The Pistons’ losing streak reached seven games with a 102-95 loss to the Raptors today.
But Detroit finally snapped its misery streak.
Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince all returned to the lineup after extended absences due to injury. They looked pretty rusty throughout the game, but their play picked up as it went.
First half combined: 17 points, three rebounds and two assists.
Second half combined: 22 points, six rebounds and five assists.
That improvement is encouraging, and I expect it to continue against the Knicks on Tuesday. All of a sudden, it’s possible to see the Pistons as a playoff team.
But Hamilton, Gordon and Prince weren’t the key today
Jonas Jerebko’s second-half turnaround was the biggest reason for Detroit cutting a 19-point halftime deficit to one. After shooting just 1-for-5 in the first half, he made all five of his shots in the second half.
The big takeaway is Jerebko can play power forward with the rerturners on the floor. He had started at small forward with Prince out, but he played power forward in the preseason. This is especially relevant as Charlie Villanueva battles plantar fasciitis.
It’s just another plus of Joe Dumars’ plan to not worry about slotting players into certain positions. And the deep team he built? We might finally get to see that, too.
Once they get back in the swing of things, the Pistons will begin to look like a playoff team. Whether they’ve dug themselves into too deep a hole is another question. But at least they look competitive again.
Now, they just need to win a game.