Friday, February 06, 2009

Allen Iverson still thinks about final victory

Asked about Detroit Pistons' prospects after their latest loss -- Sunday's 90-80 defeat by Cleveland -- Allen Iverson responded as expected.

Indeed, despite losing nine of their past 12 clashs and watching the Cavaliers and Boston Celtics dominate late in their last two losses, the Pistons still have plenty of time, Iverson expressed.

"I'm sure everybody's confidence is still up because we got a long way to go," expressed Iverson, who scored 22 points against the Cavs. "At this point, even before the All-Popular player break, if we lose our confidence there isn't any reason to even come back after break because we would be going out there playing for nothing.

"My confidence is at an all-time high, honestly, because I still feel good about the guys I play with and our coaching staff."

But it's tough for others to share Iverson's bravado.

It’s good to say that January's 6-9 record was the squad's first losing month since February 2004 -- which happens to be the month Rasheed Wallace joined the Pistons during their last NBA title run.

Detroit is 25-21 and tied for the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference, but the Pistons are only four clashs ahead of the ninth-place New York Knicks at 21-25. Finish ninth, and the Pistons are watching the playoffs in their comfortable living rooms.

The squad's recent bad defense has made headlines, and rightfully so, since there have been some frightful outings.

But the Pistons are fourth in the NBA in scoring defense (93.2) and seventh in field-goal percentage defense (44.9%).

As we said before, the problem is on the offensive end, where the Pistons are still disjointed after trading for Iverson nearly three months ago. The Pistons are 28th in scoring (92.9).

Coach Michael Curry would like to run more to take advantage of the open-court skills of Iverson and Rodney Stuckey, but do other members of the squad mesh with that style?

The Pistons saw two squads in sync over the weekend in the Cavaliers and Celtics.

"Those two squads are all on the same page, offensively and defensively," backup guard Arron Afflalo expressed. "They have one common goal, and that's to win the clash and do whatever it takes to win. And that's the point we all have to get to."

And though it may be tough to believe right now, others say they share Iverson's confidence.

"I’m sure it's going to take a lot (to turn things around)," Tayshaun Prince expressed. "It starts in practice. Everybody has to buckle down and take it individually. We just have to respond.

"It's frustrating. Especially for guys like myself, (Rip Hamilton) and (Wallace) who've had the success we've had here. To come in here and take the losses and losing the way we have, it's frustrating."

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