The numbers show the Detroit Pistons’ bench is a disaster

Trey Lyles #8 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Trey Lyles #8 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) and Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons lost their 9th game in a row last night at home against the fellow bottom-feeding Oklahoma City Thunder.

Cade Cunningham was amazing, Saddiq Bey finally hit some shots and Jerami Grant put up a solid all-around game, so it wasn’t all bad.

In fact, the Pistons looked great in the first half and appeared poised to cruise to an easy win before they were once again undone by a bad quarter, or in this case, two of them.

These Pistons can be traded after December 15th. light. Related Story

Part of the problem is that the Pistons’ bench is abysmal, with not a single guy coming off it right now who should be in an NBA rotation. Yep, I said it.

I didn’t expect the Pistons to be good this year, in fact, knowing they have three 20-year-old starters, I am not surprised that they have the worst record in the NBA and I do think things are still going to plan.

I should also say that losing Kelly Olynyk was a pretty big blow to the bench, as it’s forced a few guys into more minutes than they would be getting.

But I don’t think anyone expected the bench to be this terrible even without KO and moving forward it’s clear that the Detroit Pistons need A LOT more depth before they are ready to compete.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

The Detroit Pistons bench: Don’t let the scoring numbers fool you

I’ve had a lot of people tell me that the bench is not the problem, as they are the 3rd-highest scoring unit in the NBA.

This is somewhat true, as the Pistons have two guys in Isaiah Stewart and Killian Hayes who don’t score in double digits, which puts a lot of pressure on the reserves to make up the difference. Not many teams feature two non-scoring threats in the starting five.

However, these guys are 20-years-old!! At least Beef Stew and Hayes have upside and are not finished products. I am happy letting them develop getting big minutes.

You can’t say that about anyone on the bench.

While they are the 3rd-highest scoring unit, there are other numbers that show how bad they really are:

  • The Pistons’ bench is 26th in net rating at -2.3
  • They are 19th in FG%
  • They are 28th in 3pt%
  • 19th in rebounding
  • 27th in turnovers

This is a veteran unit that can’t shoot, can’t defend, can’t rebound and turns the ball over like a bunch of rookies. The ONLY reason they are so high in points per game is that they lead the NBA in free throw attempts and makes for a bench. Kudos!

While you expect your rookies and second year players to be inconsistent shooting and taking care of the ball, you don’t expect it from guys who are supposed to be the “veteran” leaders.

Does the Pistons’ bench have a single guy worth keeping? Let’s take a look.