The Detroit Pistons are getting killed by slow starts

Cade Cunningham #2 and Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #2 and Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons haven’t been good on either end of the floor this season, but at least they’ve been incredibly consistent.

Unfortunately, it’s been consistently bad, as the Pistons are 26th in the NBA in scoring and 27th in points allowed, ranking 27th in offensive efficiency and dead last in defensive efficiency so far this season.

The two go hand in hand, as the Pistons don’t get enough easy buckets off stops or get a chance to run because they are always taking the ball out of the net. Their defensive rebounding has been bad outside of the starting backcourt, and Detroit gets next to nothing from their bench.

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Without many fast break points or dunks, the Pistons rely on their half court offense, which is a problem considering they are the worst shooting team in the NBA right now.

They are also playing from behind most games, and a deeper look into the numbers shows how the Pistons are getting killed by slow starts that put them in a hole that just keeps getting deeper.

Detroit Pistons: Scoring by quarter

The Detroit Pistons have a negative scoring differential in all four quarters, so they aren’t playing particularly well at any one point of the game.

But they are especially bad in the first quarter, as they are 30th in the league in points scored, averaging a paltry 25 points per game on average in the first.

Things pick up in the 2nd and 3rd, when Detroit is 17th and 12th in the NBA in scoring, respectively, but they drop back down to 26th in the 4th.

But they are also giving up their highest point total in the 1st, allowing nearly 31 points per game, so the Pistons are usually headed into the second quarter down by at least five points.

Coach Dwane Casey has to do something to get his team out to faster starts, whether it is through changes in the rotation, to trying to play faster on the offensive end. Too many times, the Pistons come out looking like they have just woken up for a nap and get down early.

A lot of this is a young team learning how to prepare mixed with the fact that they just aren’t that good right now, but getting out to better starts should be a focus moving forward, as these first quarters are making it difficult for the Detroit Pistons to stay in games.

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