Detroit Pistons Have Turned a Corner Despite Loss to Warriors


When the Detroit Pistons went into Oracle Arena Monday night, they were rolling as a team. They just came off a 17-point rout against the Portland Trail Blazers where they outscored them by 30 points in the fourth quarter.

The national media was taking notice after their crazy fourth. had them as high as third on their Power Rankings. Pundits everywhere were calling for the Pistons to upset the undefeated Golden State Warriors on their home court.

But while the optimism was nice, it just wasn’t meant to be. The reigning NBA champs routed the Pistons 109-95 in a hotly contested match. The score wasn’t an accurate reflection of how close the game was.

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Despite the loss making the Pistons 5-2, there’s still a lot to be proud about. After all, the circumstances weren’t exactly ideal.

The Pistons were on the back-end of a back-to-back where they played their hearts out the night before. They were facing the 7-0 Warriors on the road where they had a 22-game home winning streak.

If anything, the odds were completely against the Pistons to pull out this win. There just seemed to be no way.

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But the way the Pistons played was inspiring, to say the least. While the game slipped away in the fourth quarter, the effort was obvious to anyone watching.

This team has heart and mental toughness. They look completely different from the teams that missed the playoffs the last six straight years.

The Warriors game planned well for Andre Drummond, seemingly containing him the entire game. Drummond still collected 14 points and 15 rebounds though, in a game he was supposedly struggling in.

He was double teamed all game on his post-ups and it was clear he struggled. But for a young 22-year-old developing a post game, that’s going to happen. In time he’s going to pass out of those and find the open man consistently.

Reggie Jackson played his heart out after an insane fourth quarter the night before. He was instrumental in bringing the Pistons back to a four-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter.

And Stanley Johnson had arguably his best performance as a Piston. A rookie scoring 20 points with 7 rebounds on 9-14 shooting in that atmosphere is exciting. He’s too talented to struggle for extended periods of time, even in the NBA.

But the story of the game has to be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He was everywhere on Stephen Curry. He foreshadowed he wanted to guard Curry after slowing down Damian Lillard yesterday.

While the reigning MVP scored 22 points, he was hardly efficient doing so. He shot 7-18 overall and 3-7 from 3-point land, a far cry from his season averages. That was easily the worst game of his season so far.

Caldwell-Pope had a great game, there’s no denying him that. He has potential to be an elite defender in the future, matching up with the other team’s superstar and containing him to the best of his ability.

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  • When the Pistons started this season, nearly everybody didn’t expect for them to be a contender this early. They were supposed to be years away from contending and weren’t expected to make the playoffs.

    While it’s not even 10 games into the season, these Pistons just looks so different. There are plenty of reasons to believe in the hot start for this team.

    No more are the fourth quarter collapses that have plagued this team for years. No more are the days of Josh Smith shooting the team out of games.

    There’s a clear direction for this team and the NBA should be put on notice. This team is only going to get better as they gel over the long 82-game season.

    Would a win against the Warriors been huge? Absolutely. The Pistons would have been the talk of the league, much like they were after waiving Smith and going on a crazy tear.

    Overall, this was a great game from the Pistons. Fans might be quick to point out the loss, but as mentioned earlier, there was a lot stacked up against the Pistons this game.

    They’ll get another shot at the Warriors January 16th at home. And this time it won’t be on a back-to-back.

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    And by that time this team could be completely different. A second unit led by Brandon Jennings could be scary good with his play-making ability. Johnson’s only going to get better as a 19-year-old.

    But before all of that, there are still 75 games left in the season.

    And for the first time in years, the Pistons look like a team of old. A tough, like-minded group that plays some tough defense and imposes their will on the other team.

    If that sounds like any teams from the past, fans should be even more excited than they are now. The Pistons are back, baby.