Call it a coincidence or call it whatever you want, but since trading away Josh Smith to the Rockets, the Detroit Pistons have won seven straight games after a 108-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 7.
Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy doesn’t attribute the trade to the winning streak.
"I had no problems with Josh at all," Van Gundy said. "Josh worked hard. Josh's a 10-year vet. I wanted to give other people opportunities, and it was going to cut his time and take the ball out of his hands. I didn't really think it was fair (to him)."
Regardless of what the reason for the turnaround, the Pistons have gone from being one of the worst teams in the league — 5-23 record — to seven straight victories and getting people to wonder if they could make a run for the playoffs.
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The Mavericks faced the Pistons before the streak began, and they came out on top of that one. Mavs’ guard Chandler Parsons can tell the difference between the two different Pistons teams.
"Night and day," Parsons said. "It's all confidence. They obviously always had the talent, same coach, same players, same system, but they're playing free and they're playing confident right now."
Greg Monroe led the Pistons in scoring with 27 points, while also adding 18 rebounds. Monroe is the fourth different leading scorer during their streak.
"We don't have a one-man team," guard D.J. Augustin said. "We have different guys that can contribute every night. It's fun when we're playing together like this and we're winning."
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Augustin came off the bench and scored 26 points for the Pistons and gave them a late-game push as he scored 17 just in the fourth quarter.
Andre Drummond grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds, in a game in which the Pistons out-rebounded the Mavs 60-43.
The Pistons will look to extend their longest winning streak since 2009, Friday when they host the red-hot Atlanta Hawks.
The Mavs will travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Jan. 10.