Two brutal games down, 64 more to go.
A couple of things come to mind when I think about the state of the Detroit Pistons.
One, they are incredibly bad right now. I mean, they are No. 1-overall-draft-pick bad right now. They are post-Bad Boys bad right now, and maybe even worse than that.
The second thing that comes to mind is that this situation isn't nearly as hopeless as prior situations.
In the early 1990s, the Pistons were falling apart. Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer were done, and Dennis Rodman and Joe Dumars were all that remained of their title teams.
They had some high draft picks, but their future was still in doubt. What they had in abundance was scrap heap-level talent at all positions.
They also had a questionable front office, and that group blew the Pistons' rebuilding process. They dealt Rodman for Sean Elliott, and that was a huge bust. They made a series of bad draft picks (Doug Overton? Lance Blanks?), and they missed out on a number of good free agents.
It took some terrible basketball and the chance to draft Grant Hill to turn that team around, albeit they were far from title contention back then.
Following Hill's departure, we had our second era (albeit much shorter than the first) of bad Pistons basketball following the Bad Boys era.
That roster was arguably in worse shape.
They had some marginally talented players and one star in Jerry Stackhouse. Mostly though, they had guys that were not good enough to play on a good team. Mikki Moore and Don Reid should not be starting for anyone in any era.
That era was turned around by some masterful moves from the front office.
In fact, I would argue that Dumars' greatest accomplishment, including his playing years, was building the 2004 Pistons.
Obviously, that was then, and this is now.
This team is probably worse than either of those eras of Pistons basketball. However, they are in better shape than either as well.
Here are five steps for the Pistons to reclaim their rightful spot atop the Eastern Conference standings.