It was the type of stretch the Pistons have nearly trademarked in some of their regrettable losses, where one bad decision snowballed into four or five, prompting "that look" of angst from the coach, Lawrence Frank.

But after Greg Monroe bounced a pass that landed out of bounds in the third quarter Saturday, followed by the slow trot to the other end, point guard Jose Calderon calmly put the palms of his hands downward, as if to say, "Relax, there's still plenty of time left to win this game."

And it seemed like the players had heard those words for the first time, as a 10-point deficit that was a 23-point turnaround from a 13-point lead against the Bucks didn't seem so insurmountable.

"That's what a point guard does," said Frank, almost incredulously after the Pistons' thrilling 105-100 win, where Charlie Villanueva hit the winning 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds remaining. "We were too sloppy with the basketball. The game started to tilt, not just to settle us down but he made some key shots."

Six of their seven third-quarter turnovers occurred during that stretch, but Calderon's words — and actions — settled the Pistons down.

He accounted for the next four Pistons scores, including a pair of jumpers, and within the blink of an eye the team was rejuvenated, only trailing by three and beginning a delicate nip-and-tuck dance for the rest of the night.

"It happened the other day against San Antonio (Friday)," Calderon said.

"It's all right if we make mistakes, guys will make turnovers, just don't make it two in a row. Just slow down."

The calming presence Calderon is providing, along with his scoring (23 points Saturday) is a chief reason it doesn't feel like lip service when Pistons president Joe Dumars said he wants to re-sign Calderon this summer when he hits free agency.

Excluding his debut against the Knicks, when he found out he was cleared to play just hours beforehand, he's averaged nine assists and shot 62 percent from the field against just two turnovers per game.

The pieces seem to fit better when he's out there, the team plays at a much faster pace and delights in sharing the wealth (79 total assists the last three games). As long as Calderon is out there, don't expect to see the Pistons try to grind out possessions.

It won't be a track meet, but they'll be using their speed to score more.

"At the end of the day, we play five on five all the time," Calderon said.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130211/SPORTS0102/302110336#ixzz2KbOIontz