The formula for the Detroit Pistons, if they want to even sniff the .500 mark, is to consistently play the kind of tenacious defense they played against the Hawks today. The defensive effort was fantastic in almost every aspect. Only one block the entire game, but Ben altered a bunch of shots today and the other guys made sure to body up the Hawks players and get a hand in their faces. I don’t know if the Jason Maxiell insertion helped set the tone more so than usual or what, but I liked what I saw.
Ben Wallace looks like Ben Wallace of old. His 11 offensive rebound effort today was a joy to watch. Heck, he had his hands on the rock so much today I would have guessed he had 20 offensive boards. Yeah I know I’m not the first to say Ben Wallace is doin mad work, and certainly won’t be the last, but his presence is probably a huge reason this team has even cracked the two or three win total so far this season. His example may not have fully rubbed off on Villanueva just yet but it’s slowly seeping into the habits of this young, talented team. Jerebko continues to surprise me with his basketball IQ and just his pure grit. The kid has actual skills too, which makes him an intriguing guy down the road. The bar is high for this kid. No doubt the bar is high for Austin Daye as well, but right now his strength is not NBA caliber. Summers will stick in this league for a long time because he can shoot. I just wish all three of these guys didn’t essentially play the same position… but that’s a topic for another day, probably a day far off because, well, we’re lucky to get anything of real substance up on LoD but once a week or so, mostly from Steve Kays.
Just wanted to mention how nice it looks to have guys like Chris Wilcox and Chucky Atkins always showing their support for the guys on the court. Both of these guys could easily pout about their lack of floor time, especially considering this team is struggling, but both are in it for the team and I think it’s partly indicative of the job John Kuester has done molding this collective of guys into a team. Obviously both Chuckster and Wilcox are high character guys and it’s not a surprise both have been great team members, but it speaks volumes what both have done so far because even the most well intentioned teammate slip up once in awhile over frustrating things such as lack of playing time/role etc.
I know I often make silly comments about the Pistons woes on Twitter (@ lifeondumars), and that won’t change, but I vividly remember the days when Grant Hill played in Detroit and had little to no help out there–there was really no light at the end of the tunnel is what I’m saying. Now I see light at the end of the tunnel and even though this season looks like it could be the worst in a long time, I realy enjoy watching this group compete on a nightly basis. I’m stealing this slogan from Lowes, but it fits with this team pretty well, “We’re building something special here”. Emphasis on “building”. And I’m confident it will be special when completed.