The Charlotte Hornets completed a season sweep of the Detroit Pistons on Monday. It impacted the Detroit Pistons tank race for the 2020 NBA Draft.
In an all-time lowest of lows, the Detroit Pistons scored 76 points, making 28 field goals and turning it over 21 times in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets. Those that have been pro-tank are getting their wish.
The Pistons (17-39) lost to the Charlotte Hornets (17-36), who have swept the season series. Detroit is still seventh in the Tankathon standings but is one game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves (16-36) and New York Knicks (17-37) — both in a tie for fourth. Charlotte is between the Pistons and Wolves and Knicks by a half-game.
For the Pistons, it’s their third-straight loss, joining the league-worst Warriors. But the Bulls (19-35) are on a five-game losing streak and are only one game behind the Pistons in the Tankathon standings. San Antonio is 12th and also has a five-game losing streak. Both the Pacers, currently sixth in the Eastern Conference, are on a league-worst, six-game losing streak. So, too, are the Cavaliers, who are second in the standings — 1.5 games behind the Warriors.
Detroit hasn’t won since trading Andre Drummond to the Cavaliers as the trade deadline came to a close. Its last game before the All-Star break is against the eighth-place Orlando Magic, who are 2-8 in their last 10 and are just five games ahead of the Pistons in the playoff race.
Despite how poorly the Pistons have looked since the trade, their average loss margin is 7. But two of those games are against the Knicks and Hornets — teams ahead of them in Tankathon. Detroit has the second-toughest schedule remaining, according to Tankathon, so it seems more likely that they soar up the Tankathon standings.
The Daily Tank
Even still, the Pistons are seventh and maintain a 32% chance at a top-4 pick and 7.5% chance at the No. 1 pick. Though that could change by the time teams break for All-Star weekend.
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Here’s a look at how the Pistons fare in Tuesday’s 10 Tankathon simulations. The odds from two days ago were incredibly kind to the Pistons in terms of top selections, and Tuesday was exceptionally kind. Detroit landed the top pick once but was in the top-4 half the time and got the ninths pick twice. The average draft position was 5.7.
The latest Tankathon mock draft would have rising prospect Deni Avdija in play at six, but has Killian Hayes as the Pistons’ selection at seventh. Other available prospects could include Cole Anthony, RJ Hampton, Nico Mannion, Jaden McDaniels and Obi Toppin. For some reason, Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey has dropped to 15th in this edition.
Tuesday’s schedule features an important meeting between the Bulls and Washington Wizards, who are a half-game behind the Bulls in the Tankathon standings. The Spurs visit the Thunder and the Pelicans host Portland. Both the Spurs and Pelicans are tied for 12th in the lottery race.
The next two days could change the shape of the lottery odds, and the Pistons are tanking towards the top pick.