets is her new ability to launch them forward as a projectile to place them, rather than having to walk up close to the placed location. In addition, Symmetra will only be able to hold and deploy a max of three turrets, but each one is significantly stronger than her previous Sentry Turrets. This allows her to spend less time trying to keep a large nest of turrets alive, as well as making them a bit more resistant against low damage area attacks.
  • Turret is now placed like a projectile instead of being set in place
  • Can hold a max of 3 now, down from 6
  • Can now deploy a max of 3, down from 6
  • Health increased from 1 to 30
  • Damage increased
  • Amount of slowing effect increased
  • Symmetra’s turrets are a core part of her identity and now they are stronger than ever. With the new deploy method she can place them in more difficult to reach places, or just throw them down in the middle of combat while fighting with her weapon.

Ability 2: Teleporter

What changed?

The Teleporter has swapped places with her old Photon Barrier ability. However, the new Teleporter works significantly differently than the original one, and it will be used in very different ways. Now instead of building the exit directly in front of you, players instead can now place the exit far away (up to 25 meters) and the entrance will be built right in front of you automatically. Then, for a limited duration, you or your allies can run to either teleporter and press the Interact/Acknowledge input to be teleported to the opposite portal.
  • Can now place the exit up to 25 meters away from Symmetra
  • The entrance will automatically be built in front of Symmetra, rather than at her team’s spawn point
  • Lasts 10 seconds
  • Health lowered to 300
  • More things can teleport through it, such as Junkrat tire and D.Va’s exploding mech
  • Entrance can now be destroyed
* If either the entrance or exit dies, the other is removed
This change allows Symmetra to bring unique functionality to her teammates and create super fun and interesting combos and plays. For example, you can now place Bastion,Torbjörn, and other limited mobility heroes in hard-to-reach places where they >- couldn’t otherwise get to by themselves. In addition, Teleporter can now move new objects such as D.Va’s exploding mech or Torbjörn turrets. In playtests we’ve seen it used for simple things such as giving an escape option to normally mobility-lacking heroes like as Ana or Zenyatta, but also for amazing saves such as dropping it into an enemy Zarya’s Graviton Surge that has caught your allies, allowing them to teleport out to safety.
We’re really excited to see how players use her new Teleporter!

Ultimate: Photon Barrier

What is it?

Her previous secondary ability has moved to become her new ultimate, with some dramatic changes. Instead of creating a small circular barrier that moves forward, she now creates an immobile wall that spans and cuts through entire maps. She can use this new wall to drop in the middle of a fight and give allies a huge advantage, or use it to block an important enemy ultimate before it triggers such as D.Va’s Self-Destruct or Junkrat’s RIP-Tire. Since the wall is nearly infinite in size, you can throw it down to affect a fight that you aren’t even a part of yet if you aim it well enough. You can also combo your abilities together and place a Teleporter on both sides of your wall, allowing your teammates (or yourself) to quickly switch which side of it they are on.
  • Deploys a barrier that is big enough to span and cut through an entire map
  • Orientation can be changed by pressing the ultimate button again
  • Has 5000 health
We’ve been playtesting these changes for some time now and we’re still finding new and interesting things that can be done with the new Symmetra. Whenever we come out with a new hero or rework abilities, it can take some time to get it right. We’re looking forward to you guys getting a chance to play her and give feedback!
CONSOLE: anyone notice that the layering in the menu when looking at your team player stats is on the wrong layer?
Hey there, we're aware of this issue and expect to have a fix in our next console update. Apologies for the bug.
New Symmetra Sound Effects Genuinely Painful to Listen to
In what way are they painful? Which effects specifically? We can look into this.
Teleporter Destroying itself
Yep, sorry about this. This should be fixed in an upcoming build.
Cannot use teleporter with controller
We weren’t able to get the build on the PTR updated with this, but the plan is to change the default controller binding so L3 is bound to interact. Of course, people are still free to change the controls to whatever they want.
I just tested this on a local build to make sure I could bind things correctly and have them work on the teleporter and it worked ok.
Are you able to bind a key to the Interact button? It just doesn’t pop up over the teleporter when you stand over it?
Symmetra Rework Opinions from a Symmetra Main
This is great, thanks.
As for the removal of the lock-on, we tried to make it work but there was no way to realistically increase its damage potential while still allowing that kind of lock-on targeting. On the plus side, it takes longer to lose charge on the weapon now so you don’t have to be crazy accurate to build up charge. You just need to be able to stay alive long enough to build it, which has always been the real trick with her
Can you let us know how this is gonna be implemented on consoles?
The current plan is to default the binding to L3 (the left stick button) for controllers.

