January 12, 2010--Today makes one month since they last won a game. Thirteen straight losses! Losses to teams such as the Thunder, the Knicks, the Raptors twice and the Bulls twice. It is not that these teams are all pushovers, but the Pistons should have been able to pull out at least one in the stretch. Yes, record-wise they are only tied for 3rd worst, but right now I'd argue they are playing the worst ball (okay, I haven't seen any of the other bottom teams as only the people in their areas even gets to see them). I think this team has more potential than any of the other bottom 3 teams and had shown flashes of using this potential, which easily makes them the most underperforming team in the NBA currently.
And things aren't getting better. This streak started when the Pistons finally got healthy and had all their stars for the first time since opening night. As the losses have piled up the games have not gotten closer with the desperation, but have steadily marched to less competitive blow outs. Last night's loss to the Chicago Bulls, a sub-.500, barely playoff team in the still weak East, was by 33 points !
So, what has happened? I haven't seen all the games, but from what I have seen this team has become complacent. The guards are not attacking the rim like they did when they knew how to win. Jonas Jerebko is the only forward who is crashing the glass regularly. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, who won me over with their shot making abilities as starters earlier in the season when the team was shorthanded, can't seem to find the bucket. And then there is the defense. Simply put: it is non-existant. Anyone, anywhere can get to the rim at will. Even Ben Wallace has fallen off to look more like the Ben of recent years than the Ben of old he looked like early in the year. And there has been little sign of team defense which is what solidified (as mush as they were) this team early in the season. A team with this many weak man-to-man defenders needs to play solid team D, historically a Detroit strength, but this team has lost it. They often look like they don't believe they can win; and they are proving themselves right.
They tried a lineup shakeup last night, to obvious disasterous results. When rookie, Jerebko, is your leading front court scorer, you obviously have serious issues. Maybe a bigger shakeup is needed. Play the guys who actually won a game. Go back to starting CV and BG; get some points on the board and get them in rhythem. At this point, it can't hurt.
Lastly, when is that trade happening? The Pistons are desperate for some front court scoring and any defense. I think at this low point no one should be sacred, everyone should be on the block to get something up front.
Good god, at this point do something, anything to get a win. Otherwise the Pistons may snap NJ's losing streak for the longest of the year.