Detroit Pistons: Where the tank stands at midseason

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin ( Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin ( Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons should be happy with the way things are going, even though they only won 10 games in the first half of the season.

They are playing competitive basketball behind strong play from their young players, so the Pistons are right where they want to be, headed for a top pick in the NBA Draft while developing their young talent.

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Obviously, the big disappointment of the first half was the injury to rookie point guard Killian Hayes, who is the only Pistons’ rookie who didn’t get a chance to show what he can do this season.

Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and Saben Lee are making Troy Weaver look good, and if Hayes were also a part of this the season would be going perfectly.

The tank is going well, but there will be some stiff competition in the second half as several other teams are trying to do the same thing.

Here is where the Detroit Pistons stand after the first half of the 2021 NBA season.

Detroit Pistons: What are the Pistons’ lottery odds at midseason?

The Detroit Pistons stand alone with the second-worst record in the NBA, three games ahead of Minnesota, with two games separating them and Houston, who has the 3rd-worst record.

This gives the Pistons a 14 percent chance at the number one overall pick and a 52.1 percent chance at staying in the top-four of the 2021 NBA Draft.

The Pistons would love to get the worst record overall, as that is the only way to guarantee they stay in the top-five of a draft that most agree has five players who are a tier above the rest.

The Timberwolves are tanking aggressively, winning only seven games in the first half and firing their head coach, so it is going to be tough for the Pistons to stay with them unless the ‘Wolves find a hidden stockpile of pride somewhere and start to compete.

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The teams around the Pistons are coming for their spot, with the Rockets losing 13-in-a-row and the Magic losing five-in-a-row since defeating the Pistons.

It is going to be tough work to stay in the two spot against teams that are really not trying, which may cause the Pistons to sit Jerami Grant even more in the second half.

The Pistons could also trade several of their veterans before the deadline, which should make it easier to lose some games even though they are still playing hard.

Detroit isn’t going to lay down and will continue to play hard for coach Dwane Casey, so it may take some creative roster management to ensure they keep losing, especially considering the Pistons have one of the league’s easiest second-half schedules.

Detroit can’t blow this one, as they need a top-five pick to add to their young core, so they must do what they have to do to make that happen.

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