Pistons wilt against Hornets, and they’re losing the few fans they have left

Ben Gordon was easily the Pistons’ best player tonight – scoring 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He had a couple pretty good passes and a steal. Of course, he scored 13 of his points with the Pistons down at least 14 late in the game, and he also turned the ball over twice.

If you’re thinking that sounds like a pretty low threshold for the best player on a team, that’s because it is.

The Pistons’ 93-74 loss tonight grinded away any last shreds of confidence in this team’s moxy. There were no moments of hope. There were no moments of extreme pain, either. The Pistons just slowly wilted away.

Besides Gordon, not a single Piston made an overall positive impact on the game.

No Piston had a positive plus-minus at halftime – and the Hornets were only up 10. It was incredible how every Piston did his small part to help the team fall behind.

More amazing: they did it again in the second half. All the Pistons who played in the first also posted negative plus-minuses in the second half.

That’s truly a remarkable stat. Each rotation player got beat all game. Everyone should take blame for this loss, but I doubt anyone will.

After the game, there was the expected talk about the second night of a back-to-back. Friday, we’ll hear about three games in four nights. Saturday, we’ll hear about another back-to-back and four games in five nights. Tuesday, we’ll hear about being rusty after two days off.

There’s always something.

This team is too busy making excuses – the refs call quick technicals, the team’s tempo is wrong, there aren’t enough minutes for shooters to get into rhythm, John Kuester plays too much small ball, roles aren’t defined.

Some of those complaints might be valid, but at this point I don’t care. This isn’t a team I can get behind. The Pistons don’t play hard. They show no heart. They don’t seem like they care.

And this complaint isn’t limited to the players. Part of Kuester’s job is to motivate them. I’ve seen no evidence that he has. All I’ve seen him do is brag about making adjustments. Great.

The Pistons are flawed. They can’t be great. Heck, they probably can’t even be good. But they could be likeable.

They had a long way to go toward that end – and tonight was a major step back.

More perspective

This is the opening of Ryan Schwan’s recap for Hornets247.com:

Detroit’s starters are kind of depressing.  While Maxiel and Wallace worked hard here and there and Hamilton ran around alot there wasn’t a feeling that they were a team – or that they cared much.  Most of their shots were of the sort where they let the defender square up on them, and then they took a fadeaway. All of them did that. Only Ben Gordon seemed to realize it’s easier to shoot when someone isn’t right on you.

The fadeaways dropped for a little while, but then they stopped, and the game was over – and Detroit seemed fine with it.  The showed no real push or desire to get back into it.  They did run a few plays to get open threes that had the potential to cut into the lead, but when those shots bricked, they seemed fine with that too.  Kind of a lame game.

Tags: Ben Gordon