The Detroit Pistons were thoroughly blown out again last night, losing to the 76ers 123-111 after allowing 71 points in the first half.
We know the excuses at this point: The Detroit Pistons are young. They are shorthanded (even more than usual last night with Jalen Duren out) and they are a rebuilding team.
All of these things may be true, but there is really no adequate excuse for how bad the Pistons’ defense has been this season. They are going to have the worst defensive rating in team history and are currently allowing 119 points per game, 2nd worst in the league only to the San Antonio Spurs who held Detroit to 109 points in their own recent blowout over the Pistons.
Detroit has allowed 121 points per game over the last three, while the Spurs have held opponents to 115, so it won’t be long before the Pistons have NBA’s worst defense to go along with its second-worst record overall.
The Pistons are actually scoring seven more points per game than last season, but are allowing seven more points as well, so it’s been a wash. One thing is clear, something has to be done about this defense before the Pistons will be a competitive team, this is not Detroit basketball and something has to change.
That change may be coming sooner rather than later and it needs to be radical, as this isn’t just one or two guys, it’s a team problem from the top down. Here are three suggestions.
Detroit Pistons: Fire Dwane Casey
Dwane Casey said a team goal for this season was to have a top-10 defense, and well, that hasn’t happened. I don’t put this all on him, as this roster doesn’t have many good individual defenders, is lacking good role players off the bench, and yes, they are very young.
I don’t like to put blame on the coach when players aren’t giving effort or improving, as these aren’t children. The NBA is not an instructional league, so I put most of the blame on the players themselves.
But sometimes a new voice in the huddle can help, and right now, the Pistons may need it, as nothing Casey is doing is making any difference. I feel bad for Casey, as he wasn’t given the roster to be competitive on the defensive end, but someone has to be held accountable for this and it probably starts with the head coach.
I would be surprised if the Pistons actually did fire Casey during the season, but it would be one way to get this team’s attention and possibly light a fire under them.