The Detroit Pistons just destroyed the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that opened the season with three straight wins, including a win over the defending champion Miami Heat. The game was really never even close, as Andre Drummond led the charge with 31 points, 19 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 blocks, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in 23 years. He’s 20 years old.
This beatdown, however, comes directly after blowing a 10 point 4th quarter lead to a Lakers team without Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash. Before that, the Pistons put in an embarrassing performance against a Chicago Bulls team missing Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. This kind of consistent inconsistency has left both Pistons fans and media members alike with a severe case of the “finger-pointies” in trying to identify why a team so full of talent and potential is only 7-10.
I know this is a cliché, but the season is still very, very young. Yes, Josh Smith’s career numbers are down pretty much across the board. Yes, Brandon Jennings has been inconsistent. Yes, Andre Drummond can’t avoid foul trouble. Yes, Chauncey Billiups and Will Bynum still aren’t back, and yes, Greg Monroe has had a rough couple games and his future as a Piston is uncertain. Some of problems are fixable, and some of them aren’t, but one major factor that can, and will, change is this: chemistry.
There are a lot of new components to this team: new coach, new superstars, new role players, new jerseys, new just about everything. I am an eternal optimist, and even I didn’t expect all the new elements and egos in this team to gel right away. The signs are there, however, of a young team finally starting to come together, as illustrated tremendously in tonight’s blowout win against Philly.
I honestly do believe that the Detroit Pistons have one of the most talented young rosters in the NBA; not just the East, but the entire NBA. This squad is fully capable of beating just about anyone on any given night, but the chemistry just hasn’t been there.
The chemistry will come, however, and I expect to be seeing a lot more blowout wins for Detroit in March and April than in November and December.
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