Detroit Pistons: Two steps forward, ten steps back

So how do the Detroit Pistons follow up back-to-back victories and a restful five-day layoff? With a blowout loss at home to arguably one of the worst teams in the league.

The perplexing, Jekyll and Hyde Pistons continue to find ways to rear  their uglier side, and in particular, when they’re at home. The embarrassing 110-89 loss last night to the lowly Utah Jazz left the Pistons with a 7-13 home record. Their 7-13 home record is in a three-way tie for the second worst home record in the Eastern Conference.

A healthy Rodney Stuckey is a valuable commodity and trade chip for the struggling Pistons (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

A healthy Rodney Stuckey is a valuable commodity and trade chip for the struggling Pistons (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

The blowout loss was bad enough, but the fact that rookie Trey Burke came in and stole the show added fuel to the fire. The rookie and former University of Michigan star dazzled the Palace crowd with an outstanding 20 point and 12 assist performance. The Pistons had the opportunity to draft the hometown hero but chose instead Georgia standout Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who finished last night with just five points in 27 minutes of action.

It was an overall frustrating night in Detroit. Greg Monroe and Josh Smith combined for an inexcusable eight points and three rebounds and seen both of their minutes limited to well below their season average. It’s also fair to say that the only Pistons bright spots were Andre Drummond, Rodney Stuckey and Kyle Singler. It’s also a fair assessment that these three have played some of the most consistent basketball on the Pistons roster this season.

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This astonishing layeth of the egg (and all the others this season) can really make one wonder about the future of this Pistons team. Although they’re still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot in the East, they could very easily find themselves on the outside looking in. The Pistons owe a top-eight-protected first-round pick to the Charlotte Bobcats from the Ben Gordon trade. If the Pistons land anywhere in the 9-14 pick range, which is looking like a definite possibility, they’d have to give up their pick for this upcoming draft. If this is the case, the Pistons could find themselves in a very precarious position.

This team needs to either find a way into the playoffs and set themselves up for the future with a new Monroe deal/trade or find a way into the bottom eight of the NBA. The bottom eight tank sounds rather brazen, but it’s realistic. Failing to make the playoffs, potentially losing Monroe to free agency with nothing in return, and losing a first-round pick in a potentially special draft class would be an absolute kick in the gut to this Pistons franchise.

At this point in the program how would you like to see the Pistons’ season play out? Make the playoffs or get into the bottom eight?