Jan 6, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT
On Dec. 30, the Pistons were outscored 28-12 in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Washington Wizards. After the game, Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks said, via Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:
“I can’t, I can’t … whew,” said Cheeks when asked if he could pinpoint the continuous letdowns in fourth quarters. “We got stagnant, we didn’t keep playing the way we did in those (first) three quarters. They kept scoring. We didn’t for whatever reason.”
Five off days – and three practices devoted to fourth-quarter struggles later, according to David Mayo of MLive – not much has changed. Not even Cheeks’ answers.
Sunday, the Pistons were outscored 33-17 in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. John Niyo of The Detroit News:
Cheeks held a question-and-answer session with his players before holding his usual shrug-fest with the media.
“I wasn’t necessarily talking about what happened,” the coach explained. “I was just trying to get some insight for myself. Because I didn’t have the insight this time. Normally I do. This time I didn’t.”
The Pistons are the NBA’s worst fourth-quarter team:
They’re both bad defensively and horrific offensively in the final period:
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $50,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,500. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Yet, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what goes wrong for Detroit late in games.
Whatever the reason, the Pistons clearly didn’t find it in their long break. Now, they’ll need to search on the fly, and for a team that made no apparent progress with the luxury of three practices and five off days, that’s not encouraging.
- Paul George refutes report he didn’t want to play with Kobe Bryant: ‘Media reaching again’ 0
- PBT Extra preview: Lakers, Celtics big name teams headed to lottery 9
- Could lottery reform be bad for small market teams? Sam Presti argues yes. 13
- LeBron James and his difficult-to-assess super teams 25
- Kevin Durant on return: “I’m not going to rush it all” 12
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 preview: Dallas Mavericks 6
- LeBron James: “(The Bulls) are a team that’s much better than us right now just off chemistry” 36
- Has Kobe Bryant cost the Lakers Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and others? 88