I wish I could say I was surprised when the Utah Jazz beat the Detroit Pistons last night.
Even though Utah was missing three of their best players, was on the second game of a back-to-back (their 4th in five days) and the Pistons were well-rested, I wasn't the least bit surprised that the Jazz won the game.
This was the Pistons' 25th straight loss, and it's not just that they are just losing, the stretches of any semblance of good basketball are few and far between. Occasionally the Pistons will put together five minutes when they look like an actual NBA team, but one turnover or bad play unravels any positive in a heartbeat.
The team is broken and no longer looks surprised when things go wrong. They expect it, and so should we.
The Detroit Pistons can no longer surprise me
I wish I could say I was surprised when the Pistons turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter to a team that was barely playing any defense or that they turned it over 20 times overall, losing the hustle battle to a shorthanded team on weary legs. But Detroit has been turning it over all season, they are second in the NBA in turnovers per game, a hair behind the Utah team that just kicked their butts on the Pistons' home floor.
I wish I could say I was surprised when the bench came in and immediately let up a 14-2 run that undid all of the good things the Pistons did in the 1st quarter. But the bench has been atrocious all season and particularly odious of late. Isaiah Livers and Alec Burks, the team's two "sharpshooters" off the bench, have gone 1-of-27 from 3-point range combined in their last five games.
I wish I could say I was surprised that coach Monty Williams keeps running all-bench units out there, but his bench and rotations have been a mystery all season and seem more like those of a coach trying to make a point to the front office or get fired, not one who is trying to win games.
I wish I could say that the Pistons' 4th-quarter collapse wasn't completely predictable. They went 1-of-10 from 3-point range (29 percent for the night) turned the ball over and generally fell apart. But they've been doing that all season, so what's new?
I wish I could say I have any surprise left, but after 25 straight losses and 15 years of losing, I am all out of surprise. Surprise takes hope and this team has beaten it out of me.