On December 7th the Detroit Pistons were 10-10 and looked as if they could be a 4 or 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
What a difference a month makes.
Now, even after their second straight win, the Pistons are 16-22 and struggling to hold on to the 7th seed.
The Pistons are 6-12 since reaching the .500 mark on December 7th. It could have been worse if not for the last two games. The wins overs Philadelphia on Friday and Phoenix on Saturday stopped a 6 game skid that could have cost Maurice Cheeks his job.
The Pistons had been on losing streaks earlier in the season but not like that one. Detroit lost three of those six games by more than 20 points. It didn’t matter if they were at the Palace or on the road, the team looked lifeless.
To make matters worse their head coach admittedly had no answers.
After a humiliating loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at home, Maurice Cheeks called a rare players meeting immediately following the game. He later told the media that he was looking for his players to provide insight. Cheeks had this to say during his post game press conference following the game against Memphis.
Scary comments for Pistons fans hoping for a playoff win instead of a lottery pick.
Now after beating the Phoenix Suns 110-108, the Pistons have put together back to back wins and the head coach is all smiles.
But Pistons fans should look at the last two games with a bit of skepticism. The Pistons are 6 games under .500 and quickly approaching the second half of the season. The last couple of wins may have stopped the bleeding but the wound is far from healed.
The Pistons are among four teams separated by just one game vying for the 7th and eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. If the Pistons find themselves in another long losing streak they could dig themselves a hole they can’t get out of. And if they do start to lose like that again will Maurice Cheeks be able to fix the problem.
If Joe Dumars wants to retain his job as General Manager he must everything in his power to help head coach Maurice Cheeks push the right buttons. If Dumars can’t help the Pistons avoid another long losing skid, Tom Gores might be better off cleaning out the front office.
Even before the season is over.