The Pistons have been outscored 95-61 in the first quarters of their last three games. That set the tone for their second straight loss.
As fun as the Pistons have been through their first two weeks, it might be a good time to remind them that winning ballgames in the NBA is tough. In the first quarter, the team showed a definite lack of urgency and toughness - particularly on the defensive end - that had been the trademark early in the season.
The Pistons gave up 42 combined first half points to DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay on just 16-20 shooting. The Pistons eventually pulled their heads out of whatever orifice it was lodged in to close the gap at various points, but the officiating crew did the trailing crew few favors.
The Kings trotted out the floppiest floppy stuff for most of the game, but whistles down the stretch completely shut down a comeback run. Reggie Jackson was called for a phantom offensive foul, Cousins drew a phantom foul on a rebound, Marco Belinelli drew a phantom shooting foul, and the game was essentially sealed.
Despite the challenges dressed in grey shirts, the Pistons were just off. They shot just 38 percent from the field and 28 percent from three. And their star players had trouble making an impact.
Andre Drummond posted a pretty line with 14 points and 17 rebounds, but with 5 turnovers and Cousins posting 33 points overall, it can't be classified as a particularly good game. Jackson also had trouble finding traction, with 16 points on 5-15 shooting and only 3 assists.
Overall, the Pistons just got plum beaten by a bad team. They're still 5-3, putting them in the same rank as teams potentially contending for the Eastern Conference crown like the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, and Miami Heat. But losing to teams you should beat is disheartening nonetheless.
And friends, things don't get easier from here. Next up is a trip to visit the Los Angeles Clippers. And of course we'll face the worst team in the league on the second night of a back-to-back.