Losers of three straight and six of their last ten, the Detroit Pistons appear to be nearing a crisis point.
On Tuesday, after being blown out 113-82 by the Chicago Bulls, Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy ripped into his team for what he deemed a “disgusting performance.”
The blowout came after Pistons played called a players-only meeting to go over issues like ball movement and team attitude. None of the issues seemed to have been fixed on Tuesday, despite a supposed clearing of the air.
After the game, Van Gundy called out his team.
“Team meeting, my a–,” Van Gundy said. “Like I said before, that stuff means nothing. It’s what you do on the court. Talking’s easy.”
He continued, “It was a disgusting performance. By all of us, me included. It was unprofessional, embarrassing, humiliating, whatever you want to say. It was terrible.”
He added that the loss looked to him like a “lack of effort and lack of heart.”
At 14-16, the Pistons now find themselves in 10th place in the East, though they’re only two games out of the fourth seed, such is the crowded playoff race in the East. However, the team has not been the same in December, particularly since the return of point guard Reggie Jackson.
Van Gundy has said as much. When asked if the team has improved since Jackson’s return, Van Gundy said, “Hell no, we’ve gotten worse.” He also criticised Jackson’s decision-making, though Jackson only responded, “I don’t call the plays,” when asked about his coach (and GM’s) critiques.
The result? Jackson took just five shots on Tuesday, appearing to make a statement following the complaints about his decision-making. Clearly, that approach did not help.
There’s more than enough time for the Pistons to turn their season around, but at the moment, the issues may be rooted in the locker room, which isn’t a positive sign.
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