The Detroit Pistons blew a winnable game down the stretch against the shorthanded Clippers, who needed a late run to get past the feisty Pistons.
The Magic and Cavaliers both lost as well, though the NBA-worst Timberwolves did pick up their 14th win of the season, so Detroit is now just two games from having the worst record in the NBA.
There is no statistical difference when it comes to getting a top-four or the number one pick, but the league’s worst record is guaranteed to stay in the top five, which is important in a draft that has five players who are considered a tier above the rest.
Killian Hayes, Jerami Grant and Dennis Smith Jr. all sat in this one, but the next Pistons in line stepped up as they have done all season. Detroit didn’t get the win but they continued their run of competitive games against the NBA’s best teams.
Here are three positives to take from the loss to the Clippers.
Detroit Pistons: The never-ending point guard battle
It seems like the Detroit Pistons must have a point guard tree behind Little Caesar’s Arena, as they have gone through about 800 of them this season and they’ve all been decent.
Killian Hayes went down and Delon Wright stepped up. Delon Wright got injured and Saben Lee and Dennis Smith Jr. stepped up. The latest in the line is Cory Joseph, who has played very well in the starting point guard role since coming to the Pistons in the Delon Wright trade.
In fact, Joseph has been better than Wright and came with two second-round picks, so that deal is looking more and more like a home run every day.
Joseph scored 18 points and added 13 assists against the Clippers and is now averaging 10 points and five assists over his last ten games.
The Pistons have had a revolving door of point guards all season and all of them have made an impact. Troy Weaver just keeps showing that he has an eye for undervalued talent, with Joseph being the latest example.