Pistons at the midway point: 3-point shooting, injuries undermined 13-7 start

LOS ANGELES – If a .500 record logically earns a C letter grade, then 18-23 – where the Pistons stand at the mid-point of the 2018-19 season – just as logically should earn a D. In their case, the D might as well stand for Disappointment.

When the Pistons stood at 13-7 on Dec. 1 after a convincing win over the Golden State Warriors, they felt they hadn’t yet played their best basketball. They were winning in spite of subpar 3-point shooting they expected would pick up after playing much of the first quarter of the season without their two best shooters, Reggie Bullock and Luke Kennard.

Then two things changed: The schedule stiffened and a run of injuries struck. What didn’t change: The 3-point shooting remained maddeningly spotty. The Pistons have gone 5-16 since.

And yet, for all of that, they woke up a mere one-half game out of the playoff field after Saturday’s win over the Clippers, led by Blake Griffin’s dominant 44-point outing.

That’s the jumping off point for a half-season review – what went right, what went wrong, what’s to come.