Auburn Hills – Friday was the most embarrassing night at The Palace since "Malice at The Palace."
The Pistons lost 110-100 to the Toronto Raptors but this goes beyond raw numbers. The Raptors did not beat the Pistons. The Raptors clowned with the Pistons in the second half and did whatever they wanted offensively to the tune of 60 points in the paint.
Secondly they did it before flag waving, banner carrying Raptor fans who laughed, danced and had a wonderful time at the Pistons expense. There were more Raptor fans than Piston fans.
Do you know how I know?
When the Raptor fans chanted "MVP" at Kyle Lowry or "We the North" Piston fans didn't even attempt to drown them out. They did not have enough muscle.
That is why Pistons center Andre Drummond stopped the show with a well-placed elbow that floored Raptors reserve James Johnson and caused a low-beam shoving match between players.
You might want to call it a punk move. I call it a necessary move. The clown show needed to stop. I am glad Drummond stopped it as Johnson rolled toward the basket for the 50th pick and roll that the Raptors executed with ease
"It was a hard foul," Drummond admitted. "He got a dunk the play before and he was feeling good. I was trying to protect the paint. It turned out to be a hard foul and one thing led to another. Emotions were high during the game. It happens. It is basketball. There were no hard feelings. I have nothing against. Him. I shook his hand after the game."
It reminded me of Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn during the Bad Boys era where they would send people sprawling to the floor when opponents tried to drive to the hoop. This was not rim protection as much as it was rim intimidation.
Drummond made the right move although it came a little late. He should have done that in the third quarter when the Raptors began profiling in front of their fans before dunking on the Pistons again.
"We need to show it (resolve) before we get down 20," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We need to show it throughout the game."
Drummond must not stop now. His job is not over. He wants to be a leader? Then he must call out teammates who did not play a lick of defense and allowed this to happen. He does not need to do it in the media but he can call them out behind closed doors. He needs to send the message that this won't happen again.
The Pistons held a closed door airing things out during the preseason at a Washington steakhouse. People were direct and blunt. They need another session soon.
The night symbolized where the Pistons are as a team and a franchise. This team cannot defend against better teams. It has given up 117, 113 and 110 points to the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks and Raptors.
The other sad thing is people were talking about this being the most electric night at the Palace in years. Sadly, Toronto fans provided the juice. It reminded me of the days when Chicago Bears fans used to invade the Silverdome and Cleveland Indian fans stalked Comerica Park when the Lions and Tigers were bad.
The Pistons need their fans. But they also must give them a reason to come.
Pistons at Nets
Tipoff: 6 p.m. Sunday at Barclays Center
TV/Radio: FSD Plus / 105.1 FM
Outlook: After facing three of the best offenses in the game the Pistons get a break. Point guard Deron Williams left Friday night's game at Cleveland with a strained calf muscle. Joe Johnson (26 points) kept the Nets in the game. Both teams have lost three games in a row.