When the Pistons were staring at a home-and-home with the Washington Wizards earlier this season, the team was on a six-game losing streak and had a record worse than it had 28 games into the lockout shortened season the year before. The two weekend games against the Wizards were gut checks, as Frank has called games and decisive moments before. Were the Pistons going to separate themselves from the bottom level of the NBA or were they going to bask in the basement for another year, lose an embarrassing game or two to the Wizards and simply go through the motions the rest of the season? Even the most hopeful of Pistons fans were cringing at the thought of another season with no progress and prolonged talks of tanking.

The Pistons decided to get serious, or something, though. They destroyed the Wizards in the first game, a 32-point home win, and then had no problems with them the next night in DC. From there, the Pistons went on to beat Miami, Atlanta, Milwaukee (twice) and Boston, amongst others, over the next 11 games. A 13-game stretch in which the Pistons were a much improved 9-4.

The Pistons are now 13-12 since those two games, including them, and here they are again, lined up to play the Wizards after whatever setback you want to call Monday's root canal. The Pistons have a chance to enter the All-Star break with a nice 3-1 swing and some "momentum," thanks to the launch pad that could be the Washington Wizards, or they can suffer another embarrassing home loss* like the one against the future Pelicans and be no better for it as they dwell on it over the long weekend.