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An inside look at the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another disappointing road trip for the Pistons

The Pistons concluded their final West Coast road trip 1-3, topping Sacramento before dropping three straight to the L.A. Clippers, Denver and Golden State. Detroit is now 2-12 on the road against Western Conference teams, with just one road game against the West remaining (at Minnesota on April 14).

Detroit had fourth quarter leads in all three of its losses, but couldn’t hang on and found a different way to lose each game.

Free-throw shooting (10 for 22) cost the Pistons against the Clippers, including 2 for 8 from Richard Hamilton who hit 51 consecutive free throws coming into the game. None were bigger than the three Hamilton missed with 7.9 seconds left and his team trailing, 95-91.

It was a pair of former Pistons that helped lift the Denver Nuggets over Detroit. Chauncey Billups (25 points) and Arron Afflalo (14 points) combined for 39 points with Billups scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Seeing Billups (who was traded for the failed experiment that was Allen Iverson) and Afflalo (who was given away for a second round pick to clear cap space) enjoy so much success against their former team had to be a tough pill to swallow for Pistons fans.

Detroit followed that up by allowing Golden State’s “defense” lift it to a win. The Warriors held the Pistons without a field goal in the final 3:52 and used the hack-a-Ben (Wallace) strategy to effectively get back in the game.

Wallace went 1 for 9 from the free-throw line, including two consecutive air balls. Wallace has made it clear he is not a fan of the hack-a-Ben strategy but the reality is more teams will start using it if they find themselves down to the Pistons in the fourth quarter.

Wallace’s teammate Tayshaun Prince came to his defense telling the Associated Press, “It doesn’t come down to that if we take care of business throughout the game and throughout the third quarter and keep our 10, 12-point margin, they wouldn’t be able to do that. Once we get in position where it’s a one or two possession game, it allows them to do that. Obviously he feels bad about it.”

It was a disappointing trip for Detroit, which was hoping to build some momentum after a win at home against San Antonio and a convincing win at Sacramento to start the trip.


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