The Detroit Pistons are on a 5-game winning streak, and their 13-7 record this season is 4th best in the Eastern conference through Saturday’s games. The season is still young, but there is reason for optimism in Detroit. Here’s the Detroit News with more on the team and especially Blake Griffin, who has stepped up:

Detroit sports fans have seen this movie before: The Pistons get off to a hot start and look like a playoff team for the first part of the season, only to wither and miss the postseason. It’s been the narrative for the past few years — most recently last season, when they opened with a 14-6 record and became a national storyline, only to fizzle and miss the playoffs for the second straight year.

With a five-game win streak, including Saturday’s 111-102 victory over the Golden State Warriors, the Pistons have an opportunity to change the story. There’s plenty of room for growth, as seen by the array of blue and gold jerseys rooting for the two-time defending-champion Warriors at Little Caesars Arena…

The biggest reason to believe this time is the play of Blake Griffin, who’s putting up All-Star numbers: 24.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists, while hitting 36 percent on 3-pointers. After getting acclimated to the team in the second half of last season, Griffin has assumed the mantle of lead dog on the sled — and the Pistons are ready to follow his example.

Griffin is taking the reins at the ends of games, forcing other teams to double-team him, which opens lanes and shots for others. What’s making it work is that his teammates trust Griffin’s decision-making.

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