The Pistons do not have an NBA-caliber starting point guard. Clint Capela is growing into the kind of center that doesn't lose matchups against great opponents by much. They have no one who can match Harden offensively, and lack the outside explosiveness and efficiency the Rocket possess.
The chance to go 9-5, four games over .500 — which they never were at any point last season — is a nice little mini-milestone for the 2016-2017 Houston Rockets. This team is getting better every night.