By: Will Burchfield
Following a players-only meeting after their loss to the Pacers on Saturday, the Pistons were expected to come out on Monday night with a renewed sense of purpose.
Instead, they lost by 31 points to the Bulls.
“It was a disgusting performance,” said coach Stan Van Gundy. “By all of us, me included. It was unprofessional, embarrassing, humiliating, whatever you want to say. It was terrible.”
The Pistons fell behind early and never caught up. By halftime, they were trailing by 35 points. When the dust had settled on the team’s low-point of the season, the starting lineup of Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris and Andre Drummond was a combined minus-153.
“I guarantee you, on Wednesday night (versus the Grizzlies), we’re not trotting that five out there again,” Van Gundy said.
In their exclusive meeting on Saturday, the players talked about adapting to Reggie Jackson’s style of play and accepting new roles in the offense. None of it was evident in their performance against the Bulls.
“Team meeting, my a–,” Van Gundy said. “Like I said before, that stuff means nothing. It’s what you do on the court. Talking’s easy.”
The Pistons (14-16) have lost four of their last five and sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. Monday night was the nadir of their early struggles.
“It looks to me like a lack of effort and a lack of heart,” Van Gundy said. “And if you don’t play hard, you’re not going to have any confidence, things aren’t going to go [your way]. We looked like we were hoping the game would be easy tonight, and it wasn’t and we just caved.”
The Pistons need to get things figured out fast. After hosting the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, they welcome in the Warriors (Dec. 23) and Cavaliers (Dec. 26).