Ah, the Detroit Pistons. Remember that rivalry? Well, if the Nets could only find a way to go on a mini winning streak, they could possibly challenge the Pistons for the second-worst record in the East. As it stands, Dan Feldman from Piston Powered, talks about the decline of a once proud franchise.
NAS: The Pistons have evolved into one of the league’s best teams in the past decade, to the second-worst team in the East. How hard are the fans taking this reversal, and how predictable was it?
It was probably more predictable than we realized. Players get old. Transition isn’t easy. I look at last offseason, and the Pistons replaced a lethargic Rasheed Wallace with Charlie Villanueva and a whining Allen Iverson with Ben Gordon. I thought both were upgrades. But the Pistons have more newcomers than returners. Spoiled by a steady roster the last several years, I think we forgot how hard it is for a team to gel.
Add a terrible rash of injuries, and that task has been impossible.
NAS: If I told you in August that of Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton and Ben Wallace, Wallace would probably be the biggest contributor to the Pistons’ 2009-10 season, would you have believed me?
All along, I thought Wallace would start. John Kuester is a defense-first coach, and if you look at Detroit’s roster, there aren’t many defensive-minded players. So, I thought Wallace would start to set a tone.
But I still wouldn’t have believed you for a second.
To be fair, injuries have been the biggest cause of Hamilton’s and Prince’s struggles. To be even fairer, I can’t look you in the eye and say they’d be better than Wallace if they were healthy all season.
NAS: If the Pistons were to make a trade before the deadline, what kind of deal would you like to see them make? Does this organization need to be in “rebuilding” mode, or would another piece and improved health help this team sneak into the playoffs in the always-weak back end of the East?
I think it’s too late to the make the playoffs this season. It’s not too late to look like a postseason team. But with a 15-31 record, they’d have to look like a title contender to make the playoffs.
I’d like to see them add a solid player who can help now if they can get someone with value while other teams are looking to shed payroll. The Pistons might be the only team in the league with room to add a little salary and isn’t gearing to make a splash in free agency this summer.
The Pistons’ had a winning atmosphere for many years, and that helped them win games they had no business winning. It might be too late, but I’d like to see Detroit whatever it can to continue that.