“Sometimes, guys are still on break,” he said. “Physically, they’re here. But you see it. The first game on breaks sometimes are a little bit funky, for both teams, because you have no rhythm of practice or playing.”
“It didn’t really feel weird, I picked it up and it was just the same-old, same-old,” he said of his return to practice Monday. “But taking five days back and you start running, it’s a big difference. Other than that, my body feels good. I think the first couple of minutes, everybody’s going to be huffing and puffing, but other than that, everything’s going to be good.”
“Still on vacation,” Prince said, then repeated it twice more, when asked to explain the 97-68 blowout at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
I have one very simple question after reading those comments again: why is any of this OK?
I’m OK with the Pistons losing games. I’m realistic enough to understand the situation they’re in from a talent standpoint. Namely, they don’t have much. They’re over-matched on a sheer talent basis against nearly every team in the league. But the problem with this team hasn’t just been about talent. They also quit. They quit against Philly last night, they didn’t play hard against Toronto in the game before the All-Star Break and I can go back through the schedule and point to a handful of other games where they simply just did not compete whatsoever.
That lack of fight, to me, is inexcusable, and to brush it off with comments like the ones above? That’s lunacy. It’s even more crazy that, apparently, no reporter had any follow-ups along the lines of, “… so your message now is the team might not be able to play at an optimal level after five days off when the storyline all season prior to this was that the team wasn’t playing well because of a compacted schedule that allowed no rest?” And people wonder why this team isn’t drawing.
Fans will watch and appreciate a team that has little talent but still tries really hard consistently every game. The Pistons lack talent and they lack consistent effort. That’s a problem.