The Detroit Pistons got their first win of the 2023-24 season, beating the Charlotte Hornets on the road behind a stout defense and clutch play in crunch time.
It wasn’t pretty, especially the turnovers, but it was a win we’ve waited a long time to see, the culmination of four years of tanking to get the young talent that is starting to come together.
The optimistic among us predicted the Pistons would win more than 30 games this season, while the pessimists chose Detroit to finish dead last again. We’re a long way from knowing who is right, as the Hornets stink and you can’t get too excited about one win, especially with a tough upcoming schedule that features a lot of road games and matchups against the league’s best teams.
But things are definitley looking up, and there are some factors at play that people may have underestimated in their season projections for the Detroit Pistons.
3 things we may have underestimated about the Detroit Pistons
The Monty Williams effect
I have to be honest, I didn’t think we’d see such a seismic shift in the Detroit Pistons this early in the season, but they are clearly a different team under Monty Williams. He has stressed defense all offseason, put his team through the rigors in practice and given minutes to those who stood out on the defensive end.
It’s already working, as the Pistons are flying around, contesting and blocking shots, making the right reads and rotations and feeding off their defense.
The offense is a work in progress, but Williams’ players have bought in on the defensive end, which is how you turn this culture around.
The offense hasn’t been great, mostly because the Pistons have been so sloppy with the ball, but you can see the bones starting to form.
Monty has made these young players accountable and motivated on the defensive end. Let’s just hope they can sustain this, as this is how the Pistons get back.