[Adams] Horizon Lunar Colony Level Design

Wednesday

Pink Mercy T-Shirts
The PINK MERCY shirts will be delivered by September at the latest.
We appreciate your support for this great cause. Thank you.
Duplicate Legendary Anniversary boxes
You should not receive a duplicate Pirate Junkrat skin unless you already have all of the legendary Anniversary skins.
There is a notable caveat here, though – the contents of unopened loot boxes also count toward our check for duplicates. If a player buys the 50 Anniversary Loot Boxes + 1 Legendary Anniversary Loot Box pack, and they open the Legendary Anniversary Loot Box first, they might get a duplicate right away because the anniversary legendary skins they are missing are actually in their 50 unopened Anniversary Loot Boxes.
In the future, we’re going to change the order in which these boxes are generated, so that we generate Legendary boxes (which are more likely to be opened first) before non-Legendary boxes. This change should greatly reduce the frequency with which this confusion occurs.
Apologies for the confusion and hopefully this clears things up.

Double XP Weekend | June 8-11

Thursday

[Daram & Meii] Interview with Overwatch Designer, Scott Mercer: “We think that the endorsement system will be the key to bringing out the goodness in players”

Horizon Point A Glitch Exploit
Any video or screenshot. We will try and figure it out. Thanks.
Horizon Spawn Sightlines
Will take a look. Thanks for the feedback.

Friday

Building Overwatch League - Overwatch League, Assemble

Horizon Spawn Sightlines
Thanks for the screenshot I will move those boxes a bit.
Will the new top500 SMS affect this season and/or deathmatch?
The SMS changes will not affect any seasons currently taking place.
Ana is the only sniper that can’t run away
Ana’s Sleep Dart ability was intended to give her the ability to disengage.
New Horizon map has damage bugs!
Will take a look thanks.
Hi Jeff! Please say hi to me! It would make my life! Just once!
hi, CivilPain! happy friday
Could you also give us a set date on when Comp DM FFA will end?
it ends with the anniversary event

Double XP Live Now

[Tay] Exclusive Interview: Overwatch's Leads Reveal Upcoming Game Features & More

OWL News | Stage 4 Week 4

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Dallas Fuel

Florida Mayhem

Houston Outlaws

London Spitfire

LA Gladiators

LA Valiant

New York Excelsior(NYXL)

Philadelphia Fusion

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Contenders News | Trials

Remaining News

Last Week's Post

submitted by Seagull_No1_Fanboy to Competitiveoverwatch

r/NBA 2017 Central Division Breakdown: Detroit Pistons

Huge shout-out to a couple of good brothers u/halbridious and u/Nerouin for their excellent player write-ups; they not only made me look bad with their skill and knowledge, but saved me a ton of time and made this write up great.
Team Name: Detroit Pistons
Subreddit: /DetroitPistons
*Arena: * The Little Cesars Arena
Attendance (Rank): 25th
Division: Central
Record: 37-45
Playoff Record: Undefeated in 2016-2017, also didn't participate.

Owner, Front Office and Coaching

  • Owner: Tom Gores
  • Front Office: Stan Van Gundy (President of Basketball Operations), Jeff Bower (GM)
  • Coach: Stan Van Gundy
Entering the 4th season of a 5 year, $35 Million Dollar deal signed back in the 2014 offseason, Stan Van Gundy has seen varied successes throughout his tenure as both President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach. He is the longest tenured Head Coach of the Detroit Pistons since Legendary Bad Boys' coach Chuck Daly, and has said that his 5 year contract will be his last as a head coach, as a promise to his wife.

2016-2017

Put Lineup in order of minutes played or advanced stats leaders
2013-14 Lineup Position State with the Team Twitter Instagram
Boban Marjanovich C 2 Years, $14 Mil Remaining None Link
Andre Drummond C 4 years, $105.5 Mil Remaining Link Link
Tobias Harris F 2 years, $30.8 Mil Remaining Link Link
Ben Udrih PG 1 yr contract signed Sept 25th, 2017 Link Link
Reggie Jackson PG 3 Years, $51.1 Mil Remaining Link Link
Ish Smith PG 2 Years, $12Mil Remaining Link Link
Jon Leuer PF 3 Years, $31Mil Remaining Link Link
Aron Baynes C Signed 1 YR $4.3 Mil Contract with BOS Link Link
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG Signed 1 yr $18 Mill deal with LAL Link Link
Marcus Morris F Traded to BOS for Avery Bradley Link Link
Reggie Bullock G/F 2 YR $5 Mil Contract signed on July 14th Link Link
Henry Ellenson F/C 3 Years, $6.5 Mil Remaining Link Link
Stanley Johnson SF 2 Years, $7Mil Remaining Link None
Darrun Hilliard SG Traded to HOU for Cash Considerations Link Link
Michael Gbinije G Waived on July 15th Link None
Note: Bold are starters
General Team Stats Rank Stat
PTS/Game 26th 101.3
Pts Allowed 7th 102.5
Differential 21st -1.29
3PA/Game 26th 23.4
3P% 26th 33%
Rebound/Game 4th 45.7
Assists/Game 24th 21.1
Advanced Rank Stat
Ortg 24 106.0
Drtg 8 107.1
Pace 22 95.0

