Is winning games totally meaningless for Detroit Pistons?

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have not been winning many games this season. But in a rebuilding phase, does it even matter? Are some victories necessary, or meaningless in terms of the future.

The Pistons not only have the fewest wins of any team in the NBA, going into its contest with Washington, but it is by a pretty substantial margin, even compared to most of the other bottom feeders in the league.

Detroit has four wins, only Orlando with five is close to that level of … not winningness (trying to be nice by making up a word). No other NBA team has fewer than seven, almost double what the Pistons have accomplished so far.

You can say the Pistons are tanking so it does not matter … or does it?

It is not like all 29 other teams in the NBA are shooting for the playoffs. Detroit is not the only team hoping for a high draft pick to increase its talent level. Yet, the other ‘tanking’ teams have won more than them. Problem?

Related Story. Detroit Pistons: This has been a masterclass in tanking. light

Cade Cunningham expressed frustration with the lack of victories after a disappointing home loss to Oklahoma City,

If Cunningham is not happy about anything, it is immediately a concern for the Pistons. His Oklahoma State team was not overly talented last year, but Cunningham was able to drag them into becoming a winning squad. The NBA, he is finding out, is a lot tougher to win single-handedly.

Cunningham had a great game against the Thunder, and they still lost, at home, to a team that was beaten by 73 points in its last game!

But, in the big picture, does anyone really know what the standings are, does anyone really care? (yes Chicago music reference).

Phoenix or Atlanta, which way will Detroit Pistons rebuild?

Obviously, it is nicer to win than to lose, in anything. But is it important to notch even a few ‘W’s’,if there is no chance to make the post-season?

The Phoenix Suns had not made the playoffs in 11 years, but they hit on some draft picks (like Grand Rapids native Devin Booker), got Chris Paul, and last year made the NBA finals.

All the losing did not seem to effect then too much. Of course, having Chris Paul running the show can make up for a lot of things.

However, to get to that point, there was 11 years of spinning wheels and going nowhere. That is a lot of time spent by Phoenix fans paying money to go to games, or watching on TV, with no real progress to show for it. That is a lot of wasted time and money.

Or the other side of the rebuilding coin, the Atlanta Hawks reached the Eastern Conference finals this past season after missing the playoffs for just three years. Heck, it was only 2015 that the Hawks won 60 games and fell to LeBron James’ Cavaliers team in the East finals.

Atlanta fans have not had to suffer like the Suns (their ownership might have something to do with it) but the same formula applies. They hit big on some draft picks, added some vets who could really play,.

Jami Gertz Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks owner Jami Gertz smiles. Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /

Getting a standout floor leader in Trae Young helped a lot as well.

In comparison, the Pistons have been doing well with their draft picks (not getting into the Killian Hayes vs. Tyrese Haliburton debate) and now have an established floor leader in Cade Cunningham.

But there is going to be a lot of losing this season. How the players handle it will be a test of the ‘culture’ that GM Troy Weaver and coach Dwane Casey are trying to develop. Most of the players are from elite college programs, where they usually did not lose more than 10 times a year _ at most.

There is losing and falling off a cliff

Right now, Detroit is on pace to finish with a 14-68 record. That is a lot of defeats for young players to take. All the practice and work that they are putting in, without seeing much reward for it, could be very frustrating by the end of the season.

Next. Time to blow up the Detroit Pistons?. dark

The Suns went 7-0 in the Bubble and used that momentum as a jumping off point to last year’s success. By the end of an 82-game schedule, no one is an inexperienced rookie anymore. While the losses might be piling up at the moment, winning at the end of the season might be needed as proof of showing development. The final 20 games might be when winning counts.