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Delusional Pistons fans

Rafe Bartholomew of Grantland subjected himself to Bobcats-Pistons on Thursday and came to this conclusion about Pistons fans (hat tip: MNM):

They see this Pistons team, with its decent young core and guys like Prince and Bynum and Maxiell, who all seem like they could succeed in more limited roles, and they wonder: What if we could land a bona fide star?

Unfortunately, this line of wishful thinking tumbles swiftly into delusion, which is what you find in the team’s official Pistons Mailbag. Here are some recent questions for Pistons.com writer Keith Langlois:

To me, Markieff Morris is the next Rasheed Wallace. He looks capable of playing tough defense and has range for a big man. He should be the priority for the Pistons this off-season to pair with Monroe. What are your thoughts?

The Pistons need to grab either Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Thomas Robinson in the coming draft. Robinson would be a great fit in our offense and be able to guard Dwight Howard. Do you agree?

If the Pistons get lucky enough to get the No. 2 or 3 pick, what do you think it would take to get the No. 1 pick? Would a trade of Daye or Singler and the draft pick be enough?

The questions range from optimistic to charming to jejune to bewildering, but most of all, they make me sad. Langlois plays the straight man perfectly, finding a nugget of solid reasoning in each query and responding to it, but no matter how sturdy Langlois’s facade appears, he can’t hide the grim picture of passionate fans grasping for an iota of hope.

Considering Langlois picks the questions he answers – likely choosing the ones that place his employer in a positive light – I think this is a bit overstated. The many doom-and-gloom Pistons fans are significantly underrepresented in that mailbag.


  • Apr 14, 20124:29 pm
    by D_S_V


    “Because as a sports fan, watching the Bobcats drop their 14th straight game and fall to a 7-50 record against a Pistons team that is fast becoming the face of NBA mediocrity is probably the last place on earth you want to be. “

    • Apr 14, 20124:44 pm
      by MNM


      I completely agree with what that writer had to say about the Pistons.

  • Apr 14, 20125:26 pm
    by MNM


    -I watched the league’s least efficient offense (Charlotte) take on the second-least efficient offense (Detroit).   

    -Against the Pistons on Thursday, the Bobcats faced another team without much to play for. Detroit is also out of the playoffs and will likely end up with the eighth or ninth pick in the draft. They began the season 4-20 and seemed on pace to challenge Charlotte for the league’s worst record, but since then coach Lawrence Frank has led the Pistons to an 18-16 record that seems more fitting for his roster full of veterans like Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, and Ben Gordon, who never made the leap to consistent stardom, and young players like Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, who appear to be cut from the same good but not great cloth.

    -As it turns out, in a game between one horrendous basketball team and one pretty bad one, garbage time looks a lot like regular time. Detroit paraded a lineup of Damien Wilkens, Jonas Jerebko (looking like he’s ready for a cameo in the Zoolander sequel), Walker Russell Jr., Austin Daye (who has managed to regain the
    10 pounds he lost playing in Russia during the lockout, and is back to a ruddy 6-foot-11′, 210-pound frame thanks to doing push-ups), and Charlie Villanueva (who saw action for the sixth time this season; for those counting at home, that means Charlie V. has earned about $1.25 million per game so far this season). 

    -Aside from showing up at the Time Warner Cable Arena, it’s hard to figure out what the Charlotte Bobcats did Thursday night. They are a team with one gear — losing — and they were blown away by a team with a second gear — barely competing  

    -Yet even though the Bobcats are clearly the worst basketball team in the NBA, I’m not sure which franchise I feel worse for: Charlotte or Detroit. Charlotte, at least, embarked on a season-long mission to tank their way to a high draft pick, and they succeeded miserably. Can anyone explain what’s happening in Detroit? First, they signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to five-year contracts worth around $60 and $40 million, respectively, in July 2009. Then, last summer, they inked Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, and Jonas Jerebko to three- and four-year extensions. Detroit didn’t overpay badly in these deals, but what was the team hoping to accomplish? To lock up the core of a team that when healthy can compete for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs?

    How can anyone argue with these point realistically? I want a LEGIT rebuild. Either get both feet into the water or get out of the pool (does that make sense? Im gonna go ahead and say that makes sense)…?

  • Apr 14, 20128:47 pm
    by tarsier


    It’s true that it is wickedly hard to get Langlois to answer any questions that make it sound like I am in any way unimpressed with the Pistons. If you want him to answer something about how the team or a player on it or Dumars is struggling of late, you have to phrase it in such a way that just sounds like they are doing less well than another Piston or the Pistons or Pistons’ management of another era.

    The Pistons can’t be bad, they can only be less good than they once were or they will one day be.

  • Apr 14, 201210:55 pm
    by frankie d


    it is a red herring to focus on langlois’ questions.
    yes, the article mentioned them, but that wasn’t really the main point.
    the point of the article was, as  MNM quoted above:

    “Can anyone explain what’s happening in Detroit?

    the pistons are basically spinning their wheels in mediocrity.  That is what the author was getting at.
    whenever commenters like me make that point, we are viciously attacked by almost everyone.
    can’t you see, we are told, what great progress the team is making?
    ahhh…no…not really.
    and when outside observers take a look at what is happening in detroit, they also typically have a hard time figuring out what the heck the game plan is…just what the team is attempting to do.
    it’s a mess.  I’m just glad people with a bit of distance can see so clearly how much of a mess it is.

    • Apr 15, 20127:58 pm
      by Desolation Row


      Wow, so true. Nothing makes sense about this team or how it is operating. How does it help anybody but Tayshaun to have him out there playing so many minutes? Or any minutes? Maybe he puts us in a position to win a few more games. But if we win games, we lose even more. 

      I don’t get the distaste people have here for tanking. You’re not developing a culture of losing, that’s already been established. You need to develop a culture of doing everything possible to stop losing. And that means developing young players, no matter how untalented, at the expense of losing several games.

  • Apr 15, 20129:27 am
    by labatts


    If the Pistons get lucky enough to get the No. 2 or 3 pick, what do you think it would take to get the No. 1 pick? Would a trade of Daye or Singler and the draft pick be enough?”

    Lol.  Wouldn’t that be something?  Even Joe Dumars couldn’t screw THAT up….

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