Pistons frustrated not to see wins increase
by Vince Ellis, USA TODAY Sports
TORONTO — Coach Lawrence Frank said this week his Detroit Pistons getting better.
Part of his reasoning is the team isn’t down 20 points before echoes of the national anthem subsided, like last season. But in the area where it counts — the record — the Pistons are worse than last season.
The Pistons dropped their sixth in a row Wednesday night, 97-91 to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. At 7-21, they are one game off last season’s 8-20 pace.
After an off-season of selling the potential of the young nucleus of Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond, fans expected more. Not much more, but more.
But all they have received is a feeling that the team has stalled, with another night with the Pistons on the losing side of a close loss.
“I think ‘stagnated’ would be the more accurate word,” Monroe said after his 35-point, 10-rebound night. “I don’t think we’re getting any worse, for sure.
“You can say we’re getting better, but getting better shows in the win column as far as I’m concerned. We just have to continue finding ways to finish the game, but at some point we have to do it. We can look at all the tape, but when it comes to down the stretch, we have to make those plays.”
Tayshaun Prince echoed similar sentiments about the team’s progress.
The loss to the Raptors was a microcosm of the season. The Pistons did just enough to hang around, holding the Raptors to one basket in the final 6:25 when Alan Anderson’s three-pointer gave the Raptors an 88-77 lead.
But the Pistons could only cut the deficit to four, and they kept making mistakes when maybe just one play could have pulled them through.
Knight continued his maddening season, in which he goes from being very good to bad with little in-between. He shot 1-for-10. To make matters worse, he took several ill-advised shots early in the shot clock, the last coming with 5:15 left and the Pistons trailing by 10.
Monroe feasted against the Raptors, but you wonder how effective he could be if the Pistons were better at feeding … [For more on 'Stagnated' Pistons frustrated not to see wins increase, click here.]