The Detroit Pistons have lost 10-in-a-row and coach Dwane Casey may be on the hot seat.
I should first say that I am not the type who blames coaches for every loss. This is a pastime of Pistons’ fans, who love to blame everyone but the players when the team is struggling.
Players have to make shots, and it is not Casey’s fault that just about every guy on the team is shooting worse than their career averages. The Pistons are historically bad at making wide-open shots so far this season and NBA players need to be able to make wide-open shots, it’s that simple.
Fans have even blamed player development adviser John Beilein, reaching for conspiracy theories rather than blaming the infallible players. Ridiculous.
But when a team loses 10-in-a-row, heads usually start rolling and the first one on the block is always the coach, so it is completely fair to wonder if Dwane Casey is going to survive this losing streak.
Should the Detroit Pistons fire Dwane Casey?
I didn’t think the Detroit Pistons would be a good team this season and I don’t really blame Dwane Casey, as they start three 20-year-olds, a 22-year-old and have one of the worst bench units in the NBA. I’m not sure any coach could win with this team.
It also doesn’t appear that the Pistons have quit on their coach or tuned him out, though there is little sign that his teaching is doing much good. The Pistons are still 24th in the league in turnovers and continue to make dumb plays every game.
Casey was re-signed in part because of his history with developing young players, but so far, just about everyone not named Cade Cunningham has been worse than they were last season.
Worse yet, players like Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart have not built upon the things they did well last season or added skills to their game. I think both will figure it out, as they are still very inexperienced and as coach Casey said, “you can’t teach experience.”
He is playing the young guys big minutes, so no complaint there, but it would be nice to see these guys take a step in the right direction and so far they haven’t.
I am also not going to complain much about his rotations, as the young guys (and Grant) lead the team in minutes, which is what you want when you are developing a young team. He also has no choice but to play guys like Trey Lyles, as he doesn’t have other options, which is again, not his fault.
Fans have also complained loudly about his play-calling, especially late in games and I have grown weary of it as well. Having your best shooter inbound the ball with less than a second left is just dumb, sorry.
The worst part is that if the Detroit Pistons had more time last night on the final play in overtime, I am certain a Jerami Grant isolation play was coming anyway, so it probably wouldn’t have mattered.
I think Dwane Casey is a good human and a good teacher of basketball, but he hasn’t been able to push the right buttons for this young Pistons team.
He just signed an extension, so it’s hard for me to imagine him getting fired right now, as the Pistons probably don’t feel like paying for his retirement, but if things don’t turn around soon, Casey won’t survive the season.
Like I said, I am the last person to blame the coach, as I think players win and lose games, not coaches. It’s not a coincidence that Phil Jackson, who is considered an All-Time great coach, had two of the best players in the league on his team during all of his titles.
But coaches are the ones who get the blame ultimately, fair or not, and this team is not winning, so it might be time to get a new voice in the huddle.