So, when will the first win come?

Posted · 27 Comments

0 and 5.  Zero and Five.  Winless.  Awful.  Outcoached.  Outplayed.

Rodney Stuckey

Photo/Getty Images

Whatever the adjective, this team went from bad to worse in a stretch of 4 games.  Finger pointing from the players and coaches on “who is doing what wrong and why” or “who isn’t doing what they’re supposed to do”, and whatever else that goes on when we try to deflect blame on to another when we fall short as individuals.

Plain and simple:  No one is doing their jobs right now.  Players play, Coaches coach.  The team is getting it’s butt kicked in both aspects of the game and something needs to change.  The talent is there, the coaches have experience, what’s the problem?

The team is hamstrung, and until a change happens, this is what we’re going to be stuck with.  When I say a “change”, I don’t mean necessarily a trade or a new coach, etc.  When I say “change”, I mean the players need to start playing up to their talent level and the coaches need to put the right systems and lineups in place to put the players in the best chance to succeed.

As I’ve said before, this team has talent.  It may be the “sum of it’s parts” talent and not “superstar” talent, but as we’ve seen in the past the “sum of it’s parts” has success when all players buy in.

To review this season so far:

Game 1: Detroit loses to the New Jersey Nets after leading late into the second half, in New Jersey.  You can accept a loss like this occasionally because it is a road game.  What’s unacceptable is that the lane was open all night for penetration.

Game 2: Detroit loses to the Oklahoma City Thunder in their home opener on a last second layup by Jeff Green.  This game was back and forth all night with one of the Western Conference’s upstart teams.  This game was a very winnable game and in my opinion was the best defensive showing on Kevin Durant all season.

Game 3: Detroit loses to the Chicago Bulls in the Bulls home opener after losing a 19 point lead in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  This was the start of the downward trend that has shown for the last 3 games.  Coaches have put players in a situation where they can’t succeed, players aren’t hitting shots, players are hesitant, etc.  This was the worst second half defensive game of the season.

Game 4: Detroit loses to the Boston Celtics in Detroit.  The Celtics dominated the Pistons in all aspect of the game.  At the end of the game Coach Kuester remarks the team needs leaders, Tayshaun Prince says it starts with the Coach and the fingers start to point.

Game 5: Detroit loses to the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta.  Close game throughout, but this game was not without it’s own drama.  Ben Gordon had a big night but Rodney Stuckey was benched after reportedly not responding to Coach Kuester’s calls to him during a stoppage in play.

In Game 6  and 7 the Pistons play the Charlotte Bobcats and Golden State Warriors before hitting the road for their first West Coast swing of the season where it looks like those 4 games (Warriors, Clippers, Kings, and Trail Blazers) are going to be tough for this team to win.  I believe the first win comes against the Bobcats because the Bobcats are a team that is kind of stuck in neutral like the Pistons are.  They’re in between rosters right now, and looking to make a move to improve their team.

Of course, I thought they should’ve won the Thunder, Nets, Bulls and Hawks games this season too.  So Pistons fans… what’s wrong with this team?  Who does the blame fall on?  Coaches?  Joe Dumars?  Players?  All of the above?

27 Responses to "So, when will the first win come?"
  1. Andrew says:

    Joe Dumars needs to get something done in my opinion. I love RIp, and Prince but if trading them to get a legit big guy helps us back to the Detroit bad Boys that we all miss, then so be it. It’s already hard enough being a Pistons fan in North Idaho, but really hard when they can’t even win a fucking game. Something needs to happen and it better be big. NO more of this small change shit, if we rebuilding why just tear down one story, start over. do what you got to do, we got a good young core, and some good veteran talent but something needs to happen. soon.

    • Troy says:

      Nothing is going to happen trade-wise, until the sale of the team is completed. There is no way in hell Joe will be permitted to take on any salary without an owner. We are going to have to wait until the sale is complete, which is unfortunately taking way longer than we thought. Matt Dery said like 3 or 4 months ago that Al Jefferson would have been a Piston if we had an owner, and I think that stands true to today. So, I guess we are in limbo until then. Lottery pick….here we come.

