As the NBA season goes on, some teams are starting to fall out of the playoff race. Other teams are still fighting to stay in it and are looking to make a trade that can push them into the 7th or 8th seed but some teams are better off sticking with the roster they have and figuring out how to win without making a trade. Lets take a look at 3 teams that should not make a trade this year.
1 -Detroit Pistons
The Pistons have not played up to expectations this year with a record of 18 wins and 22 losses. Part of this is because starting point guard Reggie Jackson was injured for the first 20 games, however in the last six games he has never scored less than 19 points. This streak includes a 31 point effort on the road in Portland. Last season Jackson was the lifeblood of the Pistons. If they want to turn their season around, he needs to stay hot.
If any team is expected to make a trade before the deadline, it’s the Pistons. But all signs coming from within the organization say that they are going to try to win with the players they have. So, what can the team do differently? For starters, they can make Boban Marjanovic their backup center instead of Aron Baynes. Baynes is only averaging 4 points and 4 rebounds a game and has struggled on defense. Boban, in his only game with real playing time scored 19 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. If Detroit makes this switch it will help their bench scoring improve and give them another good rebounder whenever Drummond gets into foul trouble.
2 -Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are only two wins away from winning more games this year than they did all of last year. A lot of the credit for this can go to rookie head coach Luke Walton who has done a tremendous job bringing the team through the post Kobe era. Despite this marked improvement, they are still far from making the playoffs and becoming a contender again. Let’s look at some of the changes they can make without making a trade.
The Lakers lead the league in bench scoring mainly because of Lou Williams, but their defense is lacking. They need players like Luol Deng and Brandon Ingram to improve their defense on the wing and Julius Randle and Timofey Mozgov need to become stronger interior defenders. Another player who should improve is the rookie, Ingram. So far this season, he is only shooting 28% from three point range and averaging about 8 points a game. These are disappointing numbers from someone who was expected to be a rookie of the year candidate, but if he can improve upon them he will be a big piece in the Lakers future and maybe give them a shot at the playoffs.
3 -Indiana Pacers
The Pacers are 20 and 19 and are the 6th best team in the east, but despite that they have not played as well as they were expected to at the beginning of the season. They have struggled to be consistent with wins against defending champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they have also taken some hard losses against Dallas and Philly. They are going to be reluctant to make a trade since they are in the playoffs, but without one what can they do to improve on their record?
One big disappointment so far for Indiana is Monta Ellis. He is only averaging 9 points a game and he hasn’t even scored 20 points in a single game all year. These numbers are coming from a guy who used to average 20 a game. They need Monta to improve his offensive game if they even want a shot at the second round of the playoffs. Another weakness for the Pacers is their rebounding. They are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league and they need to get better. If they can improve in these areas then they have a good chance to go deep in the playoffs.
All three of these teams have a chance to make the playoffs without making trades that blow up their roster. If they look at all their issues they can most likely find a way to start winning and get back into the playoff race.