With the release of Josh Smith it seems Stan Van Gundy is ready to move on from Joe Dumars mistakes and build the team in his own image.
The writing was on the wall for Smith, who just never fit in with the Pistons. He struggled to find consistency in the offense, and couldn’t mesh with the team’s frontcourt of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.
Last season’s numbers weren’t as bad as some thought, as he put up 16.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
Playing as the team’s power forward, Smith was forced to take perimeter shots, something which he has struggled with throughout his career. The awful shooting percentages and shot selection certainly hindered Smith’s play, and he couldn’t get himself on track.
This season, hopes might have been higher for a Smith revival, as Van Gundy was a stern and hard-nosed individual that has dealt with divas before (Dwight Howard), but Smith proved to be his biggest challenge.
Smith shot an abysmal .391 from the field and saw his points average drop to 13.1 a game. Van Gundy could only do so much with Smith, as the team was getting nowhere.
“Our team has not performed the way we had expected throughout the first third of the season and adjustments need to be made in terms of our focus and direction,” Van Gundy said in a release.
You could call the Smith release as an addition by subtraction move. Van Gundy looks at it as a way to develop his younger stars, as he stated to the media.
“We are shifting priorities to aggressively develop our younger players.”
The Pistons are looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully for Van Gundy this is the beginning of the journey.