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NBA / Nov 3, 2010 / 3:00 pm

The Pistons are falling apart

Tayshaun Prince (photo. Keith Allison)

All due respect to the L.A. Clippers, but the Detroit Pistons are clearly the best 0-4 team in the NBA.

As pointed out in this week’s Dime NBA Power Ranking, Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon have formed perhaps the League’s most explosive backcourt so far this season, and six Pistons are averaging double-figure scoring. Two of their losses were by a combined four points, and Detroit was up 15 on the Bulls in the fourth quarter before losing another one. The Pistons are talented in the backcourt and frontcourt — to the point where two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady can’t even crack the regular rotation — but things are already beginning to unravel going into tonight’s game against the undefeated Atlanta Hawks. From the Detroit Free-Press:

In contrast to the tight ship that president of basketball operations Joe Dumars usually prefers, second-year Pistons coach John Kuester and forward Tayshaun Prince engaged in a public display of finger-pointing after Wednesday night’s 109-86 clubbing courtesy of the Boston Celtics.

Kuester said there is a leadership void among the players, and Prince said he’s partially right — but the onus of the team’s 0-4 start is on Kuester, as well.

The first salvo was fired after the team blew a 21-point lead at Chicago on Saturday night and Ben Gordon said: “Whatever it is, I just didn’t have enough opportunities. I’m not sure why.”

Gordon was held scoreless in the second half after a 21-point first half, and he watched Bulls superstar Derrick Rose run wild as he scored a career-high 39 points.

“I just feel we didn’t make the right adjustments as a team,” Gordon said. “Derrick was really hot, and it seemed like he could do whatever he wanted. We just need to try to take something away from him when he has it going like that.”

And then here comes Kuester after the Celtics loss.

“We have to collectively someway or somehow find another voice besides my own that is going to lead us.”

And here comes Prince.

“He’s right, but at the same time it goes both ways. We can sit here and continue to get on each other and be vocal, but like I said, the right thing has got to come from him as well as us.

“It goes both ways. He says we got to be more vocal; he has to do some things better, too. Obviously we’re 0-4, so it ain’t just the team.”

The last time there was public beef between Pistons players and coaches, Michael Curry found himself fired after one year with the team, during which the Allen Iverson experiment failed, Rip Hamilton became disgruntled with his role, and the Pistons were smashed in the first round of the playoffs. Last year, under Kuester, the team missed the postseason.

As Dumars continues to attempt rebuilding without actually purging the leftovers from the 2004 NBA championship team, chemistry has become a delicate balancing act. Free-Press writer Vince Ellis notes there is a disconnect between the older players and younger players on the roster, and now cracks are showing in player-coach relations. This isn’t the “where drama happens” reality they were hoping for in Detroit.

Can the Pistons make the playoffs in 2011?

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  • ERIC

    no chance.

  • http://www.dimemag.com jesse

    ya of course they can you cant look only at the beggining theres still more games detroitttt basketballll

  • http://www.TheProductBand.com Kermit The Washington

    This all happened because Rasheed Wallace couldn’t listen to Flip Saunders. He was their best coach but ‘Sheed turned the locker room against him. Come playoff time, he had no real control. After that, they tried this “pseudo-rebuilding” thing, where they kept some of the core guys and brought in some new cats. But now Tay and Rip are so disgruntled from the past few years’ failures, they aren’t going to be happy on this team. They need to package the two of them and trade. Denver, anyone?

  • Dagger

    Stuckey is not a PG, Gordon can’t defend/is undersized and a streaky shooter, Prince is washed up, Villanueva is soft and can’t defend, while whomever they put at the 5 can’t score. Tmac can’t crack the rotation because he simply can’t play in the NBA anymore. There’s no depth and poor leadership. The only consistently useful contributor on the team is Hamilton, and he’s a far cry from what he once was. The bottom line is that the Pistons deserve their record and things won’t improve with coaching changes. Dumars sacrificed the future of the team by overpaying for mediocre talent in order to avoid rebuilding, and those decisions have destroyed Detroit’s ability to compete for a playoff spot – let alone a title – for the foreseeable future.

  • Mikey

    I just want to point out that Detroit doesn’t have any real center. The only player that can be considered a center is Ben Wallace, but he’s too short and old to have any really impact down low. I’m not surprised at all that they are 0-4

  • Big B

    The Pistons roster is turning into a newer version of the Knicks, gross!

  • BUFFALO BRAVE

    Damn Joe, say it ain’t so.

    He may have been in charge when Larry brown guided a veteran team past an internally combusting Lakers team but including drafting fucking DARKO over melody/bosh/Wade EVERYTHING he’s done since then has been FAIL

    Now you’re trying to sell us McFrailty while clinging to RIP and tay’s balls like they’re really gonna lead this team to another chip?

    Attaching the franchises hopes to stuckey, a slightly above average shooting guard btw, because he reminds you of yourself?

    How does he keep managing to Dodge responsibility for this shit?

    I don’t get it.

    Teflon Dumars

  • DVS

    Kuester has lost his mind.
    his rotations are horrible and he held Stuckey out of most of the Atlanta game.

    The roster has plenty of talent even though it’s imbalanced, we SHOULD be in the playoff picture, but the way it’s going no chance in hell we get a playoff spot.

  • T.O.M.

    Blow the team up everyone must go try to get some 1st Rounders for next year. Pistons don’t have that it they once had and a pick up like Harrison Barnes next year a solid 7 footer via free agent or draft, or pick up Greg oden and try to salvage his career move Austin day to the three Barnes the two and a solid pg. I think you may even trade Ben,stuckey, to the suns for Lopez and Dragic. Have cv come off that oak 6th man or go after a pf A la David west or once again draft Jared sullinger. Youth movement with winning attitude.

  • Pat

    I absolutely don’t agree with the current Detroit Piston is better than the current LA Clippers.

    the only reason Clippers are 0-4 right now is because of Kaman’s performance, or the lack of. they have decent pieces, like the young Griffin and Eric Gordon. they also have an above average center who has legitimate low post moves. they are certainly no championship contenders, but they definitely have potential and have a good base for future growth, barring Baron Davis.

    I don’t know if I can say the same about the Pistons who actually decided to sign an obviously over-the-hill T-Mac and don’t even get me started about starting Ben Wallace. Detroit has talents, no doubt, but it’s definitely not the right mix at all, with almost absolutely no inside presence or role players (beside Taysuan Prince) to speak of.

  • QQ

    What, after 3-4 games of brilliant play from their backcourt, and yall talking bout playoffs already? Slow the fuck down.

    I remember last year when Detroit made a decent run for about 5 games, and then cats here are already talking bout matchups in the playoffs. hahahahha. Haven’t learned yet?

  • QQ

    And how could I miss the T-Mac, from who else, Mr. Burton of course.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    How fucking desperate to even add the ‘two time scoring champ’ to that article.

    How fucking desperate.

  • JAY

    Bye bye Coach.

  • ReddiRed

    @ DVS……. well said my friend.
    I agree 100% percent!