The Detroit Pistons have had their ups and downs this season facing injuries to some of their leading scorers. Richard Hamilton is still out with an ankle injury, Tayshaun Prince is day to day with a sprained back, Ben Gordon, Will Bynum and now Chucky Atkins all have ankle sprains.
Despite going on a 7 game skid the Pistons have finally found a way to look past the injuries and pull of a 4 game winning streak. The Pistons have been running a starting linup consisting of Chucky Atkins, Rodney Stuckey, Jonas Jerebko, Jason Maxiell and Ben Wallace.
In the Pistons last game against Denver they were without both Ben Gordon and Will Bynum (and of course Rip and Tay) but still managed to pull of an exciting 101-99 win in Denver. Charlie Villanueva came off the bench scoring a team high 27 points and Rodney Stuckey came along side tacking on 25.
In the last five games Stuckey has averaged just about 22 points a game and has been able to make the big plays down the stretch in close games.
Charlie Villanueva has provided great spark coming off the bench showing that his mask has no effect on his game averaging just over 16 points per game in the last five.
Ben Wallace has also been playing big playing like he did back in 2004 grabbing an average of around 10 rebounds a game the past five games and 2 steals.
Also rookie sensation Jonas Jerebko has been improving his talent each and every game especially in the last five games. Jonas has been putting up around 12 points a game and has had two double-doubles out of the last five.
The Pistons have shown they can contend with the best despite their injuries. With big wins over Atlanta, Orlando and Denver has shown that the Pistons wont go through the season without putting up a fight.
With bench players such as Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye, Chucky Atkins and Jason Maxiell all getting big minutes, it certainly helps the Pistons create them into elite players to where they can provide the spark and scoring the Pistons need coming off the bench.
When the Pistons become healthy and we see Ben Gordon, Tayshaun Prince, Will Bynum and Richard Hamilton out on the court together, and all the experience and improvement the bench players have shown, the Pistons will definitely be great contenders in the East.
The only question is, will the Pistons chemistry take a hit when Hamilton and Prince are back in that starting lineup? Or will the Pistons be able to keep up their winning ways and be able to fight deep into the playoffs?
When Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton and Will Bynum are back in that guard lineup that includes Rodney Stuckey, the Pistons have the most scoring threats in the guard position in the NBA and possibly the best guard lineup.
Despite the slow start, the Pistons are now a 7th seed in the East and are sitting at a 10-12 record. Don't under estimate the Pistons because they are still contenders and still a tough team to beat.