Tuesday , Feb , 24 , 2009 Christopher Sells

Motor City Meltdown

Things are not going well for the Detroit Pistons. At least not by their standards.

Motor City MeltdownIt’s hard to classify a season as a failure after only 54 out of 82 games, but that’s what a sizable chunk of the Detroit Pistons’ fanbase is saying. The team is sitting at .500 and has lost six straight games. In fact, the Pistons have won only five of their last 20. The Pistons’ upcoming schedule offers little room for optimism with road games against Miami, New Orleans, Orlando and Boston.

When teams start stacking up the losses, the grumbling begins in the locker room and the front office. Detroit is no different. Players are starting to talk about the team’s lack of leadership and questioning some of the team’s personnel decisions. The media is questioning whether Michael Curry is the right man to coach the team. And the fans seem to be ready for whatever change will return them to their winning ways. After all, the Pistons, as I’m sure you already know, have made the Eastern Conference Finals every year for a long time (01-02, if you’re being technical).

So who deserves the blame for the team’s direction? Is Curry at fault for not being able to get this team of veterans to play together, even if the pieces are ill-fitting? He is a first-year coach, after all, and part of the thinking was that he’d be able to lean on the team, thinking that it was self-sufficient. This was before Chauncey Billups was jettisoned for Allen Iverson, though.

Should we blame Joe Dumars? He showed the more-experienced Flip Saunders the door last season despite being two wins from a Finals berth. There were claims of a possible mutiny in the locker room, but was Joe D just being greedy by expecting to play for a championship every year? And Dumars has been the person pulling the personnel strings, hasn’t he?

Maybe the culprit is Bill Davidson. Many feel the determining factor behind the Iverson trade was financial, since the guard’s contract expires at season’s end. Have the team’s moves been limited because of an unwillingness to spend money? Detroit serves as the picture of the recession for many, with the struggles of the auto industry taking their toll on the Motor City.

So maybe it’s just circumstance. Maybe it’s something more. Whatever the reasoning, things in Detroit are not as they have been and show no signs of returning to form any time soon. What are your thoughts? Should Curry be the first one to go? If he is, who should the team hire in his place? Maybe Dumars should shoulder the blame? Or maybe the players should just be responsible for playing better? Let us know in the comments section.

[image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/davehogg/]