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NBA Power Rankings 2013: Pistons collapse with their defense

A 1-3 West-Coast trip and a 3-6 overall record has the Pistons down in all of the latest NBA power rankings.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

It's really depressing that, eight years after beating the Pistons in the 2005 NBA finals, the Spurs are still popping up at No. 1 in NBA Power Rankings and the Pistons are trying to discover some kind of identity and at least move into mediocrity...

SB Nation:

No. 20 (last week: 16)
The Pistons' most-used lineup has a net rating of -37.9, per's stats page. Is that bad?

No. 26 (last week: 13)

Score one for Mo Cheeks amid one of the NBA's more disappointing starts: Josh Smith responded to his maiden benching in Detroit by becoming the first player since Hakeem Olajuwon in April 1994 with 21 points, 8 boards, 7 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks, sparking the Pistons to a much-needed road win in Sacramento.

No. 24 (last week: 18)

The Pistons have lost six of seven, own the league's worst defense and are giving up a stunning 1.15 points per possession when the trio of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith is on the floor. Things could be better.


24. Detroit Pistons (3-6; last week's ranking: 15): Pistons newcomer Josh Smith goes to Atlanta on Wednesday to face the Hawks for the first time since leaving last offseason.


No. 18 (last week: 14)

They don't seem to know what they're doing. They're just like dogs chasing cars. There's no real plan.

No. 21 (last week: 18)

Pace: 95.9 (20), OffRtg: 103.1 (11), DefRtg: 107.4 (30), NetRtg: -4.3 (20) Friday's win in Sacramento ended the Pistons' 21-game road losing streak against the Western Conference. What's amazing is that their last three road wins against the West were all in Sacramento. Still active, thanks to Sunday's collapse in L.A., is a 39-game road losing streak against the other 14 West teams. But we'll savor this off-the-glass alley-oop from Brandon Jennings to Andre Drummond.

What do you think? Are the Pistons being ranked where they belong through nine games?