The predictable. The Spurs are once again one of the elite teams in the league. The Pistons? They're not even in the league's basement -- they're somewhere swimming in the sump pump. The Pistons managed to stay in this game longer than expected -- can you believe the score was actually tied briefly to start the fourth quarter -- but ultimately lost by 20 points.
I don't know what's more disheartening: the fact the losing streak has reached 11 ... or the fact that the late-game collapse wasn't so much disappointing as it was predictable.
(Also, can you believe this was the first time the Spurs beat Detroit in their own building since 2007? Who knew?)
For the second game in a row, Rip Hamilton looked like his old self, shooting over 50% from the field and finishing with a game-high 29 points.
Rodney Stuckey, who finished the game +1 for the night, didn't play a single minute in the final quarter due to a sore right knee. Without him, the Pistons turned the ball over eight times in the final frame, dooming whatever chances they may have had.
Ben Gordon was awful, both shooting (4-12 FG) and holding onto the ball (five turnovers), but his streakiness (streakyness?) no longer surprises -- it's who he is. Hopefully he gets it in gear sooner or later, though; he's essentially the team's only deep threat, and the Pistons are now shooting just .284 from three-point land.
The Theo Ratliff Unsung Hero:
Charlie Villanueva pitched in an efficient 14 points (7-15 FG) and eight rebounds (including six offensive!) in 23 minutes. Sure, he finished -20 on the night, but that's what made him unsung.
John Kuester has officially reached the "throw anything against the wall and see what sticks" stage, giving Jason Maxiell a DNP-CD against the Mavs and the start against the Spurs. Jonas Jerebko, meanwhile, fell all the way out of the starting lineup to the end of the bench, playing the final two minutes of the game when the score was long since decided. Not saying it's a bad thing -- Jerebko was clearly wearing down, and Maxiell has often been invisible even when he has played -- but it certainly seems to suggest the coaching staff has no idea how to get out of this slump.