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MMPG: Team of the Weak

Detroit Pistons

I got you, Tayshaun. Who's going to catch us while we fall? (AP Photo)

The Detroit Pistons always knew that acquiring Allen Iverson would be a high-risk, high-reward venture, but they likely had no idea that the experiment would have such maddening highs and lows. Just two weeks after reeling off a season-high seven-game winning streak, the Pistons have fallen into a season-long five-game losing streak.

The Pistons lost four games last week -- at home against Charlotte and New Orleans and on the road against Indiana and Oklahoma City, the Western Conference's worst team. Richard Hamilton returned, after missing eight games with a groin injury, against Charlotte, and the Pistons blew a 78-71 lead in the final three minutes as they were outscored 9-2. Rasheed Wallace also imploded in the final seconds, picking up an offensive foul. Detroit has scored just 76 fourth-quarter points during the current losing streak, which is the longest in five years.

Frustration is settling in for the Pistons, as rookie Coach Michael Curry still struggles with finding the right combinations. Hamilton refuses to come off the bench, forcing Curry to rely on a three-guard offense with Rodney Stuckey, Iverson and Hamilton. The small lineup also means fewer minutes for backup big man Jason Maxiell. If the Pistons can find any positives in the losing streak it's this: They went on to win their third championship the last time they lost five in a row in 2004.

By Michael Lee  |  January 19, 2009; 9:44 AM ET
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If I were Maxiell, I would find Curry's schizoid coaching to be absolutely maddening; 18 minutes one night, a DNP the next. And Curry has been doing this with Brown and Johnson as well throughout the season. Without a doubt, this hinders their continued development and kills the future of the team.

Posted by: ahniem | January 19, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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