2016-2017 Regular SeasonRecap

After making the playoffs for the first time in 7 seasons in 2015-16, expectations were high for the Detroit Pistons despite a first round sweeping exit at the hands of the eventual champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers. An improved bench, a full off-season for the team to further jell, and the natural progression of the young core led fans and media alike believe the Pistons' would not only play back into the playoffs, but potentially grab home-court advantage in the first round behind the Reggie Jackson-Andre Drummond P&R, which had served them so well in 2015/16
Unfortunately for the Pistons, however, injuries, effort, and poor coaching played a role in their missing the playoffs for the 7th time in 8 years. Despite solidifying their bench rotation with solid backups such as Ish Smith and Jon Leuer over literal shit like Steve Blake, the Pistons were not able to reach the same level of success they had when they won 44 games in the previous season.
Reggie Jackson, the catalyst and closer for the team at the end of 15/16, missed the first 21 games of the new season due to knee Tendinitis. As the Reggie/Andre P&R was the most lethal offensive play (and the most run play) the Pistons had in their limited repertoire, new back up Ish Smith was forced to play a slower-paced style than he was used too, and never really jelled with Andre Drummond, whom had previously signed a 5 year, $130 million dollar extension in the off-season. As a result, Drummond regressed in virtually every major statistical category, and his effort/passion for the game quickly came under fire; a trend that would last throughout the remainder of the regular season, and deep into the offseason.
Despite their early struggles, the Pistons were able to achieve a respectable 11-10 record over the first 21 games of the regular season. Upon Jackson's return, however, things had taken a turn for the worse for the Detroit Pistons; the team had grown used to the up-tempo style of play which saw fellow starters Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, and Kentavious Caldwell Pope on pace to have career years as a part of the core. The team reverted to the half-court, P&R -centric offense that had won them 44 games in the previous season, but, due largely to a moody Andre Drummond and a 75% healthy Reggie Jackson, the effectiveness of this style had waned greatly, resulting in sub-.500 basketball for the remainder of the season.
Stan Van Gundy's stubbornness in adjusting line-ups and strategy was ultimately what ended the Piston's season before it began; though the injured Jackson was eventually benched with 9 games left in the season before being officially shut down, the damage had been done and it was made clear that the Piston's would not be making the playoffs that year.

Playoffs

TEAM DID NOT PARTICIPATE
2017 Draft Position Pick(College or Country) Twitter Instagram
Luke Kennard SG 12th Overall (Duke) Link Link
2017-18 FA Additions Position Previously Played Team/Acquisition Details Twitter Instagram
Langston Galloway PG Sacramento Kings, Signed for 3 y$21m Link Link
Avery Bradley SG Boston Celtics, traded for Marcus Morris Link Link
Eric Moreland C Sacramento Kings, Signed for 3 y$5.5m Link Link
Anthony Tolliver PF Sacramento Kings, Signed for 1 y$3.2m Link Link

2017-2018

The Pistons set out looking for 3 things this offseason: 3 point shooting, secondary ball-handling, and veteran leadership. Kennard, Galloway, Bradley, and Tolliver, in some way or another, all hit those check marks. Avery Bradley alone, now arguably the Piston's best player, brings gritty defensive leadership, as well as a high percentage 3 point shot and secondary ball-handling option to the guard position that the Piston's have sorely missed since the acquisition of Reggie Jackson several years ago. While Galloway was a bit of an overpay, he is a consistently strong 3pt shooter that can back up both the PG and SG positions, and would be a strong spot-starter in the event of an injury or rest day to one of the Pistons' primary backcourt starters.
The Piston's season hinges on their three biggest weaknesses from last season: Flexible, modern coaching from Stan Van Gundy, improved health from Reggie Jackson, and a newly motivated Andre Drummond (who's free-throw shooting in the pre-season may suggest a bounce-back year). These factors, in addition to the returning leader Anthony Tolliver and other new Pistons addition, should lead the Pistons' Back into the playoffs. There is no reason that, if the stars align, this squad can't write off last season as a fluke and live up to the high expectations placed upon them at the beginning of 16/17.

