Earlier this week the Detroit Pistons held a team meeting to address some of the issues they have been dealing with in the early portion of the season. They followed up their team meeting with an embarrassing effort against the Chicago Bulls on Monday, losing by 31 points.
“Team meeting my ass. I have nothing to say. It was a disgusting performance. Unprofessional, humiliating, embarrassing,” head coach Stan Van Gundy told Fox Sports Detroit after the game against Chicago.
Van Gundy vowed to change the starting lineup against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, but Jon Leuer got into a minor car accident before shootaround. As a result Van Gundy decided to stay pat with his lineup for now.
The Pistons dropped their fourth straight game against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, 98-86. The Pistons have lost seven of their last 10 games, which coincides with the return of star point guard Reggie Jackson.
The team came out with more energy than their previous game against the Chicago Bulls and held a 14-13 lead early in the first quarter after a beautiful left-handed drive and layup by Tobias Harris. But the Grizzlies outscored the Pistons 16-5 for the rest of the quarter and lead by 10 after the end of the first.
Memphis continued that momentum into the second quarter and extended their lead to 18 after an Andrew Harrison three-pointer.
Jackson sparked a comeback though, scoring eight points and assisting on three baskets in the quarter to help cut the Grizzlies lead to four points near the end of the first half. The Grizzlies led 53-44 at halftime.
The two teams battled it out evenly at the beginning of the second half and the Pistons even came back once again. The Grizzlies lead was down to four points midway through the third quarter. But the rest of the quarter was all Memphis as they pushed their lead back out to 16.
Jon Leuer came off the bench and scored 18 points. He helped bring the Pistons back again in the fourth quarter. A Jackson jumper brought Detroit within seven, but it was all for not as the Grizzlies held on for the victory.
The Grizzlies snapped a three game losing streak of their own tonight, in part to the outstanding performance of Marc Gasol. Gasol looked like the best player on the court, making tough shot after tough shot. He ended the game with 38 points on 14-of-17 shooting. He also added eight free throws and was extremely efficient throughout.
The Pistons lone bright spots from a woeful shooting performance were Leuer and Jackson. Jackson added 18 points and seven assists.
“We wanted to see some bite in the dog so I think we showed that tonight. It wasn’t a complete 48 minutes but definitely a step in the right direction,” Jackson said in his postgame press conference.
The schedule going forward gets no easier as Detroit hosts the Golden State Warriors Friday, and the Cleveland Cavaliers visit on Monday.