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Pistons seek answers to sudden downturn

From NBA media reports

* Tonight on League Pass: Pistons vs. Hawks (7:30 p.m. ET)

Two weeks is all it took for a Detroit Pistons team that was riding high with the second best record in the Eastern Conference to tumble and fall all the way back to the pack and nearly out of the playoff mix. Two weeks, seven straight losses and plenty of sleepless nights for coach Stan Van Gundy, whose team will attempt to end their slide tonight in Atlanta (7:30 ET, League Pass).

Van Gundy’s crew was one of the pleasant surprises of the early season, with Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond performing like ALl-Stars and the team playing an energized brand of basketball that saw them pile up quality wins and suggest they might be ready for prime time. Then came the losing streak and now comes the tweaks from Van Gundy, writes Rico Beard of the Detroit News:

“(The perception is) two weeks later, we stink; we’re the worst team in the league and we have to change the lineup and make trades,” Van Gundy said Wednesday. “Two weeks. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that in two weeks, we went from being a good team to being awful.

“We’re playing awful, but I don’t think all of a sudden, those five guys can’t play together. The same guys who were 14-6. I’m not buying that everything has to change, but maybe it does.”

Van Gundy indicated changes are coming ahead of Thursday’s matchup at the Atlanta Hawks, but he didn’t go into detail. He already made a small switch in moving Reggie Bullock into the starting lineup for Stanley Johnson, but that didn’t have the desired result either.

It could involve more changes to the starting group, but the first step is more philosophical.

“It won’t be anything like a new offense, but we will shift our priorities a little bit in terms of play-calling — run some things more, run some things less and not run some things,” he said. “Our offensive approach hasn’t been as good as it could be to help these guys. Nothing different defensively; we just have to play it harder and better.”