Roster breakdown:

Tobias Harris Analysis courtesy of u/Nerouin
 
  • Age: 25
  • Drafted: 2011, 19th overall, by Charlotte
  • Seasons played: six
  • Contract remaining: two years, $34,800,000
 
Background
 
Harris was acquired by the Pistons via trade with Orlando in February of 2016. He went on to post career-best scoring efficiency in his first, abbreviated season with the Pistons, logging 16.6 points per game on splits of .477/.375/.911; he also contributed 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. During Reggie Jackson's absence in the first 21 games of the season, Harris became the team's primary offensive option, a role in which he performed ably. His performance temporarily declined after the return of the ball-dominant Jackson; the incompatibility of the two in the starting lineup prompted Van Gundy to move Harris to the bench. Harris performed as ably from the bench as he had as a starter, forming the team's best duo alongside Ish Smith and serving as linchpin of a bench unit that, as the season went on, often outplayed the starters. Harris finished the season with 16.1 points per game on .481/.347/.841 splits, plus 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists, and qualified as the team's most efficient, high-volume shooter by an enormous margin.
 
Player Profile
 
Harris is a versatile, efficient scoring forward who can play either forward spot; with the Pistons, he most often lines up at power forward.
 
Upsides
  • Efficiency: Harris is an efficient scorer. Of the 68 NBA players who took at least 12 shots per game last season, he ranked 31st in true-shooting percentage and 22nd in effective field-goal percentage. Not spectacular, but certainly solid, particularly as his team's offense by no means revolved around him.
  • Versatility: Harris is an extremely versatile scorer. In points per possession last season, he ranked in the 87th percentile in the NBA as pick-and-roll ball-handler, 85th percentile at post-ups, 83rd percentile in transition, 73rd percentile in spot-up shooting, and 64th percentile in isolation. Not all of these were on high volume, but the fact remains. Tobias is also effective at attacking the rim, converting on just over 50% of his drive attempts last season.
  • Good free-throw shooting: of all 65 NBA forwards who shot at least two free throws per game last season, Harris was 16th in FT%.
  • Excellent work ethic: Harris is not known to take even single plays off, much less entire games. His effort level stays at 100% whenever he's on the court; his work ethic endures off the court as well.
  • Good durability: Harris has averaged 75 games per season over the past three seasons.
  • Good potential: Harris is only 25, has shown persistent improvement, and hasn't yet entered his prime. He's got ample room for growth as a player, and a high ceiling.
  • Outstanding attitude: Harris is a consummate professional and a model teammate. These qualities were on full display last season. After serving capably as the team's offensive pivot during Reggie Jackson's 21-game absence to start the season, Harris's play declined upon Jackson's return; judging the two incompatible in the starting lineup, Stan Van Gundy made the odd decision to transfer Harris—his best scorer—to the bench while keeping the disastrously underperforming Jackson in the starting lineup. Harris remained on the bench for the remainder of the season, never rewarded with the starting role or offensive priority his play merited; his efficiency was comically greater than that of the team's other high-volume shooters—he shot a 56.8 TS%, whereas Jackson, Drummond, Caldwell-Pope and Morris all occupied an interval between 50.8% and 51.9%--but this went ignored by Stan Van Gundy where utilization was concerned. The above could easily have bred angst and discontent with any player, but not Harris, whose attitude, effort, and level of play never wavered. Van Gundy noted that Harris didn't like playing from the bench, but Harris spoke on the need for professionalism; and Harris recently expressed his willingness to come off the bench again in the coming season if this were best for the team.
 
Downsides
  • Mediocre defense: Harris isn't outright poor on defense, but he's certainly mediocre. Part of this comes of defending larger power forwards; Harris, at 6'9” and 235lbs, is somewhat undersized for the position, and is therefore prone to being overpowered in and around the paint. He is, however, also not possessed of the greatest defensive IQ; he has a tendency to fail switches or leave shooters open.
  • Mediocre three-point shooting: Though he's by no means an awful three-point shooter, Harris has reached league average from three in only one season thus far. That said, he's young and has ample room for improvement in this respect.
  • Non-elite athleticism: This is less an actual weakness than merely something that'll limit Harris's potential upside; he's very athletic, and he may grow into an all-star scorer, but he'll likely never reach the athletic heights of the game's truly physically dominant forwards.
 
Summary
 
Harris is undoubtedly the best pure scorer the Pistons have. Period. He's no superstar, and not like to be, but he's steady, dependable, highly able, and carries all-star potential. If the ball is put in his hands, he's very likely to do something good with it.
 
