The Pistons have begun the 2012-13 NBA season 0-7. As a result, it has much of the national media questioning exactly when Detroit will earn its first win.
It goes without saying that the NBA was not too kind to the Pistons, having them go on a six-game Western Conference road trip after their season debut at home against the Houston Rockets. At the time the schedule was announced, it appeared the Pistons had a great chance to beat Houston, but the Rockets acquired James Harden prior to the start of the season. Detroit hung in the game but ultimately lost 105-96, with Harden torching the home team for 37 points and 12 assists.
We all know it's going to be another difficult season in terms of wins and losses, but Pistons fans are expecting a much more competitive team than what has been on display thus far. Greg Monroe has the chance to establish himself as the face of the franchise and a potential All-Star. Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey hope to continue developing chemistry as the team's starting guards. Detroit's five rookies, led by top draft selection Andre Drummond, should provide an extra boost of energy and enthusiasm on a nightly basis.
It isn't the 0-7 start that's been the most difficult pill for fans to swallow. It's the fact that the Pistons already appear to be comfortable losing. Most games have been complete blowouts, and some have even resulted in Detroit being bullied and humiliated in the worst of ways.
The L.A. Lakers were laughing and enjoying themselves while dominating the Pistons, but even that didn't stop them from putting their starters back into the game after Detroit's bench went on a run in the fourth quarter in what was still a 20+ point lead. This night was followed by another embarrassing loss to Sacramento in which Kings rookie Thomas Robinson elbowed Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko in the throat. Although several Detroit teammates went to make sure Jerebko was OK, nobody seemed willing to get in Robinson's face before he was quickly ejected from the game.
Defensively, Pistons opponents are getting to the basket with ease. With the way the team has struggled offensively to begin the year, Detroit must start by getting back to playing hardnosed defense and taking pride in stopping the other team. Sure, the NBA has changed its rules over the years, making it easier for teams to score and create an uptempo contest, but the Pistons have to fight the system. They have to try to get back to being an intimidating presence on the defensive side of the floor.
Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank has some decisions to make with his rotation. Fans are clamoring for Monroe and Drummond to pair together in the starting lineup, and it appears all but certain that Jason Maxiell will go back to the bench sooner than later. Furthermore, the struggles of Stuckey have many questioning whether or not he is worth counting on as a starter even at his natural position at off-guard.
Needless to say, if they don't start playing with more fire and passion, the Pistons will continue to hear the laughs and jokes from the national media and fans worldwide. More importantly, the losses will continue to mount.