  2. VJ says:

    For starters, CV seems more worried about what his next twitter post will be than playing defense of any kind. He shoots way too many threes for a PF, and generally when he goes to the basket, he goes soft. I’ve noticed shit really starts to go south when he checks into the game.

    Second, which falls on everyone, is that the Pistons settle for too many shitty jump shots. Without a solid post presence, they need to focus on moving without the ball (even rip doesn’t do this like he used to) and driving to the basket. What ends up happening is Tay or BG gets iso’ed and everyone else stands around and watches while they go one on one (Anyone else notice Tay’s 5 second violation? I haven’t seen that since Chuck was still playing). This sort of thing is fine for a possession or two (especially when BG gets hot), but by and large will not win the game.

    Third is that the NJ loss has to fall on Big Ben’s shoulders. Two airballs on free throws is unacceptable for a season, let alone two in the fourth quarter of a close game. Part of this is also the collective fault of the rest of the bigs (save maybe Greg Monroe) for being so soft that Kuester was forced to keep Ben in for as long as he did. I understand that Ben Wallace’s value to this team goes way beyond free throws, but gotdamn, I would think he would have it figured out in his 10+ years in the league how to at least shoot better than 70%

    • James (Australia) says:

      Harsh words mate. Big Ben is what he is. Some guys just can’t shoot free throws. How long has Shaq played in the league and his shot looks like a netball shot?

    • edt says:

      the 04 team was a mid range jump shot team nothing wrong with that! we have a team of shooters, we should be hitting TONS of jump shots. your analysis is wrong — what we need is BALL MOVEMENT. The problem is not mid range jumpers but CONTESTED jumpers. And dont get on Ben’s case for a jump shot, he’s our best player and as james said, he is what he is, a great player for the pistons, even if he cant make a free throw.

      actually our offense is decent. I dont think charlie V will ever learn how to play D, ben gordon commits massive turnovers but he always has, austin daye is weak and slow on D.

      Basically this team has zero defense without jerebko. but I think we sort of knew this would happen when JJ got hurt.

  3. Zeljko says:

    The Stuckey incident was seen pretty clearly on TV. Al Horford was shooting free throws in the beginning of the 3rd Quarter. Kuester was up and said “Stuck, Stuck.. Stuckey.. Rodney Stuckey” and then he gave up and called for DaJuan. Tayshaun looked over his shoulder, shook his head, turned to Stuckey and said “Stuck, don’t do that” and you could see Ben Gordon shaking his head. The only clip I fan find is one from the Hawks broadcast of the game, and it doesn’t show that too well.

    I don’t like Kuester, but I don’t have a problem with benching Stuckey for that. I wonder if Kuester will be fired soon. It’s not like Dumars is afraid to fire coaches.

  4. Joe says:

    I don’t understand this team. Their interior defense is so poor its almost sicking to watch. I remember Ben Wallace and Sheed would wreck havoc on anyone who got close to the rim now its just.. oh hey come right on in. We need some mean and tough dudes on this team, of course Ben can still do it but i love to see ben and max out there. ah anyways. I just love defense and thats what Detroit has always been about… not scoring. We need Jonas..

  5. rash says:

    dont worry pistons fans..the pistons will beat the bobcats and warriors at home…so it not win less now…

  6. Jason says:

    i think we should trade for Baron Davis, Thadeus Young, Josh Smith, or Marcin Gortat. i think they can help our team..

  7. Cone says:

    Well, clearly the Stuckey situation its more deep than we tought. If the players start talking shit to the coach or not listening, means trouble… something’s have to change

  8. Seto says:

    Joe has to fire Q…it´s that simple, I don´t believe we will be great team after that, but certainly better. And for Rip and Tay – I noticed in our losses that they were playing without passion, Tay was just throwing hands a shaking his head when something was wrong…I understand that they were used to play for contender and now it sucks, but they have big contracts, they should still play with heart. If not bench them or trade them, and play someone who actually wants to play for Detroit. I don´t mind that we are losing, but losing this way is what really sucks

  9. Normal 2 says:

    I don’t understand. When i looked at the schedule for the first 5 games, I thought we would start off 1-4 with us only beating New Jersey. We lost agains 4 playoff teams on we barely lost to one non playoff team. They lost so now Were 0-5 instead of 1-4. My expectations were low to begin with. Now we are playing teams more on our level like the Bob Cats and Golden State. Now if they start bagging it in against the teams more on their level, then i’ll start screaming too, so I’m taking the wait and see approach. It’s good for my blood pressure..hahahaha.

