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NBA power rankings roundup, Week 5: Pistons continue to fall

The Detroit Pistons played four games in Week 5 of the 2014-15 schedule. They came away with four more losses.

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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The way the Detroit Pistons have been playing this year has been absolutely terrible. That is even compared to how bad they were last year. Now 17 games into the regular season, the Pistons still only have three wins - the same amount they had after nine games of this season. Yes folks, that is an eight game losing streak, the longest of Stan Van Gundy's career as an NBA coach. As expected, the Pistons dropped in a few of this week's Power Rankings roundup.

Last Week: 27

This Week: 27

The bottom of our power rankings is littered with bad teams that are marginally less terrible than the others, but the Pistons have a big week coming up with games against the Lakers, 76ers and Celtics. Power tanking changes are on the way.

I am honestly surprised that the Pistons did not drop here. The Los Angeles Lakers just beat the top seed in the East Toronto Raptors and have one more win than the Pistons do. The Charlotte Hornets also have one more win than the Pistons do, but also have a longer losing streak (nine) than the Pistons do. Even still, their schedule during that stretch has arguably been more difficult than the Pistons'. It is interesting though, the Pistons could win the next three games and be just a few games out of a playoff spot. Man, the East is sad.

Last Week: 29

This Week: 29

The enormity of the task Stan Van Gundy has taken on surely has to be setting in. Andre Drummond finally had two Drummond-esque games against the Bucks with Brandon Jennings out, but SVG felt the need to shuffle the lineup amid all the losing and fourth-quarter misfiring, shifting Greg Monroe to a bench role.

Which was a mistake. But honestly, Stan can't win for losing. D.J. Augustin hasn't been great and dribbles too much, but Andre was beasting. Bring back Brandon who has been pretty good himself, and Andre suffers. But if we have to choose between Brandon having the best season of his career and Andre dominating, I think the obvious answer is to go with Andre. This team feels like someone took a few different puzzles and threw all of the pieces into the same box. Nothing seems to fit.

Last Week: 26

This Week: 29

Detroit has lost eight straight games, the longest losing streak of coach Stan Van Gundy’s career.

And for some reason, I feel that will not be the longest streak of his career when this season finishes. Our next opponent, the Lakers, just took down Toronto. No, they still are not a good team, but I do not think that bodes well for the Pistons.

Last Week: 26

This Week: 28

It's time for a fire sale on everyone but Andre Drummond. Tom Gores has been a pushy owner. Will he face the reality of needing to really start over? It's almost impossible to isolate the problems of this massive disappointment.

It really is not as hard as they make it seem. Jennings has been having a career year. So has Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko. Andre is up and down, but seems to be more up when Jennings is not on the floor. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is just as off and on as Andre. Josh Smith is having a career worst season. Kyle Singler is not doing so well. Cartier Martin just came back. Jodie Meeks has yet to come back. GiGi Datome and Tony Mitchell have not played. Spencer Dinwiddie has looked steady for a second round rookie. The problems, in my order, are Josh Smith, Stan Van Gundy, D.J. Augustin, Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Jennings (for not including Andre), Andre Drummond (with as much as we are missing, he should be grabbing more rebounds - but foul trouble which is also his problem)...

Last Week: 28

This Week: 28

Forcing the ball to Andre Drummond doesn't guarantee success, but it can't hurt at this point.

If Greg Monroe had already re-signed to a longer deal or left, I would agree with this. However, with Greg Monroe on the team, I would much rather bench Josh Smith, run the offense through Greg Monroe mostly and concentrate on Drummond when Monroe is not on the floor. But if we alienate Monroe (more than has already been done), it will just push him further out of the door.

Last Week: 29

This Week: 29

Andre Drummond had a breakout in the absence of Brandon Jennings, averaging 22.0 points on 64 percent shooting in three games that Jennings missed. Then the point guard returned and Drummond shot 1-for-8 on Sunday. Andrew Bogut had something to do with that, but Drummond has shot better (and more often) with Jennings off the floor.

It does appear that Augustin has a better connection with Drummond than Jennings does. However, pick your poison. Augustin is having an inefficient season whereas Jennings is having a career year. My personal opinion is go with Augustin because it will boost Andre's confidence in the long run, and he should be the cornerstone of the franchise. Also, I think the reason why Drummond shoots more with Jennings off the court is because Josh Smith shoots more (and surprisingly better) when Jennings is on the court.


I would like to tell you that this week the Pistons will have as many wins alone as they have all season. However, that is sad to even think about and not exactly guaranteed. The Pistons have allowed 104 points the last three games and the Los Angeles Lakers are averaging 104.1 points per game. Yes, they give up 112 per game, but that is against better offensive teams. Philadelphia is likely the easiest win of the week, but does anyone remember what happened last year? They snapped their 26 game losing streak against the Pistons. And they did not do it by just barely beating the Pistons. No, they beat the Pistons by 25 points. And while Boston only has one more win than the Pistons do, they score 11.5 more points a game than the Pistons.

Even if the Pistons do win all three of the games this week, do not expect them to move far up the Power Rankings unless they win each game by an average of 40 points. Even then, these are the lowest of low teams.