A player leadership void has been evident with the Detroit Pistons all season. Reggie Jackson has tried bringing players closer, but bonding alone does not equate to leadership. Andre Drummond is the on-court focal point of the franchise, but with three bad seasons and no playoff games previously, he has an NBA navigational issue.

Brandon Jennings is a backup point guard, possibly a lame duck with his expiring contract, and has played only 12 games since returning from major injury.

He is not ideally positioned to step in as leader of these Pistons, and knows it.

"It's tough," he said. "I'm still just trying to figure everything out, trying to figure out what my role is and things like that."

But Jennings has done it before. He is the only Piston who has. It was brief, but it was conclusive and extremely successful, until the night he crumpled in the backcourt at Milwaukee 363 days ago, his left Achilles ruptured on a non-contact play.

He is not seeing that leadership now, and while it has been a glaring shortcoming with a team chock-full of new faces, it took a 115-99 drilling from the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday -- and a guard playing for his long-term future, and a playoff berth to propel himself and this franchise forward -- to call this for what it is.