Possible Pistons lineups with Bogdanovic and Morris out

Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) /

We knew things weren’t going to be easy for Monty Williams in his first season as head coach of the Detroit Pistons.

He took over the league’s worst team, with a promising but unproven group of young players leading the way. We knew this was going to be a process.

But things have gotten more difficult right away for coach Williams, as the Pistons have suffered early-season injuries that have left three guys out of the rotation for the opening game against Miami.

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Isaiah Livers was already out for weeks with a sprained ankle, but now both Bojan Bogdanovic and Monte Morris have been ruled out for at least the first game as well. Considering Bojan is 34 years old and the only person in the projected starting lineup who has proven he can spread the floor, this is concerning.

Monty Williams is going to have to adjust on the fly and then try to work these two players back into the rotation when they return, so you can probably expect a bumpy start for the Detroit Pistons.

Will Monty Williams still use a 10-man rotation?

Monty Williams talked about using a 10-man rotation this season but that was before Bogdanovic and Morris were ruled out. If he still uses 10 players, it will be interesting to see who they are, as there are only a few locks.

Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Ausar Thompson, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren and Alec Burks will definitely start the season in the rotation. I’d guess that Killian Hayes and Marvin Bagley III are pretty close to locks at this point as well which leaves Joe Harris, Marcus Sasser and James Wiseman to battle for the final two spots.

We could also see Stanley Umude, who the Pistons just converted to a two-way deal after a strong training camp and preseason.

Possible Pistons lineups

Depth chart #1

  • Cade Cunningham/Killian Hayes
  • Jaden Ivey/Marcus Sasser
  • Ausar Thompson/Alec Burks
  • Isaiah Stewart/Joe Harris
  • Jalen Duren/Marvin Bagley III

Time to find out if this Ivey off the bench thing is for real or if Monty Williams was just being coy. I gave the final two spots to Sasser and Joe Harris, though coach Williams can move Isaiah Stewart and Ausar Thompson around so that Harris doesn’t have to play much or at all at the four. With two veterans out, coach Williams doesn’t have many options but to play all of the young guys together in the starting lineup, but he can sprinkle in the veteran shooters as needed.

Depth chart #2

  • Killian Hayes/Marcus Sasser
  • Cade Cunningham/Jaden Ivey
  • Ausar Thompson/Alec Burks
  • Isaiah Stewart/Joe Harris
  • Jalen Duren/Marvin Bagley III

Call me crazy, but I really loved the lineups with Hayes, Cunningham, Ausar and Stewart. This is probably their best defensive starting lineup, though they did struggle to score at times. It’s a smart group with nice ball movement that would then allow Ivey and Sasser to create with shooters around them in the second unit.

Depth chart #3

  • Cade Cunningham/Killian Hayes
  • Jaden Ivey/Alec Burks
  • Ausar Thompson/Joe Harris
  • Isaiah Stewart/James Wiseman
  • Jalen Duren/Marvin Bagley III

I didn’t see enough out of Wiseman to warrant a spot in the rotation, but if the Pistons want to go big at times, he’ll probably get some chances. He doesn’t necessarily have to play with MBIII or as a four. It seems as though Monty Williams is leaning toward using more guards but Wiseman will probably get some chances as well.

Depth chart #4

  • Cade Cunningham/Killian Hayes
  • Alec Burks/Jaden Ivey/Marcus Sasser
  • Ausar Thompson/Joe Harris
  • Isaiah Stewart
  • Jalen Duren/Marvin Bagley III

If coach Williams wants to sprad his veterans around and inject more shooting into the starting five, we could see Burks start as we did in the first game of the preseason. This group uses more guards and would probably see Stewart and Duren playing plenty of minutes.

Like I said, we could also see Stanley Umude in the mix while the Pistons are still nursing injuries and we could see a different group every night at the beginning of the season.

Unfortunately, Monty Williams didn’t even get the chance to see his full team together, so he’ll be piecing this together as he goes, not the best way to start a new job.

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