  10. Normal 2 says:

    I don’t understand. When i looked at the schedule for the first 5 games, I thought we would start off 1-4 with us only beating New Jersey. We lost agains 4 playoff teams and we barely lost to one non playoff team. They lost so now Were 0-5 instead of 1-4. My expectations were low to begin with. Now we are playing teams more on our level like the Bob Cats and Golden State. Now if they start bagging it in against the teams more on their level, then i’ll start screaming too, so I’m taking the wait and see approach. It’s good for my blood pressure..hahahaha.

  11. pistons 4 life says:

    This falls mostly on Dumars! And I’m sick of hearing the excuse that they have the talent. Of course they have talent. The players in this league are the best basketball players in the world. Of course they’re talented. The issue is that Dumars put a bunch of guys together that don’t gell. That has nothing to do with the players or the coaches. Plug any player on this team into the right situation on another team and they would excel just like we expect them to. The problem is for whatever reason Dumars thought that this roster could get it done and they can’t. Firing the coach at this point would do nothing. Did you know that Doc Rivers was on the verge of being fired the year before they won it all. And then Ainge went out and made moves that improved their team and boom, instant success.

    My point is that Dumars is the one that created the environment for all of this to happen. He created an insanely lopsided roster that was doomed for failure before they ever stepped on the court. And no, that’s not an excuse for players to quit or rebel and for coaches to suck at their job, but this is what tends to happen in pro sports when the culture of a team starts to change from good to bad. All the more reason to get the sale of the team done and over with so the new owner can start to change the culture back to where it belongs. This franchise has no dirrection right now and things need to change, starting at the very top.

    • dd3 says:

      Doc’s team in Orl made it to the playoffs the year before. The C’s had a terrible team prior to the big trades but Doc kept them competitive. They had 1 bad season where they finished with the same record as we did last year. Ainge only made a move after feeling pressure. Doc was a good coach that promised “get me good players & I can win”. Until that bad season, they were winning with players like Delonte West & Al Jefferson alongside pierce. They had like Raef Lafrentz & some other scrubs & won games. Their worse season, tied us last year. We have a far more talented team (albeit on paper) than that 2007 Boston team. Ainge’s hob was on the line, so he blew up the rebuild transition crap. He gave half his squad away for KG, all of his draft picks went in the ray allen trade & all of a sudden he had players people wanted to play with. he kept the only 3 players he needed to keep. A PG with major upside & a defensive minded Center. 2 of the hardest positions to fill. Plus he had an allstar in Pierce. He plugged the 2 remaining holes with pieces he needed a SG & a PF.

      We had chances to get the Center we needed & the PG. There was an offer to get Rondo & Ray Allen for like Rip, Tay & Stuck. Then this summer we coulda offered a combo of our Number 7 pick, Maxiel or whoe ever else for Tyson Chandler. No imagine what our team woulda looked like with Rondo, Allen, Tmac (had we still grabbed him) or Daye, JJ & Chandler. Plus Ray’s money woulda been off the books this Summer & we coulda been in the FA market. Just sayin, so many options to pull the trade trigger for Joe. But he passed & now we SUCK!

  12. Tom Walch says:

    Joe’s list
    THE BAD
    – Trade for CV was a mistake. You don’t change a player’s stripes. He sucked at D in Milwaukee and he sucks at D in Detroit. He is also not a traditional low post player, more finesse than technique. How did Joe not see that?
    – Extension for Rip was too big.
    – Missing out on Al Jefferson or Boozer was a mistake. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I would rather have Boozer than CV. He sucks less than CV. At least CV isn’t from Duke, but that’s about it. Jefferson would have been so much better.
    THE GOOD
    – BG trade was good
    – Jerebko was a find, Daye was a find (not quite ready, but give him a season).
    – Monroe looks good, but needs to go the the School Of Big Ben on defensive intensity, focus and technique.
    TO DO LIST:
    – Trade Rip Minneapolis for one of their true 10 point guards
    – Trade Tay, Summers and cash for a big man.