What the Pistons need from him this season
 
Reliable, efficient scoring, as ever. The degree of Harris's contributions this season will, however, depend largely upon the scope of the role that Stan Van Gundy gives him. Harris was criminally underutilized last season. He was the team's best player, and he remains one of its very most important. The onus is now on Van Gundy to give Harris the priority he merits. Bonus points to Harris himself if he advances into the eam-leadership position he's so temperamentally suited for.
Reggie Jackson Analysis courtesy of u/Nerouin
 
  • Age: 27
  • Drafted: 2011, 24th overall, by OKC
  • Seasons played: six
  • Contract remaining: three years, $51,130,434
 
Background
 
Jackson arrived in Detroit in February of 2015 after forcing a trade from Oklahoma City; he was acquired by the Pistons after a season-ending injury to then-starting point guard Brandon Jennings. He was promptly declared as the point-guard-of-the-future by coach/GM Stan Van Gundy, who signed Jackson to a five-year, $80 million contract in the offseason. Jackson went on to post a career season in his first extended stint as a starting point guard, averaging 18.8 points (.434/.353/.864), 6.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game while serving as his team's go-to offensive option.
After suffering a flare-up of left-knee tendinitis during the 2016 offseason, Jackson opted to undergo platelet-rich plasma therapy and missed the first 21 games of the season. He was restored to his place in the starting lineup and previous role in the offense immediately upon his return, and went on to play the worst season of his career. Jackson, for whatever reason, never recovered from his time spent out of the lineup; his characteristic athleticism was absent throughout the season, and his performance suffered accordingly. He was rarely a worthwhile presence on offense, he was a disastrous presence on defense; simply put, he could not guard NBA-level opposition of any stripe. He was ultimately benched after 50 games, then deactivated from the lineup for the remainder of the season two games thereafter.
Jackson has reportedly spent the 2017 offseason further rehabilitating his left knee; the results are allegedly promising. It bears mention, however, that the same was said shortly before his return last season.
 
Player Profile
 
Jackson is a pick-and-roll-focused, shoot-first point guard. On defense, he most often draws the easier assignment among opposing guards.
 
Upsides
  • Pick-and-roll: Jackson is a pick-and-roll point guard in every respect; he once noted that his ideal scenario would see him run a pick-and-roll on every play on the way to a championship. This aspect of Jackson's game made him an ideal partner for Andre Drummond, the organization's franchise player, and served a large role in Van Gundy's decision to acquire and commit to him; Van Gundy envisioned the Jackson/Drummond pick-and-roll as the foundation for the Pistons' offense. In 2015-2016, Jackson led the league in pick-and-roll possessions and FGA, scoring a respectable .88 points per possession; he managed .89 points per possession during last season's injury-plagued campaign. In practice, the results were likely somewhat better; Drummond, arguably the league's premiere offensive rebounder, excelled at cleaning up Jackson's admittedly frequent misses.
  • Penetration: When healthy, Jackson is dangerous on the drive. He led the league in shot attempts on drives in 2015-2016, converting on a respectable 49% of these.
  • Three-point shooting: While by no means a sniper, Jackson has shot roughly league-average from three on high volume over the past two seasons.
  • Versatile scoring: Jackson is always a threat to score, whether on the drive, off the dribble, spotting up, or from the free-throw line.
  • Excellent athleticism: Jackson has a superb 7'0” wingspan and excellent athleticism; when healthy, he possesses prime explosiveness and leaping ability.
 
