The Detroit Pistons‘ organization has some big expectations for this season. After spending loads of cash to bring in new players, GM Joe Dumars and owner Tom Gores have plans on playing in the postseason. It’s not quite a “playoffs or bust” mentality in Detroit, but it’s about as close as it could get. The Pistons have a lot invested in this team, and they want to see some kind of positive return to keep their bright image of the future intact.
The good news is that they have played relatively well in their first few games this season. They have at least played well enough to declare a strong improvement upon last year’s team. However, it has yet to translate to the win column more often than not.
They rallied from a late deficit to push the Memphis Grizzlies into overtime, but fell short of a victory in the waning minutes. They fell behind the Indiana Pacers after a few strong runs, but Detroit battled back each time only to lose another close game against an elite team. They hung with the Oklahoma City Thunder for a while and made Kevin Durant pull out all the stops to earn his team a victory. Against the Portland Trail Blazers, a team the Pistons are capable of beating, Detroit overcame another late deficit to pull within four points in the final minute, but couldn’t make enough shots to complete the comeback.
These were all tough games – each of them against elite competition and/or in hostile confines. If the NBA tracked moral victories, the Detroit Pistons would lead the league. Unfortunately, the “moral victory” statistic doesn’t exist, and the Pistons are left with a losing record.
On the flip side, their early-season schedule is one of the toughest in the entire league, and the Pistons have put up a strong fight against some of the best teams in the association. That is something they haven’t been able to claim the past few seasons.
Although they’re currently on the wrong side of the standings right now, the future still looks bright if they can keep the team’s self-esteem high. If they don’t start winning soon and the team begins to lose its confidence, it could become another long year in Motown.
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