The Detroit Pistons know that seeing two of their teammates traded was no excuse for a 19-point loss to the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night.
But at the same time, they'll admit it wasn't easy going out and playing less than an hour after hearing that forwards Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye were dealt to the Memphis in a three-team trade that brought Jose Calderon to Detroit from Toronto.
"It's real tough," said veteran guard Rodney Stuckey, who because of Prince's departure moved into the starting lineup for the 98-79 loss to Indiana. "It was tough mentally to focus on the game because they weren't out there with us.
"We're all a family. We hang out with each other. It's kind of odd to see them leave but it's a business and you have to be prepared to take anything that comes your way."
Trying to beat the Pacers (27-19) was a big enough chore before the Pistons (17-29) were forced to do it after losing two of the regulars in their rotation.
Indiana is the NBA's second-best defensive team and the Pacers have won 12 straight at home, where their 17-3 record is one of the best in the NBA.
The Pistons kept it close for much of the first half, pulling within two points late in the second quarter before the Pacers ended the half on an 18-2 run that gave them a 54-36 halftime lead.
Detroit Pistons distracted by pregame trade but say it's no excuse for 98-79 loss to Indiana Pacers
Michigan Live | Jan 31