The Detroit Pistons burst out of the gates humming on all cylinders to start the season. Since that time, though, they’ve sputtered. Their 23-20 record is still good for sixth in the Eastern Conference, and they recently had a signature win over the Golden State Warriors, but there’s a visible difference between this team and the one that looked to be a dark-horse Eastern Conference finalist.
After losing to the New Orleans Pelicans, 115-99, on Thursday, Stan Van Gundy called out his team for what he said was a deplorable effort. Here’s Ryan Van Dusen of Detroit Sports Nation relaying Van Gundy’s harsh assessment of his team:
“It was deplorable. It really was,” Van Gundy said of his team’s performance. “The last four times we have been on the road on the second night of a back-to-back were at Lakers, at Charlotte, at Atlanta after the Miami game and tonight. And in none of those games did we give a good effort or come ready to play. And so now we had a great effort against Golden State, we came back and gave nothing against Chicago. And then we got a good win last night and came back and gave nothing tonight.
“We look like a team that is firmly committed to being mediocre.”
One potential reason for the Pistons’ poor effort, and recent slump, according to Brandon Jennings, is a lack of leadership.
Flame emoji, indeed. This isn’t too surprising since when you look down the Pistons roster, you see talent, but not necessarily the players you’d think of as leaders. That has to change, and it’s up to one of the team’s young talents – be it Jennings, Andre Drummond or Reggie Jackson – to step up and assume that role. Whether they’re successful is a different matter, but this gifted team needs at least one of those players to give it a shot.
(Via Detroit Sports Nation)