Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
The Pistons played solid defense—surprise!—against the Sixers. Expect to see more of that now that coach Frank can practice with the team again.
This is by and large a young team. My fear on seeing the schedule was a potentially devastating start. Beginning the season 0-8, the Pistons' worst start ever, had to play havoc with these kids' minds.
And the national press, lacking a true knowledge of the Pistons roster or talent level, started declaring the Pistons the worst team in the NBA. That couldn't have been a confidence booster either.
Here's the reality: This team has true talent, substantial depth and now will enjoy the comforts of home. Prior to Wednesday, the team had not practiced in 10 full days because of their hectic travel schedule. That's a massive handicap on youngsters who are still learning to play together.
The Pistons as a team need to realize that they are neither as good as this game (Andrew Bynum playing for the Sixers would certainly have revealed a different outcome), nor are they as bad as some of their horrid losses. But when they play the right way, the Pistons are closer to the team we saw tonight than the 0-9 Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight who rode into Philadelphia.
Defense remains a concern, but crashing the boards with energy can make up for some of their defensive deficiencies, and as I've often said, Frank preaches defense relentlessly.
Problem is, he hasn't been able to work executions for 10 days. But now he will. And mark my words: you will see an improvement in the Pistons defense.
Orlando is next, and with the Magic most probably comes another victory, so the Pistons will likely be sitting on a two-game win streak. But more importantly, the fellas will start believing in themselves again.
The season is still young. It's not at all too late to rewrite the script, and right the ship. Getting a game like this under their belt, where the Pistons get to see and feel and taste how good they can truly be, is a start in that direction.