The Pistons have been playing excellent basketball for quite awhile now, but there's something about nice, round numbers that makes other people take notice. In my latest from HOOPSWORLD, I take a look at the Pistons' current 10-game winning streak:
Joe Dumars and Flip Saunders made it very clear heading into the season that the starters would see fewer minutes this year in an effort to keep them rested for the playoffs. The hope was that the starters would respond to reduced playing time with increased efficiency and focus. As it turns out, that's exactly what's happened, with the starters building up such strong leads early in the game that they've rarely had to play in the final quarter during their winning streak. For the month of December, not a single Detroit player averaged more than 33.6 minutes.
Much of the credit belongs to Chauncey Billups, who's quietly in the midst of an MVP-caliber season, but Rip Hamilton has also done an excellent job of turning around his season. It took Hamilton a little longer than usual to get into a rhythm this year, as he shot just 43% in November before bouncing back to shoot 55% in December. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Pistons went just 9-5 in November and 15-2 in December.