    Kuester’s List:
    THE BAD:
    – Rotations are all over the place. How does Maxiell not play against Atlanta? He plays well against them. Defensively, he could handle Horford better than CV.
    – Timeouts, stopping runs – I didn’t see the Bulls game, so I am not sure how the lead evaporated, but you have to be able to change some things up to stop a run when you have a 21 point lead. Rose drives the lane, put him on his ass a few times. You have 6 fouls, use them.
    – Offensive sets – like I have complained about before…6-8 seconds to inbound after made basket, dribble at top of key for 6-8 seconds…pass to someone, set pick, force up jumper….lather, rinse, repeat.
    TO DO:
    – Stuckey and Gordon are shooting guards, figure out a rotation after you trade for a real PG
    – Let Daye go through growing pains at SF after you trade Tay and Summers
    – Stuckey and Bynum are your point guards until you get a real PG and then it’s Bynum and the new guy. (not my favorite idea).

    The Players
    THE BAD
    – move, move, move – too much standing around, not enough ball reversal.
    Tay: pissy attitude when things don’t go his way. Reminds my of my 6 year old.
    Rip: Without movement, good picks, he isn’t as useful.
    Stuckey: grow up, take feedback
    Ben: You are the “Dad” of the team…act like it. Put Tay & Stuck in his place. See: Bill Laimbeer. You are setting the example for Daye, Monroe, Jerebko, White, et al.
    Players that shouldn’t leave the bench: Summers (he’s a scrub), Wilcox (wouldn’t you rather have…gulp…Udonis Haslem instead?).

  13. daddy says:

    tom first of all we didnt trade for cv or ben we picked them up in the off season. i would love to exchange haslem for wilcox someone that plays d and rebounds two things we need from cv that he doesnt do. summers is a really good player you have no idea what you are talking about. Daye is ready for the nba he is just playing the 4 instead of the 3.

  14. Jason says:

    We got some crazy rebuilding to do. I think we should trade for Telfair and Deandre Jordan

  15. pistons 4 life says:

    I agree completely about getting a real point guard. I’ve been saying that Stuckey isn’t a point guard pretty much since they drafted him. Another HUGE mistake by Dumars to hinge everything on the fact that he see’s Stuckey as a point guard, which he’s not. He would contribute so much more if he played SG. And obviously they need a scoring center. Rumors are rumors, but if they could somehow get Kamen I think that would be a perfect fit.

  16. Jaime says:

    defense.thats Piston basketball. I really miss that .
    Go Pistons.

