The Detroit Pistons' only salvation Monday was how few witnesses showed up to see this mess.
Head coach Lawrence Frank began warning last weekend that these final games before All-Star break begin a window when some NBA teams regularly steal wins and others regularly get them stolen away.
The Pistons fit the latter category in a 105-86 loss to the New Orleans Hornets, before a crowd of 10,177, smallest of the season at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
They now are reduced to one game before the break, back here Wednesday against the Washington Wizards, and after a scintillating weekend sweep which included an upset of the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs, the Pistons received an abject lesson in what happens when they play any opponent without a palpable verve.
"Other than the initial spurt, 8-0, our defense was horrible," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "You have to give them credit. They played much harder than us, much tougher, more physical, more intense. Monty (Williams) had his guys ready. I didn't, because we didn't understand how hard this team plays."
To what degree there were turning points in the game, a critical one came when Williams called timeout after the Pistons scored the first eight points.
Detroit Pistons take a big step back in 105-86 loss to the 18-34 New Orleans Hornets
Michigan Live | Feb 12