The Detroit Pistons have had one of the strangest starts to 2022 of any team in the NBA.
They are 6-5 in the new year and have played some of their best basketball of the season, setting season highs in scoring and at times looking like a real life competent basketball team.
Then there are the five losses.
In the five games they have lost in 2022, the average margin of defeat is an incredible 29.6 that includes a 46-point drubbing by the Bulls which might have been the worst loss I’ve personally ever witnessed.
The Pistons can look dynamic at times offensively, especially when Cade Cunningham is rolling (and not getting ejected or fouling out of the game on dubious calls) and guys like Saddiq Bey, Hamidou Diallo, Trey Lyles and Cory Joseph have all contributed big games at times as well.
So what is going on in these losses? Why are the Pistons either winning or getting blown out with nothing in between?
The Detroit Pistons still can’t shoot the ball
Even though their shooting has been better overall of late, the Detroit Pistons are still wildly inconsistent when it comes to shooting the 3-ball.
That hasn’t stopped them from chucking them though, as the Pistons are 15th in the NBA in 3-point attempts but just 29th in 3-point percentage, still shooting a woeful 31.5 percent as a team.
In an interesting contrast, the Chicago Bulls, who are 1st in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage, are actually dead last in attempts.
Yes, the 3-point shot is important in today’s game, but the Bulls are showing that quality 3-point shots taken by the right guys are more important than attempting them just because the numbers say you should.
When their 3-point shots are falling, the Pistons’ offense can be really good, but when they are not (which is most of the time) their offense is terrible.
The truth is the Pistons have several players who shouldn’t be taking them at all, so I’d love to see them work for better shots and not continue to do the thing that is not working.
It’s not a young man’s world
The Pistons are one of the youngest teams in the NBA and often run out a starting lineup of guys who are all in their early 20’s.
Young players are inconsistent and when most of your team is young, that is going to lead to some bad losses. Veteran professionals tend to stay in games mentally while young guys start moping around and let bad starts throw them off and take them out of the game.
I would like to see more disparity of age in the starting five, to always have a veteran or two on the floor and to move Killian Hayes to the bench, which is long overdue.
With the return of Kelly Olynyk and hopefully soon Jerami Grant, this will be a lot easier for Dwane Casey, so hopefully we’ll stop seeing fewer of these lopsided losses in the near future.