The last two Piston losses have sent up various flares about crucial issues concerning this team going forward, and it's hard to say which is more alarming. Friday, they squandered a chance to tie the game against the New Orleans Hornets due to some confusion on the setup of the final play when they trailed by three. Sunday, though, continued perhaps a more deflating signal, as the 114-75 beating at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs marked the fifth time since the All-Star break where they've been handled pretty easily by their opponent. "If you come out with a loss and competed your tail off, you're disappointed but you live with it," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "Forty-eight hours ago, we gave better effort against a different team. We've seen this against the heavyweights." The Hornets are certainly no heavyweight, as the Pistons gave away a chance to beat the team with the worst record in the Western Conference. "I thought the last two games (against New Orleans and Washington) we played better basketball," Frank said. "The bar is seriously raised when playing against a team that's 24-3 at home, best team in the league." Memphis, Indiana, San Antonio and to a lesser extent, the Atlanta Hawks, qualify in the George Foreman category of the NBA, while the Pistons have clearly performed like they belong in the welterweight division, losing by an average score of 107-85. "If we ever want to be a playoff team, we can't wait to adopt that mentality," Frank said. "The other teams we're playing are vying for high things so they ain't messing around. If losing doesn't hurt then you don't all of a sudden get that. It's got to be painful." From The Detroit News: