Detroit Pistons off to a terrible start

Worst start to the season in over a decade

Posted In: Sports, Local Sports, National Sports,   By: Thomas Baird

22nd January, 2012     0

Basketball in the Motown isn't quite like what we have grown accustomed too over the past decade.  The Detroit Pistons are definitely struggling at the start of the 2012 season.  This NBA season will only last 66 games due to the fact that the players went on strike.  Plus add to the fact that the Pistons were finally sold to new owner Tom Gores over the summer.  This left the team in limbo for several months with Team President Joe Dumars unable to make any moves. 

On the first visit to the Palace of Auburn Hills this season I seen what I had seen on the television watching the first few games of the season.   The Palace looked empty without hardly any fans in attendance.   We had grown accustomed to seeing the place filled night after night for over 5 1/2 years when they would sell out game after game.   On my most recent visit I was in shock as I walked around the concourse before the game.  It was almost empty and I felt sorry for the new owner.  

This night I was there to cover the Pistons taking on the Memphis Grizzlies on a Friday night.   The paid attendance was reported at 10,255 which was not the actual number of people in the Palace that evening.   All of the pre-game hype was still the same from when the team was regularly competing in the Eastern Conference Finals it seemed like every year.   Making two trips to the NBA Finals in 2004 and 2005 helped draw the large crowds to the Palace night after night. 

I was looking forward to seeing some of the new stars on the Pistons play.  I wanted to see if rookie Brandon Knight would live up to his billing so far.   I also enjoy seeing Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace play.   The Pistons came into the game with a 2-12 record and it doesn't look like things will get any better around the Palace anytime soon.  The Grizzlies jumped all over the Pistons and lead the entire game often up by 20 points.   The final score was 98-81 with the Grizzlies moving to 8-6 on the season.  Leading the way for the  Pistons was Brandon Knight with 22 points and Tayshaun Prince with 14.   The Grizzlies had a balanced scoring attack with Rudy Gay scoring 24 points. 

The puzzling thing that I see happening this season are the fans are going to be coming to the Palace to see the other teams star players in action as opposed to watching the Pistons.   The promotional department is doing a ton of work to get the fans in the seats.  But I see this as the Pistons going through a cycle of a few down years.  I know that I will be attending a few games this season mainly to the top players in the NBA.


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