Hammond: Van Gundy Off To Good Start - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Hammond: Van Gundy Off To Good Start

Hammond: Van Gundy Off To Good Start

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If there's one thing we've learned about Stan Van Gundy in the two months since he was hired as the Pistons new head coach and president, it's that he is a man of his word. Van Gundy said the Pistons would be "active" in free agency - not necessarily hitting a "home run" but scratching out enough singles to get across the plate. This is what he (along with GM Jeff Bower) has done with the signings of guards Jodie Meeks, DJ Augustin and forward Caron Butler.
 
Between the three, Van Gundy has gotten the tough minded, high energy character guys he pledged to pick up just three weeks ago. What's even better is that all three of these guys can shoot and add a presence on the perimeter that Detroit never seemed to find last season when they shot just 32 percent beyond the arc, putting them 29th out of 30 teams in the NBA. Augustin and Meeks both shot just over 40% from three point range last season while Butler came in close behind at 39.4 and for a coach like Van Gundy, who loves to pump the outside game, the upgrade has already begun. 
 
Fans often grow tired of hearing coaches fall back on the "character" argument for reasons in which they select certain players, but Van Gundy has been very calculated in taking care of business here in Detroit. With modest cap room to work with, Van Gundy has made the necessary steps to add character and chemistry in a locker room where there was little accountability in the locker room. At 34 years old, Butler isn't the player he once was, but he has the shooting stroke Van Gundy values and a veteran like that will provide instant credibility and leadership on a roster that has struggled to find its identity for several years.
 
After finishing 29-53, well out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference after bringing in pieces - Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith - that Joe Dumars hoped would fit, Van Gundy is already walking the walk by acting swiftly to beat out other teams and bring in the complimentary pieces to make it go.  In essence, what we are seeing from Van Gundy is a President who is molding a team in his image,  so that when the time comes to coach them up and get them ready for the season, they will know exactly what he expects and vice versa.
 
It's an intriguing start from a guy, who if nothing else, will demand maximum effort and energy from his players every night they step on the court, which is more than we've seen in Detroit in quite some time.
 
That alone should provide a breath of fresh air.
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