Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Slump or not a slump?

So are the Pistons already in a slump, or is it officially a slump if they lose to the Clippers tonight at home? A three-game losing streak would definitely raise an eyebrow, wouldn't it? Two losses in a row is already enough of a curiosity, considering they hadn't done so in almost a year. Chalk the loss to Indiana up to the recent rivalry, and a team motivated to prove it's still a factor in the Eastern Conference. But a loss to the Hawks? The second-worst team in the NBA? Okay, it was only a one-point loss.

But how about the timing of this little drag? Now we're ready to devote our full attention to this team (or at least I am), and they're hitting a run of fatigue (and maybe boredom) that was probably inevitable, despite all the noise about winning 70 games. (Maybe this will finally scotch that talk.)

So what's the deal? Tayshaun Prince thinks they may be tired. Ben Wallace says they didn't execute. Coach Flip Saunders was already worried, noticing a lack of energy in the team's last few games, and plans to give more minutes to the reserves in upcoming games. The return of Lindsey Hunter could help with that, although he's still not ready to play big minutes. (Do you think there was any talk between Flip and Joe Dumars about putting Darko Milicic on the injured reserve list, instead of Jason Maxiell?)

The most amazing thing about the Pistons' 39-8 start is that they'd managed to avoid the usual potholes that typically afflict a team during the NBA season, such as fatigue in back-to-back games or proper motivation against clearly inferior teams. But now they're experiencing just such a stretch. They probably are tired. Maintaining such a high level of play with three months to go on the schedule was likely impossible. Maybe the players and coaches realize they need to dial back a bit, in order to have what they need for the playoffs.

Or they could just beat the Clippers - who have the fourth-best record in the Western Conference - tonight and everything will be okay again.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/ Getty Images)

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2 Comments:

  • At February 08, 2006 6:15 PM, Anonymous Kevin said…

    Good call with the Pistons talk. It's about time somebody took the lead with this. I'm still freaking stuck on sleep apnea and Mike Martz.

     
  • At February 08, 2006 6:23 PM, Blogger Big Al said…

    Your final comment is damn near the same thing I said in my blog post today. A nice win over the Clips soothes everyone's psyche. All in all, the Pistons having hit a small bump in the road is much ado about nothing. But you'd never know it from everyone on talk radio having a conniption fit...

     

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