The good news this week so far – the Pistons have only lost one game. Of course, the bad news is they have only played one game since taking on a 4 game, 8 day West Coast trip. The Pistons play tonight at L.A. Clippers after spending two days practicing in Los Angeles and enjoying the warm weather. The Pistons were lifeless on Tuesday night with a 100-78 loss to Portland. The lone bright spot was Austin Daye who led the Pistons in scoring with 15 points including going 3-for-3 on 3-pointers. He now is 6-for-6 from behind the arc over his past six games.
The Pistons have yet to find the identity during this young season. Some say that left when they traded Chauncey Billups two years ago. No one has replaced Billups scoring and leadership while savy veterans Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton keep reading about trade rumors. It’s hard to believe Pistons’ president Joe Dumars will make any major moves into the Davidson family completes the Piston’s sale. That sale is expected to be done within a couple of weeks.
Until then, the Pistons will continue to develop their young players such as Daye and 2010 first round draft pick F Greg Monroe. Monroe is struggling adjusting to physical play of the NBA as most rookies do. Monroe is averaging just 4.5 points a game, but is averaging 5.3 rebounds while playing only 19 minutes a game. His playing time should increase as the season goes along as the jury is still out if he was worthy of being the 7th overall pick in the draft.
Another player that could help the Pistons down the road is G/F Tracy McGrady. McGrady signed a one year contract with the Pistons for league minimum. McGrady is still re-habbing his knee as only plays around 15 minutes a game. But as the season progresses and his knee gets stronger, McGrady’s playing time will increase as well as his scoring punch. McGrady will be looking for a long-term contract in the off-season as he needs to show teams that he is healthy. McGrady has started to take a leadership role with the young team something he was not known to do when he was with the Raptors, Magic, Rockets, or Knicks.
The Pistons are 0-4 away from Auburn Hills. They play the Clippers tonight, Sacremento on Sunday, and Golden State on Monday before coming home to play the defending champs. Not an easy schedule for a team still trying to find it’s identity.
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Written by Bob Ballard