Must a team meeting always be such a bad thing? When the Detroit Pistons sat down with each other to discuss their blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday, it was done so with good intentions. They wanted to communicate what went wrong and how to fix them. This should be business as usual right?
“I’ve been in meetings on every team.” Jose Calderon told Dime. “Meetings that sometimes the media knows about. Sometimes they don’t. You have meetings after practice sometimes cause you need it. That doesn’t mean it’s bad or you need to worry … Sometimes people think when there’s a team meeting, ‘Oh there’s trouble, there’s problems, guys don’t like each other.’ It could be that in some situations, in this case it’s totally the opposite.”
The problem for Detroit is that, despite all good intentions of the meeting, it came at a time when things are very obviously not okay. After a 13-7 start to the season, the Pistons have crumbled and lost 11 of their last 13 games. They finished out 2018 on Sunday with a loss to Orlando that easily could have been avoided. The Magic were bruised and vulnerable, and the Pistons walked into Orlando one month earlier and closed out a win. It shouldn’t have been any different this time.
Orlando was without Jonathon Simmons after he injured his ankle early in the game, and D.J. Augustin was hobbling around late due to an ankle injury himself. The Magic were clearly trying to avoid relying on their bench too much, as it had been a major weak point for them all season. The Pistons exploited this and, despite their starters being largely outplayed, clawed back from every deficit. With less than 10 seconds to go they were in a position to force a turnover, or foul, and get the ball back. They brain farted.