The Detroit Pistons don’t look too much like NBA champions.
The Pistons are off to mediocre start thanks largely to a 1-4 road record and the absence of Ben Wallace.
Detroit finishes up its two-game road trip against an improved Cleveland club on Wednesday. The Cavaliers have won four of five at Gund Arena.
The Pistons will have a hard time winning another championship if they continue to play like they did against the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday.
Detroit became the first reigning NBA champion in 33 years to lose to an expansion team, falling 91-89 to Charlotte.
The Pistons couldn’t even blame the poor effort on the suspensions from last week’s brawl involving the Indiana Pacers. Detroit had everyone back on Tuesday, save for Ben Wallace, who sat out the second of six games. Wallace also missed two games last week to attend funeral services for his brother.
Detroit is 1-3 in games without its All-Star forward. Wallace, who’s averaging a team-high 11.8 rebounds, is not eligible to return until Dec. 3 against San Antonio.
The Cavaliers are off to a promising start thanks to James’ rapid development.
The second-year small forward narrowly missed his first career triple-double, but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s 98-88 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday.
James has raised his scoring average five points from last season to 25.7 per game. He is shooting 47.7 percent from the floor, up from 41.7 during his rookie season, and is averaging 8.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists.