By: Bogart Lipe
The Pistons are confusing. They are confusing because earlier this year, they beat the Clippers (which was impressive because they were actually playing an acceptable brand of basketball at the time, which they are not right now) and the world-beater Warriors on back to back nights. They are confusing because only a few weeks later, the same Pistons lost to the Bucks, Pacers, and Cavs in the span of 6 days. The Bucks are a decent team, with an alien named Giannis who doubles as a basketball player. However, Giannis did not beat them. Khris Middleton beat the Pistons, which is just not a thing the Pistons can let happen, especially against a division rival. They also turned the ball over and were blocked 16 times a piece. And when you get blocked 16 times in one basketball game, you will most likely not win that basketball game.
Then, the Pistons played the Pacers, an objectively bad team. Victor Oladipo got Avery Bradley’d (6-19 from the field), and the Pistons had a 22 point lead in the 3rd quarter. Then the Pistons gave the game away quickly, but it’s hard to recall how quickly. It’s hard to tell because Lance Stephenson started hitting shots, and when Lance Stephenson starts hitting shots, let alone contested long range shots, it’s hard to have a grip on reality and time because everything feels like 2012 again. So the Pistons went into the fourth up 10 and lost by 7. So that was not a good back to back sequence of games.
Next, the Pistons played the Timberwolves and did not play well again for the first three quarters. The team kept turning the ball over, ending with 19 turnovers, but were able to force 20 Minnesota turnovers. Behind late game heroics from My Point Guard Reggie Jackson, the Pistons were able to fight back to lead the T-Wolves by 3 with under 20 seconds left. Then, Avery Bradley fouled, or at least the refs think he fouled, Jimmy Butler on a three point attempt with only a few seconds left. Butler, an exceptional free throw shooter, hit the first two as expected. Then Reggie Jackson, god bless his wholesome heart, stepped in and interrupted the flow of the final free throw attempt. And, because Reggie Jackson is not only smart but also clever and crafty, Butler was phased and barely missed the last free throw. After two Pistons free throws and another near miss by Butler at the buzzer, the team made a magical escape out of Minnesota with a win.
And finally, and by far the least climactic, the Pistons were stonewalled by the visiting Cavaliers. LeBron looked like 2012 Game 6 in Boston LeBron in the first quarter, and the Cavs did not look back. The Pistons lost by 28, and it could’ve been much more. The Cavs made 16 threes, the Pistons looked exhausted, and Andre Drummond had two ridiculous streaks ended. His 12 rebound game streak came to an end at 16, tied with Moses Malone for most to start a season since 1979. In addition, he failed to register 15 rebounds and 4 assists, a previous 7 game streak that was the longest for a player since 1986.
So now here we are. The Pistons play in Oklahoma City Friday and in Boston Monday against the ultra-hot Celtics. The key will be Friday, a game the Pistons may need to win in order to avoid a prolonged slump that may only accumulate in Boston on Monday. At 11-6, the Pistons have still had a fabulous start, but it is important to settle down, take care of the ball, and stay afloat in the early season.