Purdue guard Jaden Ivey
Playing the kids could net Pistons positive results, for future use
There are various codewords than coaches and management use when they are not looking to pedal-to-the-metal and win its games:
- ‘We want to evaluare the players to see who will help us in future’
- ‘We want to give some experience to players who can use it’
- ‘Developing our young core is our priority’
Yada, yada yada for: We are tanking!
Now, most NBA teams are not as brazen as the Oklahoma City Thunder have been the last couple of years.
They sent a healthy Al Horford home two years ago and, last season, benched promising rookie Josh Giddey (who actually could have used the experience) and any other decent player to roll out a lineup that the Motor City Cruise could probably have beaten.
Simply put, the NBA is a place where older teams win. The Golden State Warriors were a very veteran crew and took the title in 2022, topping much younger teams in Memphis, Dallas and Boston, en route to the championship.
Michael Jordan did not win a championship until his seventh year in the league. Isiah Thomas did not get his first NBA title until his eighth season.
If coach Dwane Casey rolls out a starting lineup of all youngsters, Detroit will not win that much simply because of its inexperience.
Casey could go:
PF: Isaiah Livers
SF: Saddiq Bey
C: Isaiah Stewart
SG: Jaden Ivey
PG: Cade Cunningham
or put Stewart at PF and make 18-year-old Jalen Duren the starting center.
That would be a young, fun and really fast starting five. It would include what should be the core of the team and give them a head start on gaining chemistry and learning how to work together.
Vets who could help them win, particularly in tight games in the fourth quarter, like Kelly Olynyk, Cory Joseph and Alec Burks might have to sit on the bench, or get dealt away. They could pull out some victories.
What this ultra-young lineup won’t do is win a lot of games.
With the NBA scaling back the advantage of the teams with the worst records in the lottery, suddenly having the fourth or fifth-worst record gives you almost as good a shot at getting the No. 1 pick, as being at the bottom team in the standings.
When the Spurs got Duncan, the team with the worst record had a 25-percent chance of landing No. 1, now it is 14-percent. So the Pistons do not have to be abominable. Actually 26-56, which they are expected to be, works out nicely.
Maybe Vegas know something? Hello Victor Wembanyama!