The Blame Game for the Detroit Pistons in loss to Trail Blazers
Weaver punted $20 million of cap space into the expiring contract of Joe Harris instead of getting a player who can help them win games. “But Harris scored 11 points!” they exclaimed. Yes, but he was still bad. He’s a layup line on defense and overpassed several times last night which led to multiple turnovers. We know Harris can knock down wide-open 3-point shots, and he got a few last night that he hit, but if he isn’t WIDE open, he can’t get his shot off, which we saw multiple times last night when he was forced to pass from open looks where the defender closed out. I’m not trying to pile on Harris, who just had his best game of the season, but with injuries piling up, Weaver’s failure to get a rotation player with $20 million is rearing its ugly head.
As is the trade for James Wiseman. I hated it at the time and now it looks even worse, as Saddiq Bey could have at least given them rotation minutes last night. Even if the Pistons thought they needed to move Bey, give me the five second-round picks the Hawks offered rather than a player who is cannot be in an NBA rotation. In case you are wondering, Bey is shooting 42 percent from long-range this season while playing big minutes for Atlanta.
Williams has been a huge part of the Pistons’ rejuvenation on defense this season but last night was not his greatest performance as a coach. I will cut him some slack considering his team was shorthanded last night, but they had chances to put the game away and he didn’t push the right buttons. He left Joe Harris and Killian Hayes in the game too long, failing to recognize that Marcus Sasser was his best shot until late in the game. He couldn’t draw up a play in the 4th quarter to get the Pistons a good shot, relying far too much on hero ball from Cade Cunningham. He didn’t play Jaden Ivey enough even though the Pistons were desperate for someone else to make a play on offense, even after Ivey had a decent first half on defense.
I also thought he let the game roll a few times when he should have called timeouts. I get what he was trying to do (see if they could battle through adversity), but with a tough schedule coming up, this wasn’t a game to be playing around with your food. Overall, Monty has been great, but he didn’t adjust well last night and Detroit gave away a game they needed to win.
I’m not going to get on Cade too much, as he was spectacular for most of this game. He ran out of gas at the end, took some bad shots that he missed and committed some egregious turnovers. Your star player can’t average five turnovers a game, and he especially can’t be throwing the ball away late in a close game, as he did several times in the 4th quarter. Again, I’m not going to kill him too much, as no one else was doing anything and there was a tremendous load on his shoulders. His 30-point outing was offset by the inefficiency (27 shots) and turnovers, but you can’t expect one guy to carry an offense all night. So I’ll leave the Cade hot takes to others and just say that he obviously needs to take better care of the ball, but also obviously needs some help on offense.