The Detroit Pistons are a non-entity for the 12th straight year. Their latest humiliation came in the form of a lopsided loss to the Bulls last night in Chicago. At 4-10, playoff hope is dwindling. And that hope's high end was low. Best-case secnario for this team was to make it to the No. 6 spot in the East and perhaps pull off a first-round upset. That's at least something for a franchise that hasn't advanced to the second round since 2009.
Detroit is no closer to fielding a truly competitive team now than its been at any point during this dreadful stretch. This is despite trotting out two borderline elite players in Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Saddled with bad contracts and a lackluster supporting cast, options are pretty limited. They're even more limited considering that moving one of these two does not appear in the blueprint.
The question, therefore, begs to be asked: What is this strategy yielding? The opening of Little Caesars Arena put pressure on ownership to present an entertaining product. Scratching and clawing for the last spot in the big playoff dance qualifies as intrigue, but the fans have shown their relative disinterest in the form of copious unoccupied seats.
This is a sad state of affairs for a proud group. The team was loved as it made six straight Eastern Conference Finals trips in the early-2000s. The city -- and perhaps more importantly -- the suburbs embraced a winner. They'll embrace one again and make the trek downtown if they deem it worth their time.
This team isn't currently worth their time. Underachieving, boring, and listless is no way to go through life. In a city chockfull of hapless losers, they sadly fit right in.
So how much longer will the Pistons go through the motions and let mediocre be the opposite of good? Salvation isn't creeping close. Drummond's a risky proposition for teams looking to add a big man due to his financial strings and inability to hit meaningful free throws. Griffin, though he's enjoying a resurgence, is an older version of a skillset growing in NBA popularity.
Is there any bright side? Is there an exit ramp? I honestly don't know. But what I do know is that this homeostasis isn't worth anything. In fact, it's antithetical to progress. It's time to figure out a way to take some harder lumps in the short-term to emerge more successful in the long.
Creative solutions needed and very warranted.