After crawling up the media Power Rankings the last two weeks, the Pistons dropped several spots in all rankings due to a winless week. Not only was it a win-less week, but two of those losses came to then 1-7 teams (Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers), another to an injury-plagued Los Angeles Clippers, and to Golden State. Of course, all of these rankings were put out before Tuesday night, when the Pistons battle back from as much as 13 down to beat the Central Division and Eastern Conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers.
An 0-4 finish to their West Coast swing has taken the shine off the Pistons. They scored a measly 85 points against the Lakers' defense on Sunday, and then Stan Van Gundy called out both Andre Drummond ("he is not protecting the rim at all") and Reggie Jackson ("his decision making was terrible") in his post-game comments. After a six-game trip, they only have one day off before hosting the Cavs on Tuesday.
That feels more comfortable. I could see the Pistons being 15 best in the season overall and making the playoffs. I am glad Stan Van Gundy called out Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson. I am glad they listened and beat the Cavaliers.
Concerns about this team bubbled to the surface with an 0–4 week to end their road trip. It’s hard to dock the Pistons for losing to the Warriors, but falling to the Kings, shorthanded Clippers and Lakers is a bad look. Their thin bench looks particularly troublesome, given heavy reliance on starters Marcus Morris and Ersan Ilyasova.
I will say, though they were the Kings, shorthanded Clippers and Lakers, the Pistons were on a six-game west coast trip that took 10 days. They fought and they fought valiantly. Unfortunately, there are no moral victories here.
We are so uninteresting that they didn't take the time to write about the Pistons, or nine other teams.
Did we get a bit carried away with the Pistons' promotion all the way up to No. 5? OK, fine. But the harsh reality that greeted Detroit on its West Coast swing doesn't change our alibi, because Drummond Fever is fully justified when No. 0 is on pace to become the first guy to average 19 RPG since ... Wilt Chamberlain in 1971-72.
Again, I'm ok with the number 15 ranking. Book it, it's happening. Along with five more 20-20's this season and a 30-30.
It turns out that the Pistons being absolutely terrible at shooting eventually caught up to them. They badly need Brandon Jennings, and that's never something you want to say about a team with playoff aspirations.
Brandon Jennings was playing out of his mind last year until the injury. Also, he'd be the sparkplug off the bench that the Pistons need. So Mr. Moore, I am more than ok saying that with this team: we can't wait for Brandon Jennings to come back.
Andre Drummond finally had a quiet night. Of course, by his standards, a quiet night means 14 points and 17 rebounds, as the Pistons lost to the Kings on Wednesday. You can doubt this team if you want. Stan Van Gundy’s squad defends, shoots 3s, and has a dominant big man. That recipe has worked wonders before. View season trend.
Again, these rankings are done at a different time than others. These were last done last Thursday, so they do not include two of the losses the Pistons had. But it is great to say that a quiet night for Drummond is still 14/17.