Downsides
  • Questionable health: Easily the greatest of Jackson's pressing issues is his health. Jackson suffers from long-term left-knee tendinitis, a chronic, potentially degenerative condition; though not a big issue for most of Jackson's career, it destroyed his performance last season. His effectiveness going forward will depend greatly upon his management of this condition; Jackson is highly athleticism-dependent on the court, and last season proved the dangers of fielding him at less than full health. Also worth mentioning is Jackson's asthma; this condition can, understandably, impact Jackson's energy level when he is on the floor for long stretches, and means that he's best not played the big minutes that some starting point guards see. Even should his knee be healthy, the combination of these two conditions will likely see Jackson's ideal minutes capped around the high twenties, relatively few for a starting point guard of his age.
  • Inefficiency: A shoot-first point guard, Jackson is not an efficient scorer. With the exception of his small-minute sophomore campaign in OKC, Jackson has yet to shoot a league-average FG% in any season; nor has he ever matched or exceeded league-average true-shooting percentage in any given season. This is a problem for any high-volume shooter. Jackson's 18.8 points per game in 2015-2016, while impressive, came on a steep 15.7 shots per game. Among all players with at least 20 minutes per game in that season, Jackson ranked in at 21st in shots per 36 minutes, but 137th in TS%. Realistically, however, Jackson's efficiency is negatively impacted by his penchant for forcing overly difficult shots rather than passing to open teammates; he could be an efficient shooter.
  • Not a true point guard: Jackson's inefficiency as a shooter wouldn't be a big deal were he excellent at other facets of offense; unfortunately, this isn't the case. Jackson does not excel as a floor general or as a passer. His ability to run an offense is largely limited to the pick-and-roll. He suffers from mediocre floor vision, and he's an unremarkable playmaker; in short, he does very little to improve the players around him, and focuses largely on creating his own offense. He's also an unwilling passer; as an illustrative stat, he ranked 1st in the NBA in shot attempts on the drive in 2015-2016, yet was 28th in passing percentage on the drive among starting point guards alone.
  • Bad in transition: Jackson ranked in the 23rd percentile in PPP in transition during his career 2015-2016 season. Jackson, perhaps due to his asthma, is often slow up the court in transition opportunities. He isn't a good passer in transition, either.
  • Overly ball-dominant: Jackson is extremely ball-dominant; in 2015-2016, for example, he ranked 1st in the league in average seconds per touch. In practice, this has the capacity to stunt the offense and take away from teammates.
  • Bad defense: Jackson is a bad defender, plain and simple. He suffers from markedly poor defensive IQ, struggles tremendously to navigate screens, and habitually fails switches or leaves his assignment open at the three-point line.
  • Questionable attitude: Jackson has long been singled out for criticism for his attitude; at the age of 27, he retains a penchant for immaturity and ego, which can manifest itself in poor decisions and a propensity for hero ball on the floor and in problems in the locker room.
 
Summary
 
Jackson, as things stand, is something of a paradox. He's seemingly most valuable on offense-poor teams, as this allows him to shoot as much as he wishes; he operated in this capacity with the 2015-2016 Pistons and with the 2014-2015 Thunder when Durant and/or Westbrook were out due to injury. However, Jackson's deficiencies as a floor general and a passer, his ball-dominant game, and his unwillingness to pass combine to decrease his value as the quality of his teammates improve. Past a point, Jackson's inability to get the most out of the players around him and potential to take away offense from better shooters have the theoretical potential to rob him of value compared to a more balanced point guard.
This remains largely theoretical, as Jackson has yet to be part of a truly dangerous offense in Detroit in his two-plus seasons as starting point guard; Tobias Harris, acquired in February of 2016, remains Jackson's sole teammate over that span capable of creating high-volume, efficient offense. Even this single example has proven worrying, however, as Jackson has been unwilling to defer to or to even properly share with the far more efficient Harris. Last season, this ultimately escalated into outright incompatibility, leading Van Gundy to move Harris to the bench despite the latter's superior play.
Moreover, he's a markedly poor defender. At this stage of his career, his room for improvement in that capacity seems limited. This makes his contributions on the offensive end all the more important, and his deficiencies there all the more damaging.
The above isn't to say that Jackson lacks value or cannot adapt. If healthy, he's got the capacity to be very valuable to the organization. As noted, he's got his strengths; his synergy with Drummond, his scoring, and his ability to attack the basket will always be useful. His ability to truly contribute, however, will hinge on his willingness to play a more balanced game, accept a lesser role, be a team player, and strive to improve. That's doable. It's up to him.
 
What the Pistons need from him this season
 
First: health. Plain and simple.
Beyond that: in order to be maximally useful to the Pistons, Jackson's got to evolve as a player. He came to Detroit with the desire to be the go-to option, and that was just fine back then. Times have changed. Jackson is no longer top dog on an offense-starved squad. This season will likely feature the best Pistons offense in a long while, and Jackson's got to play a more balanced role going forward. The Pistons will need him to reliably make the best play for the team, whether that be passing or shooting. He'll need to pass more, share more, and defer to his better-shooting teammates. And he'll need to take on a leadership role, at least of sorts. He'll need to grow as a player and as a teammate. Otherwise, he'll risk his drawbacks growing to eclipse his value.
Ish Smith Analysis courtesy of u/Nerouin
 
  • Age: 29
  • Drafted: Undrafted
  • Seasons played: seven
  • Contract remaining: two years, $12,000,000
 
Background
 
Smith was signed by the Pistons in the 2016 offseason; the Pistons are the 10th team he's played for, and are set to become the first organization for which he has played more than one season. Though signed as backup point guard, the late-offseason injury to Reggie Jackson thrust Smith into the starting role for the first 21 games of the season; Smith performed unexpectedly well in this capacity, serving as an able facilitator on offense and playing surprisingly rugged defense for what was, during this span, one of the better defenses in the league. He was moved to the bench upon Jackson's return, shortly thereafter forming the team's most effective duo alongside Tobias Harris and serving as the general for a very solid bench crew. He remained, throughout the entirety of the season, the better of the team's two point guards, and his minutes trended upward throughout his time on the bench as he routinely outperformed the injured Jackson. He would ultimately regain the starting role in late March after Jackson was first benched and then deactivated as part of Stan Van Gundy's ill-fated, last-gasp playoff push.
 
