Fans of Michigan sports haven’t had much to root for these days. From the Lions’ terribly disappointing year, Michigan States’s shortcomings and now the Detroit Pistons’ failure to launch, it has been rough.
Sitting at 2-8, it seems as though the Pistons are still under construction and the rebuild will take at least another year. There have even been rumors that the head coach could be getting the boot. So, to say the Pistons have gotten off to a rocky start is an understatement.
Detroit Pistons: One win in the last five
The first five games yielded a 1-5 record. Five more games after that, and the Pistons have once again only won a single game.
The second win of the season miraculously came against the Golden State Warriors. The most impressive part wasn’t beating the defending champs, because they are on a losing streak and have their own plethora of issues to fix. It was the totality of the stat line, with four players reaching 20+ points scored, two players hustling for double-doubles and five players in total hitting double figures. This was an all encompassing game that saw the star of the future, the impact off-season addition, two members of the proficient young core and the 5th overall pick all ball out and show that the Pistons have the firepower to run it up when they are all clicking.
This very well be a losing season, and before the deadline we could see players get dealt for picks depending on the landscape of the league and how the rest of the year pans out. However, wins like this not only show that the Detroit Pistons are on the right track, but that they have the right people in charge in the front office.
The Detroit Pistons then went on to nearly knock off the undefeated Milwaukee Bucks the very next game, so even though they have only won two overall, there have been some promising signs that once Detroit gets healthy and starts building some confidence they could be a sneaky play-in team.
Seeing that they had to play against the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, I almost feel like the Detroit Pistons deserve a mulligan for losing the last three games. However, after proving they could go toe-to-toe with the Bucks, they followed that up by getting spanked by almost 20 points, and Cade Cunningham having one of his worst games offensively all year.
The Pistons were also handled on the glass and outscored in the paint in four out of the last five games. A deeper dive into the numbers shows something even scarier than losses. It’s the fact that in almost every statistical category the Pistons are last or near bottom of the league including FGM, points, blocks, steals, rebounds, 3pt % and FG %.
So while the Pistons had some good moments and showed they can hang with the top teams, they were still bad overall, though it’s still very early in the season.
It’s Still Early
For teams with championship aspirations prior to the season, losing records 10 games in is cause for alarm bells to start sounding off. However, the Pistons, who weren’t viewed as a playoff team (or even a play-in team by some), shouldn’t make any hasty decisions.
Yes, I’m talking about coach Casey. Talk in the rumor mill is that if losing continues he won’t last the season, but few coaches in the league could win with this young team as currently constructed. We won’t know what the Pistons can be until they have their full complement of players, so coach Casey’s seat shouldn’t be hot, at least not for now.