Since opening their 2012-13 season with an awful eight-game losing streak, the Pistons have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games. A dominating 89-79 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers last night – who played without Kyrie Irving and rookie Dion Waiters – puts them at 6-13 on the season, a marked improvement considering the first month of the season.
In this 10 games, they have compiled a five-game home winning streak with wins over Boston, Toronto, Portland, Phoenix and now Cleveland. While the wins over the Raptors, Trailblazers and Cavaliers were close, the Pistons throttled the Celtics (103-83) and the Suns (117-77). In fact, the 40-point win over the rebuilding Suns was the team’s largest in nearly five years.
A promising stat in most of those 10 games was the rebounding totals for the Pistons. Detroit big men Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond grabbed the most rebounds of either team in five of the games, with Monroe grabbing 15 rebounds in a loss to the Mavericks – his highest total since he snagged 18 against Philadelphia in Detroit’s first win of the season last month.
Second-year guard Brandon Knight is still working on becoming a true floor general, with fluctuating good and bad performances. In most of the last 10 games, he has found a way to contribute even if he isn’t having a great passing night, whether it be through rebounds or scoring. His assists total (5.6 in November) are slowly creeping up while his turnovers (3.6 in November) are fluctuating. He’ll continue to learn when to push the ball and when to pull back and initiate the offense; it’s easy to forget he’s only been in the league for a season.
If the Pistons can continue their solid defensive play and learn to limit offensive mistakes, this season may not be as lost as it appeared to be just a month ago.