These are dark days for the Detroit Pistons. Before their game with the L.A. Clippers on Friday night, the Pistons had only won 2 games of their last 10. With an 8-19 overall record, the Pistons are heading toward a lottery pick for the 2nd straight season. Hard to believe the Pistons at one time made the Eastern Conference Finals for six straight years (2003 - 2008).
Could things get any worse? Yep. Enter the L.A. Clippers coming to town Friday night. The Clippers had not won on the road all season. Heck, they haven’t won a road game since March 25th. The Pistons just came off a “signature win” upsetting the Atlanta Hawks 103-80 on Tuesday night at the Palace. This night, the Pistons could not stop rookie Blake Griffin (24 points and 17 rebounds) or the Los Angeles Clippers. Blow out 109-88. This by far was the lowest point of the Pistons season.
Let’s face it – the Pistons are a terrible team. No interior defense, no inside scoring, players confronting the head coach in public - not exactly a winning formula. Until they can find themselves another big man, there will be many more nights like this travesty at the hands of the Clippers. Current Pistons center Ben Wallace is still good, but he is nowhere near the player he was 5 years ago slowed by age and injuries. Forward Charlie Villanueva was brought in for his offensive skills but is considered too soft on defense. The Pistons used their lottery pick to draft Greg Monroe, but the forward is still adjusting to the NBA life and his play has not been consistent.
Contributing to the Pistons’ failures is the head coach. Somehow John Kuester has not been able to effectively communicate with the Pistons’ players. Simply put, the players and head coach are not on the same page. This is reminiscent of the scenario when Dick Vitale coached the Pistons back in the late 1970s. Vitale knew Xs and Os but had a difficult time communicating with his players. The Pistons went 30-52 in Vitale’s first year then started off 4-8 the following year. Then-owner Bill Davidson wasted no time relieving Vitale of his duties. The same might be said of Kuester as he came highly recommended when the Pistons hired him in 2009. Kuester just doesn’t seem to be able to communicate with his players.
The Detroit Pistons are a mess and help is not on the way anytime soon. Unfortunately, it’s time to start looking at the 2011 NBA draft class.
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Written by Bob Ballard