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Auburn Hills — Two weeks ago the Pistons were the toast of the NBA, with a 14-6 record, riding a three-game winning streak and getting attention from many of the national pundits as one of the best stories in the season.

They had wins at Oklahoma City and Boston and a dominating win over the Suns.

Their fortunes changed quickly, with a seven-game losing streak and coming off what coach Stan Van Gundy called “one of the worst ones I’ve ever had as a coach” on Tuesday to the Nuggets.

It’s been a group effort, with most of the onus falling to the starters as the offense has stalled and the energy and motivation seeming to circle the drain with it.

“(The perception is) two weeks later, we stink; we’re the worst team in the league and we have to change the lineup and make trades,” Van Gundy said Wednesday. “Two weeks. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that in two weeks, we went from being a good team to being awful.

“We’re playing awful, but I don’t think all of a sudden, those five guys can’t play together. The same guys who were 14-6. I’m not buying that everything has to change, but maybe it does.”

Van Gundy indicated changes are coming ahead of Thursday’s matchup at the Atlanta Hawks, but he didn’t go into detail. He already made a small switch in moving Reggie Bullock into the starting lineup for Stanley Johnson, but that didn’t have the desired result either.

It could involve more changes to the starting group, but the first step is more philosophical.

“It won’t be anything like a new offense, but we will shift our priorities a little bit in terms of play-calling — run some things more, run some things less and not run some things,” he said. “Our offensive approach hasn’t been as good as it could be to help these guys. Nothing different defensively; we just have to play it harder and better.”

The Nuggets, without two of their best players, Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic, still ran roughshod over the Pistons starters and ran away in the second half.

Van Gundy said he hasn’t thought about radical switches in the starting lineup, comparing them to a starting quarterback in football — fans are quick to dismiss them and want the backups, the best players are the best players and not using them doesn’t provide a better opportunity to win.

The coaching staff is focusing more on the mental approach and psyche to try to end the losing skid. Although all seven of the losses have come against teams with winning records, there’s no looking forward to the weaker teams, assuming that things will turn quickly.

Of chickens and eggs

The coaching staff is focusing more on the mental approach and psyche to try to end the losing skid. Although all seven of the losses have come against teams with winning records, there’s no looking forward to the weaker teams, assuming that things will turn quickly.

Van Gundy compared it to a chicken-and-egg problem, with playing well and winning as the two outcomes. One has to come first, but trying to figure out whether better play leads to winning or winning turns the fortunes is a conundrum.

“I had three people say to me that all we need is one win. How do you get that? You have to play harder and more unselfishly to get that one win,” Van Gundy said. “If the winning has to come first, I don’t know how we get there?

“Are we waiting for a miracle — somebody playing so bad that we can’t possibly lose to them? That’s not going to happen.”

Tolliver injured

Reserve forward Anthony Tolliver suffered a broken nose in the first half Tuesday and had it repaired and returned to practice on Wednesday. He will wear a mask while his nose heals.

Tolliver said the injury occurred after he took an elbow but no foul was called.

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter.com/RodBeard

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