Pistons head out west for 6 games, starting Friday night against Phoenix

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

In preparation for the Pistons' first of six games in nine days out West, here's a Morning Shootaround to get you right presented to you in the early afternoon.

The Pistons are 0-1 and have perhaps their toughest stretch of the season beginning on Friday night against the Phoenix Suns, the first of six in nine days on the west side of the country. If the Pistons don't win Friday night, it's conceivable that they don't win until next Wednesday and could very well start the season 1-5 or even 0-6 before returning back to The Palace ... to play Oklahoma City. Hopefully, another extremely poor start to the season won't play out and they'll surprise us in at least a few of these games.

Either way, we better get going with the layups, of which the Pistons missed plenty on Wednesday:

Lawrence Frank charted 74 individual failures in transition D against the Rockets. I don't know what number we're comparing that to, but I imagine he was looking for a much, much lower figure.

• Make sure you read XstreamINsanity's game takeaways over in the FanPosts.

• Patrick Hayes writes that the loss to the Rockets shouldn't be that discouraging in this Detroit Free Press column:

Losing a winnable game, especially one that the team had a double-digit lead during the late part of the game, is never acceptable. But the bad ending overshadowed the fact that the Pistons were entertaining, even if the end result was a loss. The offense was faster, the ball movement was better and, even though the defense was porous, the Pistons were active in passing lanes and came up with 12 steals, which led to several transition opportunities.

After four years of bad basketball, fans are understandably hungry for a team that competes for a playoff spot. But if the Pistons aren’t quite at that level yet, the fact that they’re watchable is a significant improvement from where they were prior to this season.

• I said one of the better highlights from the game on Wednesday was the cool player introductions. I was remiss in failing to mention Jonas Jerebko's beautiful behind-the-back pass to Kyle Singler:

• Also, Jason Maxiell's numnumnumnumnumnum:

• Here's an in-depth look at the Pistons upcoming road trip.

Corey Maggette is hoping to return sometime next week. Sean examines who might lose time when Maggette returns to the lineup. In the meantime, Maggette's giving advice to younger players:

"Hopefully it's an opportunity for me that I can talk to the guys and mentor them while I'm on the bench to give them more confidence and hopefully they can go out and play free," Maggette said. "I'm still going to be a part of it. You will see me on the bench talking to (Drummond). We're a young team, but the best thing now for us to do is just to play free, play loose and get up and down. I think our biggest asset is being able to run and not run a lot of plays and have fun doing it."

Shootaround the NBA:

• Ice4McDyess: Antonio McDyess is looking to make a return to the NBA, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

Doug Collins says he would blow his brains out if he had to read advanced statistics.

• The Lakers are 0-2 and Kobe Bryant says shut up to his critics a la Aaron Rodgers' "shhh," but it's better when it comes after a dominant performance. But hopefully that doesn't come on Sunday.

Eric Maynor hit a 55-foot buzzer beater for the Thunder in the only Thursday night game. Ahhhhh:

• Happy? Nobody's happy:

Tony Parker make happy:

Now, your thoughts.

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