Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons: It's Time to Have Faith

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 24:  Rodney Stuckey #3 of the Detroit Pistons goes up against Mo Williams #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the Palace of Auburn Hills on April 24, 2009 in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  The Cavaliers won 79-68.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Omari Sankofa IIContributor IJanuary 15, 2010

Sniff Sniff (grabs tissue), wipes eyes—WAHHHH!

Excuse me, I just finished watching the Pistons-Wizards game on DVR, and take my word for it, it was heartwarming.

Not just because they won, mind you. The Pistons were soldiers on the battlefield, doing whatever it took to go home with a victory. Between Charlie Villanueva's dagger three's in the fourth, Jerebko's stunning energy, Stuckey's solidity (he hit two straight turnaround jumpers!) and Rip's sharp shooting, you got the sense that this team finally felt each other's presence.

Speaking of sharp shooting, the Pistons had plenty of it, connecting on 68 percent of their three pointers, a feat I envisioned they would be easily capable of from glancing at the roster last offseason. For a team flirting with irrelevance, their three-point prowess was the highlight of the night. I'm proud to say that the Pistons took care of business as if they were businessmen and the game was a black-tie event.

However, the future still remains uncertain. On Friday they face New Orleans, a team that helped start the streak. The Pistons still haven't realized the great concept of defense and most of all, they tend to disappear when they need to step up.

But this is no time to worry. The Pistons are a proud and successful franchise. This streak is absolutely necessary for the team to move on.

You can't taste greatness until you've choked down insignificance.

Most of us still get nostalgic over the Pistons' most recent period of glory.

But what did they go through to get to that point?

Many of us have forgotten about the evaporation of the Bad Boys, the embarrassing "Teal Era," the loss of Grant Hill.

The champions of 2008, the Boston Celtics, endured countless setbacks. In a nutshell, they were sold in 2003 in the midst of rebuilding around Al Jefferson, traded Antoine Walker in 2004, hired new general manager Danny Ainge, traded for the rights to Rajon Rondo in 2007, and signed Leon Powe.

The 2006-07 was their nightmare season, losing legendary coach Red Auerbach, suffering an 18-game losing streak, losing Paul Pierce for much of the second half of the season, and finishing with a record of 24-58.

That offseason, the Celtics traded away part of their young core in Delonte West, Al Jefferson, and Gerald Green, along with many other players, for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

The next season they won 66 games and defeated their old rival, the Los Angeles Lakers, for their 17th championship, their first championship in 22 years.

You can't taste greatness until you've choked down insignificance.

Let's imagine that the Pistons are a phoenix.

High and mighty, the phoenix ruled the sky, like the Pistons once did. No bird was strong enough to take it down nor smart enough to put out it's swagger. However, when the phoenix begins to lose it's cockiness, it collapses.

However, the phoenix is smarter than that, for it knows when it's time to pass the baton. So it turns to ashes, knowing that it is best to stop when you are on top.

The Pistons' losing streak was a concealed blessing, a hidden fortune that the team will be thankful for in the future. This season was never meant for victorious triumph anyway.

This season was meant to achieve cohesion, to erase the erratic tendencies that young teams have to work out.

Instead of talking about how Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva are defensively impaired, let's celebrate their natural gifts of shooting. Instead of criticising the injures, let's be thankful that the guys are learning how to play through adversity—for it is obvious that the Pistons will rise from the ashes of defeat sooner rather than later.

Instead of being thankful that the streak is over, lets be thankful that the trial is finished. The insignificance has passed; success is around the corner.

So let's move beyond their recent toils and embrace a new age of excellence.

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