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News » Peasant Pistons

Peasant Pistons

Peasant Pistons
AUBURN HILLS -- The Detroit Pistons are not a good team right now.

The worst part about it?

It seems everyone they play knows this.

Teams used to treat the Detroit Pistons like NBA royalty, praising them for their hard work and tough defense.

These days, the Pistons (24-19) seem defenseless, as one team after another works them over.

Detroit is no longer among the Eastern Conference's elite. Today, the Pistons are just another middle-of-the-pack club trying to move up in the world.

"We been kicking (bleep) so many years, home and away, I guess they feel it's time for some get-back," Detroit's Rasheed Wallace said Sunday after losing to Houston 108-105.

The Pistons, losers in seven of their past nine games, have been more than accommodating.

Their defense used to lock teams up at will. Now, they play defense on a whim.

The offense has as much flow as a clogged sink, evident by their ranking among the NBA's worst scoring teams this season.

When you throw in that they have yet to play with the kind of consistent fight a veteran, playoff-tested team should have, it adds up to a once-proud franchise that now has little to boast about.

When will things improve?

Players have tried to stay positive about the team's struggles, stressing that in time, things will get better.

But time no longer is on the Pistons' side.

The season is more than halfway finished, and Detroit plays with the same inconsistency it did in November when the roster was in upheaval after the Allen Iverson-Chauncey Billups trade.

"It's tough, because you would think at this point, we would have found our way, and we haven't," Detroit forward Tayshaun Prince said.

On paper, it would appear the Pistons are going to catch a break with Wednesday's game at Minnesota, one of this season's worst teams.

But the Pistons know they cannot take any team for granted, especially the Timberwolves, who crushed them by 26 points at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Nov. 23 and are 10-2 since Jan. 1.

No one would call Wednesday's game against Minnesota a must-win for Detroit, but the Pistons need to get on a winning groove soon. This season quickly is getting away from a Pistons team that looks as though their string of six consecutive appearances in the Eastern Conference finals or NBA Finals, will end.

"Eventually, we will figure it out," Wallace said. "But hopefully, it won't be too late to the point where it's coming down to the last game or two."

If Detroit will get on track, it likely will begin with a more consistent defense.

Not only did the Pistons give up a season-high 39 points in the first quarter to the Rockets on Sunday, but they looked so discombobulated defensively at times that players were asked afterward if they were trying to play zone defense.

"If it looked like we were in a zone and we weren't, that ain't good," Iverson said.

Pistons must start harder

Pistons coach Michael Curry chalked up the team's first quarter woes to a lack of effort.

"The reality is, we didn't play hard enough in the first quarter," Curry said.

That never is a good thing, especially for a Detroit team that is not very good.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 30, 2009


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