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written by Bryan Mears on May 15th, 2014
Follow them at @bryan_mears

Looking at Stan Van Gundy's Coaching History to Project the 2014-2015 Detroit Pistons

Will Stan Van Gundy's coaching history help with this complicated Pistons roster?

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There are certainly good jobs and bad jobs in the NBA this offseason with regards to head coaching vacancies. A good job? How does the best shooting backcourt in the NBA in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson sound? What about $22 million of Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith? Yeah, not so much.

The Detroit Pistons have several factors that made their head coaching job less than desirable. Other than the Jennings and Smith problem mentioned above, they have a very crowded frontcourt. In fact, there have already been "sources" claiming that Greg Monroe will be on his way out of Detroit to make way for the high-priced Smith and up-and-coming Andre Drummond to have the frontcourt all to themselves.

Stan Van Gundy certainly has an interesting roster to work with next year. With all the questions about how these players fit together - we still don't know after a full season - I thought it would be interesting to look at Stan Van Gundy's past teams and five man lineups to project how he might use his roster next year. Per basketball-reference.com, here are Van Gundy's most used and highest rated five man lineups during his past head coaching tenure.

Five Man Lineups - Most Minutes Played

1. Miami Heat, 2004-2005
Lineup: Damon Jones, Dwyane Wade, Eddie Jones, Udonis Haslem, Shaquille O'Neal
Total Minutes: 857

2. Orlando Magic, 2009-2010
Lineup: Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Matt Barnes, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard
Total Minutes: 772

3. Orlando Magic, 2007-2008
Lineup: Jameer Nelson, Keith Bogans, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard
Total Minutes: 673

4. Orlando Magic, 2010-2011
Lineup: Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Brandon Bass, Dwight Howard
Total Minutes: 630

5. Orlando Magic, 2011-2012
Lineup: Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson, Dwight Howard
Total Minutes: 673

Five Man Lineups - Highest Rated (100 minute minimum)

1. Orlando Magic, 2008-2009
Lineup: Jameer Nelson, Courtney Lee, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard
Points scored - Points allowed (per 100 possessions): +24.3

2. Orlando Magic, 2008-2009
Lineup: Jameer Nelson, Keith Bogans, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard
Points scored - Points allowed (per 100 possessions): +20.2

3. Orlando Magic, 2008-2009
Lineup: Anthony Johnson, Courtney Lee, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard
Points scored - Points allowed (per 100 possessions): +17.9

4. Orlando Magic, 2011-2012
Lineup: Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick, Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson, Dwight Howard
Points scored - Points allowed (per 100 possessions): +17.6

5. Orlando Magic, 2007-2008
Lineup: Keyon Dooling, Keith Bogans, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard
Points scored - Points allowed (per 100 possessions): +17.4

Findings and Observations

Can you find anything in common between many of these lineups? Perhaps a shooting big? A stretch four?

Part of that is roster construction - Turkoglu and Lewis were in their primes and highly complemented Dwight Howard's post game. Sometimes it's difficult to figure out whether a coach is truly running his own system or style, or whether he is merely adapting to the roster that the management has given him.

If history is any indication, then it seems that Monroe would certainly be on the way out, and most likely for some version of that coveted wing or stretch four shooter. Van Gundy coached Ryan Anderson in Orlando and would love to pair a player like him alongside Andre Drummond. The latter is an incredible rebounder, so it would make sense to get an Anderson type. With Drummond, you don't need a big rebounder at your power forward spot.

The problem will be figuring out how to fit Josh Smith in the lineup. SVG does have a history of going "big" - Turkoglu and Lewis played the three and four along Dwight and they're both 6'10 - but there is a big difference between those guys and Smith. Josh can't really shoot.

And therein lies the dilemma that needs to be solved in Detroit. If you move Monroe to make room for Drummond, what do you want in return? Do you want a stretch four like SVG had in Orlando? Do you want a good shooting small forward to upgrade on Kyle Singler and move Smith to the power forward spot? Does moving Smith to the power forward spot hinder Drummond and make the Monroe trade meaningless? These are all valid, tough questions that SVG and his staff will have to address this summer.

It will also be very interesting to see how Drummond develops under SVG. In all of his years of coaching he either had Shaq or Dwight Howard as his starting center, so its likely that he'll have some helpful tips for the young big man.

Despite dealing with all of the Dwight Howard drama a couple years ago in Orlando, Van Gundy has a track record of being a good coach, and is respected around the league as a intelligent basketball mind. That's good, because it'll take a brilliant one to figure out how to fix these Pistons.

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In This Article

Brandon Jennings
PG, Detroit Pistons

Greg Monroe
FC, Milwaukee Bucks

Kyle Singler
GF, Oklahoma City Thunder

Rashard Lewis
F, Dallas Mavericks

Ryan Anderson
FC, New Orleans Pelicans

Dwight Howard
FC, Houston Rockets

Josh Smith
F, Los Angeles Clippers

Andre Drummond
FC, Detroit Pistons

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