Quantcast 2009-2010 Detroit Pistons: Pistons @ Wizards

 

Pistons Woes Stem from Bad Leadership, On and Off the Court

 

Wednesday the Detroit Pistons won their first game in a month with a 99-90 victory over the depleted Washington Wizards. Though they played harder and with a sense of purpose on this night, the norm that we’ve been seeing from this team lately has very few positives and a lot of bad habits. Still feeling the remnants of a 13-game losing streak, the Detroit Pistons are starting to look more like a team gearing up for an early lottery pick, than the team many Michiganders saw as a potential playoff team. As the season begun, injuries to core veterans like Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton seemed to be the only concerns stopping this team from being one of the top eight teams in the East, now they seem to be part of the reason for the teams epic collapse. On offense, there are too many guards that shoot, yet no one on the pistons roster is capable of consistently setting up teammates for open shots or easy dunks. This causes the offense to become stagnant and very predictable to defend. On defense, a few pick and rolls by the opposing team and a couple passes is all it takes to get a good look at the rim against the Pistons. They don’t play good individually, and they don’t help when a teammate gets beat off the dribble, or screened by a bigger player. And if the first shot is missed, which is happening rarely these days, their lack of size and defensive awareness is the cause for giving up multiple second chance points to their opponents.

 

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The biggest problem I’m seeing with the Pistons right now however has more to do with a conscience decision not to play with effort and heart, and while everyone on the team should take fault for their current performance, I’m placing blame on the people who should be leading, Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton and Joe Dumars. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of all three of these individuals. They were major cogs that were responsible for a championship in 2004, six trips to the eastern conference finals, but that era in Pistons history is over. It’s time to start over and begin the process of rebuilding. Here in lies the problem. In order for the future to begin this season, certain players either have to be completely on board with the changes or be moved so the growth of this team can begin. When Rip and Tayshaun were injured, this team’s calling card was playing hard every night and never giving up. Even while losing seven straight games early in the season I saw this team fight and give everything they had no matter what the situation. As Rip and Tayshaun have returned to the lineup, I now see a team that is confused, trying to incorporate guys who haven’t been playing, yet receive the majority of minutes and shots that used to go to younger players. I also see a team that gives up when things don’t go their way. A team that refuses to sprint back on defense or dive for loose balls. A team that is content with losing and looks too much like the team from last season that Pistons fans despised and that was incapable of playing together and crashed and burned in the first round of the playoffs last April..



We were promised as fans that we wouldn’t have to witness this anymore. And until the two main returning players from last year’s team returned to the lineup, we hadn’t seen it. And now Pistons fans have watch a team that gets destroyed night after night, they also are being robbed of the chance to at least watch a young team develop and play with energy, as all the rookies and young players are either watching the game due to lost minutes, or deferring to veterans, preventing themselves from becoming the key members of a team in which they will undoubtedly be a part of for years to come.

Call me a pessimist, but this team can not improve in its current structure. The veterans see the writing on the wall, even if they don’t say anything public. This team cannot compete for a title anymore, and they are not a part of the Pistons future, therefore they don‘t have the incentive to lead this team going forward. Mr. Dumars may have wanted players from the previous era to be a bridge from one championship caliber team to the next, but right now it is more likely that they will be the roadblocks that prevent this franchise from climbing back up the hill. Dumars has to make the decision to let his new young talent officially take the mantle so this franchise won’t get stuck in rut like the Pistons teams of the Teal Era at the end of his career. In the summer Dumars said he wanted the team to be competitive so the fans wouldn’t have to pay to watch bad basketball. If he doesn’t decide to make big changes soon, his worse fears are going to come true, and he is going to lose this fan base. And in this economy, that trust in him is going to be even harder to restore than any climb to regaining championship glory could ever be.

 

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By: Walter Wilson
ProBasketball-fans.com Detroit Pistons Correspondent


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