I went to the Pistons game Tuesday night and watched the never quit Pistons fight and scratch and claw their way to only lose 100-86 to the Dallas Mavericks at The Palace.
OK. I am being sarcastic. I watched another dismal performance from a team that lacks energy, toughness, talent and an identity. The Pistons are not only getting beat on a nightly basis but they are getting smashed in the face. Most of their losses are by double digits. Last week they paid tribute to Michael Jordan by losing two games by 23 points each.
I am waiting for them to honor Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh who wears 90.
That is not the entire story. Nobody is coming to watch this team play and who can blame them? What you are left with is a sterile atmosphere that reminds me of the days when the Detroit Shock played there. Actually the Shock out drew the Pistons some nights, just as the Michigan State women’s basketball team did one night last week.
I remembered how the Palace rocked during the Bad Boys days of Isiah Thomas and the New Boys days of Ben Wallace. Now the place reminds me of that old Christmas song “Silent Night.”
You can see growing frustration on the bench as players try to figure things out. And you can see frustration on the face of coach Lawrence Frank who often jumps from the bench as if somebody lit his pants on fire when games turn into dunk fests. Frank hates when his team gets dunked on but at some point of the game opponents turn into human highlight reels.
“This is going to be painful,” Frank said.
It is painful. The last time the Pistons were this bad they were tanking the season to get the number one pick in the draft. The last time the Palace was this quiet was during the NBA lockout. The only reason to go is to see if young pups Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight can turn into something. Monroe is showing signs of building a bright future. Knight remains a work in progress.
Typically in the NBA there is a four to five-year cycle to turn a good team turned bad into a good team again. The Pistons are in year three. No big name free agent will come here and I am not convinced the Pistons would go after one any way. Their future is in the draft lottery where they hope to land a future great. The problem is I do not see one coming down the pipe line.
So if you ever want a night of peace and quiet don’t go to the library. The Palace might be the place for you.