By: Bogart Lipe
This is not a fluke. We are 19 games into the season, and as such, there’s a large enough sample size to make an educated decision on whether the Detroit Pistons are a good team (which they most definitely, without a doubt are), or a mediocre team, or a bad team (both of which they most definitely, without a doubt are not). This is to say, the Detroit Pistons, the second best team in the East with a 13-6 record, are a good basketball team and there is proof.
The Pistons are the only team to beat both the Warriors and Celtics on the road. This is a fact. The Pistons are also the only team to beat the Celtics by double digits this year. This is another fact. You could say, “Well now you’re nitpicking stats aren’t you? Those seem fairly specific do they not?” And you may have a point, but not really, because as I previously mentioned, these are facts and facts are real and facts are not to be disputed. On multiple occasions, the Pistons have gone into hostile environments, puffed their chests out, and have not only hung with elite NBA teams but outplayed them, sometimes thoroughly so. This past week, they went into Oklahoma City to face the Thunder, a team with 3 bona fide stars, and won by 1 in an incredibly tense game that saw each of the Thunder stars fail to shoot higher than 41%. But let’s talk about arguably the biggest game thus far for the Pistons, a game in Boston against the Celtics that the Pistons won 118-108. And in that thinking, I’d like to present one more fact: Andre Drummond is a basketball monster who does not care about you or your happiness and would rather crush you and whatever less athletic tall man you task with trying to control him on both ends of the floor.
You may have heard Andre had quite the game Monday night. Against the 18-3 Celtics, he scored 26 points (on 10-12 shooting and 6-8 from the line), grabbed 22 rebounds, handed out 6 assists, and had 4 steals. You may think to yourself, “Wow that’s a really nice stat line, how does that stack up historically?” Great question. To start, he’s the first player to have those stats since 1990, when Charles Barkley did it. Also, he was the first visiting player in Boston to have 25 points, 20 rebounds, and 5 assists since Wilt Chamberlain. Being the first to do something since Wilt Chamberlain is notable at the bare minimum. At the maximum, I could stand here vindictively and confident and claim Andre is a Hall of Famer in the making and we should all get used to seeing his name and “first since Wilt Chamberlain” being used in the same sentence. But I digress.
The Pistons are back to playing to their potential and everyone has contributed (I haven’t even mentioned the sweet shooting Tobias Harris, who had 31 Monday night). The team is playing an exciting brand of basketball and next up are the Suns tonight, the Wizards on Friday, the Sixers on Saturday, and the Spurs on Monday. This week will prove to be a challenge for the Pistons, against teams with high hopes for playoff appearances and deep runs into the postseason. The Pistons must beat the Suns, and will have two chances to avenge earlier losses in the year to each the Wizards and Sixers. Both games will be emotional (can’t wait to see you Joel), and it’s imperative the Pistons once again stand up to the challenge and continue their recent momentum to further prove that this team is here to stay.