One word can be used to sum up the Detroit Pistons right now: inconsistent.
One word can also be used to describe the Boston Celtics in comparison to those Pistons: better.
Right now the Pistons are the little brother and the Celtics are the big brother.
Little brother always goes into the game excited and ready, hoping this is the game he can prove himself.
It usually doesn't happen.
The Detroit Pistons (8-4) didn't even show up, outside of the first five minutes in the first quarter, in their second showdown with the Boston Celtics (11-2) in less than a month.
They were out hustled, out played, out toughed, out coached, out shot, and pretty much out done in everything in their 98-80 loss Thursday night. They were embarrassed, and even more-so than the first blowout which took place just a couple weeks ago in Detroit (believe it or not).
So what have we learned about these two teams thus far?
They are in complete different leagues.
Boston is in a league of its own. Poised, confident, prepared, and ready for whatever comes their way. The Celtics have the swagger of a true champion and look like even more of a "team" than they did last year.
Detroit is in the league of wannabees. They want to be Boston. Heck, they used to play like Boston.
The Detroit team on the floor Thursday night didn't look anything like Boston—or the Pistons of old.
Allen Iverson was mediocre—and he has proven he can't play defense if his life depended on it.
Rasheed didn't show up, and neither did Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey or the majority of the team for that matter. Forget how many points they scored. It was the other part of the game they looked bush league on.
Defense? What defense? I haven't seen Pistons defense this bad in a long, long time. And isn't that why Flip Saunders was fired and Michael Curry brought in here?
Under Saunders the Pistons were statistically ranked in the top five of almost every defensive category. But he was fired because they didn't execute that philosophy properly in the playoffs—that along with being unmotivated by their coach.
Well, under Curry, the Pistons are in the bottom half of the league defensively. And on top of that, they are showing no toughness at times.
They got bullied by the big, bad champs tonight. As if it was a heavyweight versus a lightweight. It looked like a preschooler versus a high school kid or Mike Tyson in his prime versus me.
Not even close.
Yes, the schedule has been tough. But champions persevere. It's one thing to lose, but it's another thing to get embarrassed. And in an already short season, the Celtics have managed to embarrass the Pistons twice already.
The champions certainly look like champions.
The wannabees continue to look exactly like that.
Performing well at points, but never putting together a consistent effort to show they are close of even being considered in the same breath as the Boston Celtics.