Why Pistons minus Smith works

In Detroit, the concept of "addition by subtraction" has been a hot topic in the wake of the Pistons' 5-0 record since waiving Josh Smith. The quality of Detroit's opposition during the surge hasn't been great, but that hardly detracts from the turnaround of a team that won just five of its first 28 games. The Pistons have won three times on the road during the streak, and each of the five victories has been by 10 points or more. The average post-Smith margin of victory has been 18.2 points.

As Kevin Pelton suggested, this small sample revival can be at least partially attributed to factors other than Smith's departure. Yet, the difference has been almost unbelievable. When looking at just the last five games of each team across the league, the Pistons rank second in efficiency on both ends of the court, and first in net efficiency.