The Detroit Pistons have played the fewest games in the NBA but somehow manage to lead the league in technical fouls. With a wild four technical foul fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers, in a game they were winning handily, this is officially a problem.
While the Detroit Pistons will always be associated with the Bad Boys, and even the ... opinionated Going to Work Crew and Rasheed Wallace, this group ain’t that.
Sure, Andre Drummond can get too chatty but other than that? Stanley Johnson isn’t afraid to speak his mind, but he’s more likely to curse out his teammates than a ref, and I mean that as a compliment. But Stan Van Gundy is gone.
You’re talking about a team with Reggie Bullock and Ish Smith and Luke Kennard and Glenn Robinson III and Jose Calderon and, well, also Zaza Pachulia.
But back to Jose Calderon. Jose. Calderon. Got a tech against the Cavs! I’m not sure what kind of world we’re living in.
As best as I can tell, the Pistons are at nearly double the rate of technical fouls than they were last year, and they were a top-10 team in that illustrious category.
For their part, everyone seems to be shouldering the blame for the early rash of technical fouls, and it’s probably more than a blip than anything. However, as Ish Smith told the Detroit Free Press, “Refs talk. ... We have to close some things up and be a little more respectful.”
As always, Dad Blake put the onus on himself, telling the Detroit News:
“I always like us to stand up for ourselves,” [Blake] Griffin said after the game Monday night. “But you are never going to beat the power of the whistle. I got three bad techs in the fourth quarter earlier in the season and I set a bad precedent.”
Surprisingly, it’s been tough for me to find consistent stats for techs this season, but Andre Drummond is No. 1. He either has seven according to ESPN or eight according to various NBA writers, who I’m sure are more accurate. That means he has roughly double anyone else. Griffin is in a scrum of players tied for sixth most techs with three.
Freedom of movement rules have been attributed to a huge spike in fouls overall, which naturally has led to more complaining, which has led to more techs. That’s the unscientific version of what’s going on, anyway.
I can’t recall all of the 15 technicals the Pistons have received, but my gut tells me most of them are actually complaints about not getting calls on offense more than ticky-tack calls on defense.
In conclusion, I miss Rasheed Wallace. If he played in today’s NBA he would literally be going insane with these new rules.
Also, one more observation I want to make, Sheed related of course, the NBA should pay someone to go into their archives, watch all of Rasheed Wallace’s career games and pull out what I am sure would be hundreds of stone cold classic GIFs.
The NBA was really deprived that Wallace did not play in the Twitter era. Hey, NBA, if you’re hiring hit me up.