After the Pistons lost to Houston on Saturday, dropping to 0-7 and tying the worst season start in franchise history, Tayshaun Prince was asked what seemed wrong with the Piston team that had battled so hard against the Oklahoma City Thunder the night before. Prince was blunt in his assessment of the team, and Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News was there to hear Prince's answer:
"It was something more (than the final game of the trip)," Prince said. "Playing against Oklahoma City (Friday), guys were enthused, had more energy. It seems like when we've been playing so-called lesser opponents as opposed to Oklahoma City, our energy level has dropped. That's where the inconsistency has been. Not necessarily haven't been losing games before they start, it's just from jump ball the energy hasn't been there."
Normally when there's talk about playing down to the level of lesser competition, it's after high-level teams lose to seemingly hapless underdogs. As Prince points out, when a team is still in search of their first win "playing down" shouldn't be a concern. The Pistons are a young team, and not being able to get-up every night is not an uncommon feeling for a roster fresh out of college, staring at a daunting 82 game schedule. The Pistons' effort against the Thunder was great, but so are the Thunder. If the Pistons had been able to muster the same kind of game against the less-talented Rockets on Saturday, a team that was in the middle of a three-game losing streak, the Pistons might be sitting at 1-6 instead of 0-7.
The Pistons return home tonight to finish their season series with Oklahoma City Thunder, and fans should expect high-energy production out the Pistons with one of the league's best in town. Seeing the Pistons fall to an franchise worst 0-8 start should also be the expectation. Until the Pistons can learn to keep the energy high night-in and night-out, the losing streak will likely continue to grow as will the team's inability to sneak-up the rest of the league. To break their winless streak the Pistons will need to bring a higher level of effort than any team they play from here on out, task that will become increasingly difficult seeing as how no one ever wants to be the first team to lose to the worst.
Tags: Basketball, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, NBA, Tayshaun Prince
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