Coming off a promising preseason, hosting a beatable team at home to open the season and with one of the most exciting rookies in the league on the roster in Andre Drummond, the Pistons actually had some positive buzz heading into the season for the first time in a few years. On top of that, with the NHL locked out, MLB season over and college basketball yet to start, for a brief window, they were the only game in town. And nationally, with a lot of interest in the debuts of James Harden and Jeremy Lin, a lot of eyes were on the Pistons opening night.
The results were a loss that included a blown 11-point lead, some awful defense and Drummond only getting 13 minutes of playing time. Judging by the comments on this site and that I saw on Twitter in the aftermath, the performance had a bit of a deflating effect. In today’s Detroit Free Press column, though, I made the case that it shouldn’t:
Losing a winnable game, especially one that the team had a double-digit lead during the late part of the game, is never acceptable. But the bad ending overshadowed the fact that the Pistons were entertaining, even if the end result was a loss. The offense was faster, the ball movement was better and, even though the defense was porous, the Pistons were active in passing lanes and came up with 12 steals, which led to several transition opportunities.
After four years of bad basketball, fans are understandably hungry for a team that competes for a playoff spot. But if the Pistons aren’t quite at that level yet, the fact that they’re watchable is a significant improvement from where they were prior to this season.
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