Player Profile
 
Smith is a pass-first point guard who excels at most aspects of the position but struggles to put the ball in the hoop.
 
Upsides
  • Solid leadership: Smith is a solid floor general, able to lead his team on both ends of the floor.
  • Good playmaking: Ish has excellent court vision, is a highly able passer, and excels at setting up his teammates for open looks and at generally getting the best out of them.
  • Extremely safe with the ball: Smith very rarely turns the ball over; his 3.73 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked him 2nd amongst NBA point guards last season, only narrowly behind Chris Paul's 3.83. At one stage of the season, he had 67 assists against only four turnovers in an eleven-game span.
  • Quick and high-energy: Persistently rated as one of the quickest players in the NBA, Smith is most often a blur on the court. He brings energy to whatever unit he's on the floor with, and never gives less than 100%.
  • Highly durable: Smith has very rarely missed games to injury over the past several seasons.
  • Great attitude: Ish is professional, upbeat, and completely team-oriented. He spent much of last season on the bench despite plainly being the team's best point guard; this may have bred discontent in some players, but quite the opposite with Ish: he remained relentlessly supportive of Reggie Jackson, publicly referring to Jackson as “the guy” and himself as the backup.
 
Downsides
  • Markedly poor shooting: What keeps Smith outside the ranks of the NBA's established starting point guards is his marked difficulty at putting the ball in the hoop. To put the issue into perspective, his career-best 2016-2017 true-shooting percentage of 47.7% still placed him an even 7.5% below league average. On the upside, he cannot simply be ignored from distance as many poor shooters can; he has developed a pull-up, mid-range jumper that he can hit at a solid clip when left open, and though he's certainly unremarkable at attacking the basket, he's good enough at it that the opposition needs respect his quickness and his ability to get there. Unfortunately, he's an awful three-point shooter; he cannot reliably sink threes even when wide open (though, oddly enough, he was 10-of-20 from the corners last season). As a further consequence of his poor shooting, his offensive value on the court declines if he hasn't got at least a couple of good shooters around him. Overall, his poor shooting is mitigated somewhat in that he plays around it—he always defers to better shooters—and excels elsewhere as a point guard, but it still hurts.
  • Poor free-throw shooting: Last season's 70.6% free-throw percentage, a career best for Smith, still ranked him in the doldrums of NBA point guards in this category.
  • Size: Though he quieted criticisms of his defense with his solid showing on that end last season, Smith's size is nonetheless a basic liability when circumstances leave him guarding much taller opponents. Smith was, however, among the top point guards in the league in blocks per 100 possessions; he's very good at sticking with his man throughout the entire shooting motion.
 
Summary
 
Though he has his shortcomings, particularly in the area of scoring, Smith is nonetheless a highly-capable backup point guard who can ably serve as starter in a pinch. He plays a solid, if unspectacular, two-way game—he made remarkable strides on defense last season—and he's a leader on the court and a solid presence in the locker room.
 
