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Pistons Links: Detroit looking to move on from underwhelming West Coast trip

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Detroit returns to the hardwood Tuesday night against Cleveland, looking to get that foul four-game losing streak taste out of their mouths.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons Are Dunking On Expectations -- Vice Sports

A lot of nice and positive words about the Detroit Pistons, however, this four game slide has me thinking a bit more pessimistically.  But that just might be me.

The Pistons are a healthy 5-5 despite injuries to Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks, and they look like a sure thing for the Eastern Conference playoffs, now and for years to come. It's finally happening in Detroit, and if the team we see now isn't quite the one that might someday contend for a title, this one might be more fun to watch than the better teams to come.

I'm going to have to say that this is a huge stretch:

As can be expected of a Van Gundy team, their defense is a thing of high art, and the offense displays a very satisfying calculus of space. Reggie Jackson has blossomed as well, and what appeared to be a streak of hubris when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder—from which he demanded a trade away from the shadow of Russell Westbrook—is now one of the game's most righteous portraits of cockiness. After getting a maximum, $80-million contract from Detroit this summer, Jackson has played like a top-ten point guard.

5 things to watch: Detroit Pistons return home to East champion Cavaliers -- MLive

David Mayo calls this recent four game cold spell a funk -- I hope he's right, as a funk can be corrected.  Let's be patient for the progress that likely awaits.

Also, more on those minutes:

Ilyasova's minutes did go up over the weekend, to 29 in both Los Angeles games, and his season average is 25.2. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (37.6) is fourth in the league in minutes after being cut to 33 against the Lakers. Andre Drummond (37.2) is right behind, tied for fifth, after going 41 minutes against the Lakers. Tenth man Reggie Bullock could help smooth some of those minutes if he can produce.

Detroit Pistons notes -- MLive

The Pistons left Los Angeles less than pleased with a four-game losing streak but still .500 through 10 games, only three of which were at home.

"I think if they said, 'You're going to be 5-5 after this road trip and have the second-hardest schedule,' we would've been happy with it," Dinwiddie said. "Sometimes, outside expectations, they get a little bit high because of the way you start off. 'Dre (Andre Drummond) was setting records and Reggie had his 40-point game, and all that stuff. But as a team, you can never get too high or too low."

Five takeaways from the Lakers' 97-85 win over the Detroit Pistons -- LA Times

Let this be one of the very last times that Drummond's defense gets slighted in favor of post-2014 Hibbert's. I'm not saying Hibbert doesn't have defensive value anymore in spurts (he certainly does), but he's not the elite defensive center as he briefly once was.

2. Pistons Coach Stan Van Gundy spoke highly of Lakers center Roy Hibbert.

"Hibbert is a very good defender. I mean, he is one of the best rim protectors in the league, something we need more of," Van Gundy said.  "Andre [Drummond] could learn from [him]. Andre does a lot of great things but he's not protecting the rim at all. Hibbert is a great rim protector, and I thought he did a good job of that today.

Stand with Beirut, Detroit -- DBB

On Friday, November 13th, a string of attacks in Paris led to the deaths of 129 people and the injuries of over 350 more. Sports venues across the world showed their solidarity with France with a variety of tributes. The Los Angeles Clippers showed class with their playing of the French National Anthem before taking on the Detroit Pistons.

Less reported, was the suicide bombing in Beirut, one that killed 43 and injured 239. This was a similarly tragic incident claimed by the same organization as the Paris attacks.

The Detroit area has the highest concentration of Lebanese-Americans in the world. According to Crain's Detroit Business, 17,800 reside in the Metro-Detroit area, providing a cultural footprint unique to this great city.

On November 17th, the Detroit Pistons will play their first game back at the Palace since the tragedies, against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bring a Lebanese flag out to center court, allow some Lebanese-American members of the community to sing the national anthem before the game, or show a video tribute of Pistons players extending their hearts to those affected - something to show the members of your community that you are with them in this time of suffering.

For more about the overshadowed attacks in Beirut, Lebanon, see this link.

Andre Drummond cares about winning, not stats -- ESPN

"When Pope, Reggie and I decided to come together," Drummond said, "we said we should do something team oriented this offseason and really get to know everybody, and we decided to go to Vegas and work out as a team. And we did some stuff with the UFC, and we really got a chance to bond without the coaching staff; it was just us."

As productive as that experience was, the Pistons' winless four-game trip through California after their 5-1 start showed Drummond how much room for growth there is for the team.

"We have seven new guys, so it's going to be a building process, but I think we're starting to come around," he said. "We've lost the last four games, but it's not something we need to hang our heads about. We have to get ready for our next game. We'll get there."

On to your optimistic thoughts about how the Pistons will defeat LeBron James and the Cavaliers tonight.