  17. Sluglife says:

    I was just watching the highlights/fights of the old bad boys….*sigh* I really miss those days when basketball was way more of a physical and emotional sport. Anyways, this entire debacle is a collaboration of players, coaches and GMs that aren’t cohesive. The entire makeup of this team just doesn’t make sense. We are built for versatility? more like we have players that are being played out of position. Stuckey is a 2 guard that lacks a jumper and would be better suited to come off the bench, not lead a team at the point. I know some would argue about a few of his games thus far this season have put up decent numbers, but seriously, we don’t spread the floor at all and that’s part of haveing a dangerous point guard. Rip lost his step the moment Billups left, his game is so one dimensional, that even several years ago when he thought he could drive the lane he looked confused and typically ended up turning the ball over more often then not. His game is screens and coming of curls, that’s it. We don’t seem patient enough these days to run those plays anyways. I love Tay, but he hit his ceilling a coupe of years ago. I hate to sound like a broken record, but think of the dominance we would still have over the central division if we had drafted Melo and had Tay coming off the bench. JJ is gone for the season, I really hope this amount of time and the type of injury won’t hinder his development. Daye doesn’t desereve to be a starter, someone in an earlier comment hit the nail on the head, he’s way to weak, slow and his jump shot really isn’t that good, especailly against other starters in the leauge. Ben is Ben, he’ll get some boards, his D is half of once what is used to be, but hey, he’s 36 and I still love the guy. I know BG is a liability on D but should be the starter, he’s awesome at creating his own shot and shouldn’t be crowded for minutes by hamilton, who can’t create his own shot to save his own life. If only he could pass a little better, guy would be an allstar. Charlie V… I honestly cannot believe this guy is a piston… It makes no sense. Do I really need to go off about this guy? Max is what he is going to always be, inconsistent, but when he’s on he’s a ball of energy. Monroe looks like he might be decent and should be a starter. Bynum is a personal fav, and should be the starting point. That is until we can bring someone else in. Summers is ok, but will be trade bait soon. T-mac was our HUGE free agent signing… That brings me to coach and the GM. Joe D did not build the ’04 pistons team by himself, he had great personel around him. With just as many mistakes as succesess, it’s possible that Joe has run his course, that is of course unless new ownership is going to allow for more spending on a decent coach. For every Billups signed we have a Darko drafted. For every Sheed trade we have the A.I. scenario. You can draft J.J. but then you also get an Austin Daye (sorry, the kid just isn’t that good.) We dump Grant Hill and get an four time defensive player of the year, but we also sign Rip Hamilton (a one dimensional player) to one of the most untradeable contracts all the while, drafting and signing other 2 guards. I could go off on a few more but I think you get were I’m going with this. On top of that, Kuester reminds me of an even softer Flip Saunders. We signed him cuz of his resume over the past few seasons, but did we ever consider that he had succsess cuz he had one of the most dominant players in the NBA? He’s losing control, doesn’t know when to call a timeout, even though we witness one on one basketball (that typically fails) for 6-7 plays in a row. Big changes need to happen from the top on down. And I fear it may be a long time till we find ourselves back in the conversation of being an NBA elite team.

  18. dd3 says:

    My breakdown.

    1. Karen Davidson-for getting rid of the team & for not allowing Joe to spend.
    2. Joe for a lot of his suspect moves, mainly his lack of patience with his coaches. Also his love of players from the 90’s drafts & his love of Rip & Taye over valuing their skillset
    3. Kuester for having no head coaching skills what so ever. He may have been a great assistant, but he is bad at clock management & line up selections. He’s been exposed as a bad coach. Spolstra, Del Negro & Scott Brooks all were inexperienced coaches that did more with less talent. True each had a star to work with, but they put the right line ups on the floor to at least have winning seasons.
    4. Can’t blame Stuck. he was hand the reigns to a vet team in transition. His numbers have increased each season.
    5. Can’t put too much blame on Rip & tay. Both have stayed quiet. Put up the same steady numbers, fought thru injuries & played through multiple trade rumors without saying a word.
    6. Can’t blame the rest of the team either. So many players are playing out of position. No good team goes 12 deep. Not everyone will play on a given night.Q will start with Big Ben, JJ, Tay, Rip & Stuck, then bring in Bynum, BG, Daye, CV & Tmac, then bring in Monroe, Summers & who ever else we got. Not everyone should play every game.

    Right now, we are a dusfunctional team all the way around. Top to bottom. I gave up floor seats for their game Nov 15 against the Warriors cuz i can’t stomach this team as is.

  19. Lori says:

    Did you guys read that Big Ben said that all they talk about is defense, but it never materializes on the floor? I’m sorry, but I think this falls on the coach. These players look they met each other for first time last Friday! I usually think off season changes are the most reasonable, but Q isn’t that big a step up from MC!! He’s got to go! We have plenty of talent and a good coach would be able to use each player for their strengths. Austin Daye starting at the 4? Come on.

  20. Andrew says:

    Why the hell did we fire Saunders? i mean he may not have broughten champsionships but at least we had winning seasons year in and year out.

    • Drew says:

      I was thinking the same thing the other day, and funny to see that from someone with my namesake. At least Saunders could get us to the playoffs consistently, then we wouldn’t have to be ashamed to say we’re Pistons fans.

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