It has been such an up and down season for the Detroit Pistons and if there was ever a time for this team to go on a hot streak, this is the time. There are 14 regular season games left for the team as they currently hold down the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the red hot Miami Heat on their heals.

After a game at home against a slumping Raptors team, the Pistons have an eight game stretch against teams currently below .500 including two games against the Brooklyn Nets and important games with the Chicago Bulls, Heat, and Milwaukee Bucks. That’s a stretch the Pistons must take advantage of and win at least six of those games. At least a 6-2 record during that eight game stretch would go a long way in securing a 2nd straight playoff appearance.

Guys who must lock in to achieve the 6-2 mark are Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond. Jackson’s uneven performances lately have been maddening. He had 21 points in a win over the 76ers and followed it up with 26 in a win over the Bulls. Then had a single digit performance in a loss to the Pacers followed by two strong performances against the Cavaliers and Knicks and recently had two bad games against those same Cavaliers and the Jazz. Jackson has got to lock in and lead the way for this team. If Jackson is at his energetic best and he’s making that midrange jumper, the Pistons will follow.

Drummond on the other hand has got to be tougher inside. He’s got to be leading the way on the boards and be active on defense. Stan Van Gundy counts on him to be the anchor of the defense and when he’s active around the rim, it just makes the team that much better. Too many times, he allows himself to be pushed around by somebody who has no business even being on the same court as him.

End of the day, Jackson and Drummond are the leaders of this team. Now is where they need to step up and lead this team to another playoff appearance. The rest of the team will follow their leadership.

-Ky Carlin

Twitter: @gettinbuckets91/@Ky_Carlin