What the Pistons need from him this season
 
This will depend greatly upon Reggie Jackson's health. If Jackson is healthy, the Pistons will need Smith to bring his typical energy off the bench, and perhaps to spell Jackson in particular scenarios. If, however, Jackson does not return to full health—an unfortunate possibility—Smith can serve as a serviceable replacement. He should see a major role in either scenario, as Jackson's tendinitis and asthma will most likely limit his own minutes to the high-twenties.
Andre Drummond #0 Analysis courtesy of u/Halbridious
23.7M, Year 2 of a 5 year Max (5th year PO)
6’11 - 280lbs | 13.6/213.8/1.1 (1.5s/1.1b) | 53/29/39 splits
‘16-’17 was a rocky season for Andre, and one he’s looking to put behind him. Drummond is one of the most dominant PNR finishers around, but was never able to connect with Ish Smith the way he had with Jackson or Jennings, and when Jackson returned from Injury he simply wasn’t totally himself. Ish lacks the ability to pull defenders away from the roll man, and Drummond wasn’t able to feast around the rim. To keep him involved in the game SVG called a variety of post up isolations for Andre, which lead to a lot of 12 foot hook shots, simply not great offense. Drummond isn’t terrible when he gets early duck-ins and closer looks, but his offense is non-existent outside the paint. A sneaky skill of Drummond’s is his passing - he lacks great vision, but he throws some great passes on plays where he’s given a read to make.
Defense is where Drummond continues to confuse. He is arguably the most athletic center in the NBA, and in spite of his size he has surprising lateral agility around the edge. Unfortunately he continues to struggle with his decision making on defense. Pistons fans are used to seeing him step out to a popping big a half beat late, or hanging back covering a guard and not being close enough to contest. There remains a monster for someone to unlock in there, and Drummond still has time to figure things out, but the goal gets a little harder to reach every year. Andre still has some of the sneakiest hands for a center, though sometimes he opens up a lane going for a steal, a habit he desperately needs to break.
For all his conflicts and flaws, Drummond remains one of the most dominant rebounders in modern history. The Pistons have uniquely encouraged him to assault the boards at all times, and even when he sacrifices some defensive integrity for rebounds the sheer attention he commands is incredibly disruptive. Because he gets so many offensive boards, and demands so much attention even when unsuccessful, the Pistons have given up the least transition opportunities in the NBA, by a significant margin.
The Drummond/Jackson Pick and Roll will remain the lynchpin of Detroit’s offense moving forwards, and fans have to hope Jackson is again able to unlock the best of Drummond - together they carried a significantly worse team to 44 wins 2 years ago. Look for significantly less post-ups from Andre and more looks moving towards the rim this year hopefully leading to a higher FG%, as Pistons fans continue to pray he figures out the free throw yips and defensive rotations.
Avery Bradley #22 Analysis courtesy of u/Halbridious
8.8M, Last year of a 4/32 contract
6’2 - 180 lbs | 16.3/6.1/2.2 (1.2s/.2b) | 46/39/73 splits
The big move of the Pistons offseason was the decision to let Kentavious Caldwell-Pope walk and trade Marcus Morris for Avery Bradley. The move was painful for many fans but made sense for the Pistons, who weren’t ready to commit to KCP at the prices he demanded - especially long term. Bradley is generally considered as an upgrade at the SG position, and gives Detroit an extra year to feel out the Jackson+Andre foundation before they commit to a fairly expensive roster even further.
Offensively, Bradley has become a fantastic off-ball player. He ranks among the elite as a catch-and-score player: 86th percentile in spot up looks, 71st off screens, and 83rd as a cutter. This makes him an ideal player alongside Reggie Jackson in the Pistons Pick-and-Roll-heavy offense; an ideal kick out target on the perimeter, and a savvy cutter that can get to the rim when dribble penetration stalls out. It also gives them something they’ve had only sparingly in SVG’s tenure - a player that can reliably hit the outside shot off a screen. The Pistons were terrible from outside last year, and Bradley can not only hit the outside shots, but can actually give SVG a target to call plays for.
The Pistons have been desperate for secondary playmaking, but this isn’t Avery Bradley’s strong suit. With the ball in his hands Bradley is only a so-so player, in the 61st percentile as a PNR ball-handler and 20th in isolation (per NBA.com/stats). Badley does maintain a respectable <10% TO%, and the Pistons will have to hope that he can make the simple plays as a distributor. He does have a garbage man in Drummond that he never had in Boston, and it’s not hard to envision him getting a few extra assists a game just lobbing it up for the big guy in traffic when nothing else presents itself (something KCP learned to do last year). Regardless, he should never be the primary playmaker on the floor, which make his compatibility alongside a probing ball-pounder like Jackson even more important.
As good an offensive player as Bradley has become, it’s his defense that has enraptured fans and players alike. Bradley is a master of positioning when he defends the ball; he moves his feet as well as anybody and has a fantastic talent for keeping his balance and recovering. Bradley’s rather unique ability to get his chest into a player’s space and impose himself on a ball handler has earned him significant praise from many of the guards he’s defended. In addition to being one of the absolute best at defending the ball, Bradley is also very good off the ball, getting through screens and denying passing lanes. He’s an aggressive rebounder, especially considering his size (the Pistons have been looking for ways to help Drummond on the boards), and has a talent for playing physical without fouling. The Pistons desperately need this level of physical defense alongside Reggie Jackson, who has never been better than a mediocre defender and was absolutely terrible during his attempts at a comeback last season.
The biggest concern for Avery is his injury history. He’s struggled to consistently stay on the floor, playing only 413 of 574 possible games in his career (72%) often struggling with various nagging injuries. But Bradley may be the closest thing to an SVG player that Van Gundy has had since he got to DET, capable of elite play on both ends, and provides an exciting new skillset to a team hoping to get back into the playoff hunt. He’ll have a chance to reinforce his reputation and put out a complete season this year, a crucial one that leads into his next (and probably biggest) contract.
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