The last time the Pistons won a game by at least 40 points, it was 2007, they were 24-7 and a somewhat promising Charlie Villanueva was on the losing team. Wednesday night, the Pistons won by exactly 40, improved to just 5-11 and a disappointing Charlie Villanueva was the winning team's co-leading scorer. The Pistons' 117-77 win over the Suns wasn't your contender's 40-point win. Times are different. But, man, it's hard to not feel pretty good right now.
Since starting a franchise worst 0-8, the Pistons are 5-3 in their last eight games, have won three of their last four and four in a row at home. Riding their first "winning streak" of the season, the team's finally evoking some hope in fans that things might be starting to turn around. 40-point wins and wins in general can do that to the psyche, you know.
For the second straight game, the Pistons were lights out from beyond the arc, hitting 12 of 16 (75%) after knocking down 60% on Monday night, and moved the ball around well, too, passing up on good shots for the better shots. Eight players again had at least two assists and the team had 28 overall. Nine of their first 12 baskets were assisted.
After a tight first quarter (24-24), the Pistons outscored the Suns 93-53 in the final three quarters, led by the surprising Villanueva, who hit 4 of 5 threes, scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds in just over 20 minutes. Brandon Knight also had 19 points and dished out a team-high six dimes opposite three turnovers.
Following the rout, Corey Maggette gathered the team around half court and issued what appeared to be a little post-game pep talk. Pistons color commentator Greg Kelser speculated that Maggette was pointing out to the team that this is what they're capable of doing on a nightly basis -- that working hard on defense and moving the ball around on offense will result in resounding success. It was a cool sight for sore eyes, witnessing most of the Pistons' youngsters (and core of the team) seemingly engaged in what the veteran Maggette had to say. Plus one for team cohesion.
Even if it's true the Pistons have merely beaten a pair of sub-par teams playing on the back end of back-to-backs, it does feel like they are starting to put into the crock pot the ingredients for the kind of success to which we became accustomed from 2003-2008, like the team that beat up on the Bucks in December 2007. Once Lawrence Frank settles on a regular rotation, which should include more Andre Drummond, this team could be deliciously exciting to watch and potentially competing for a playoff spot in April, proving that all the preseason playoff talk wasn't totally insane. After all, they're only 3.5 games back now with 80% of the season left to play.
• Drummond had nine rebounds, six points, two blocks and a steal in 24-plus minutes. He was the first player off the bench.
• Moose: 9 & 8.
• Daye got minutes, but Jerebko didn't ...
• The Pistons hit the road for two, starting with a reality check on Friday night against the 11-2 Memphis Grizzlies.
• Bright Side of the Sun feeling dark.
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