The Detroit Pistons have admitted that the latest twists in this topsy-turvy NBA schedule have affected them, but they won't be the more fatigued team in their next game.
The Pistons have enjoyed a welcome day off as they travel to face the Washington Wizards, who return home to complete a stretch of three games in as many nights Monday.
Detroit (16-32) is back on the road for the second game of four on this trip. The Pistons played five away from home against Western Conference foes, returned home to get routed 88-73 by Miami on Friday and began this journey with Saturday's 101-79 defeat at New York.
Making matters worse, Rodney Stuckey (sore left big toe) and Will Bynum (virus) were out against the Knicks. Both could return Monday.
"Everybody is fatigued. They (the Knicks) just came off a back-to-back like us. That's never an excuse in this league," center Greg Monroe said. "Everybody has to play back-to-back, triples. It's never an excuse to blame it on the season."
Ben Gordon led Detroit with 20 points and Monroe was the only other Piston in double digits with 12. Detroit shot 36.8 percent.
"The schedule is kind of tough," Gordon told the Pistons' official website. "Everybody has their points in this kind of season where it's like your body is going to be tired or just drained. I think that's what we're going through a little bit right now.
"We've got to figure out a way to get over the hump. The travel is crazy. We've just got to figure out how to come together, work through it, get better and win some games."
Detroit will be out to avenge a 98-77 home defeat to Washington (11-37) on Feb. 12. The Pistons' 32.6 percent shooting was their second-worst mark and the worst by a Wizards opponent all season.
Washington might not be able to defend as well this time judging by the way this back-to-back-to-back stretch has gone. The Wizards allowed Atlanta to shoot 48.7 percent in Saturday's 95-92 home loss and Boston to connect at 48.6 percent in Sunday's 88-76 road defeat.
Coach Randy Wittman wasn't happy after his team allowed unheralded Celtics guard Avery Bradley to make his first seven shots and score a career-high 23 points.
"I could have scored those layups. I'm being serious," Wittman said. "I mean, we didn't have anybody guarding him. When I was a player, if you gave me four layups to start the game, I'd have a pretty good groove on to make some jump shots. He ought to send us a postcard of 'Thank you' or something."
Washington had 12 first-quarter points for its lowest total through one period all season. The Wizards made 3 of 22 shots in the first 12 minutes and trailed by as many as 25 points before halftime.
Monroe will play for the second time as a professional at the Verizon Center, where he starred in college at Georgetown. He had 22 points and 14 boards in a 107-105 loss there April 5, 2011.
- Detroit Pistons
- Washington Wizards