After their third loss in a row, the Detroit Pistons suddenly have a “here we go again” vibe around them.
There are familiar rumblings echoing through a fanbase that is already questioning rotations, calling out Killian Hayes (an annual tradition like no other) and wondering how long it will be until we start looking at lottery odds.
After four years of misery, fans have had the optimism sucked out of them and the early goodwill around the team is starting to dissipate as Detroit moves into a tough part of their schedule.
As Homer #1, I too am disappointed with the last two games, but there is no reason to despair just yet, as this is not the same team you are going to see in a few weeks and the Detroit Pistons were rocked with a brutal early schedule.
The Detroit Pistons will eventually get healthy and be a different team
We talked a lot about the Pistons’ veterans this offseason, how they were going to complement the young core and help make this team competitive as they develop. But so far, Bojan Bogdanovic, Monte Morris and Isaiah Livers haven’t stepped on the court.
Alec Burks has missed the last two games and Joe Harris looks washed.
The good news is that all of these players should be back within the next 3-4 weeks and when they return, the Detroit Pistons will get a huge boost.
The spacing will improve with four of their best shooters back on the floor. Cade Cunningham will have less of a burden with Bogdanovic, Morris and Burks carrying some of the scoring load.
Detroit will stop turning the ball over so much with more surehanded vets calming down the youngsters. This should especially benefit Cade Cunningham, who has struggled with turnovers while trying to force the action at times.
Far from being pessimistic, I am actually excited about the future after these first six games, as Detroit has shown they have some exciting pieces that are going to fit together much better when their veterans are finally on the court, especially on the offensive end.
The Pistons’ schedule has been brutal
Monty Williams had to temper his comments last night when asked about the Pistons playing five games in seven days:
If you go back to preseason, the Detroit Pistons have played three back-to-backs in two weeks, and it won’t get easier anytime soon, as they have yet another back-to-back against the Suns and Warriors on Sunday and Monday.
Playing so many games shorthanded has obviously not been ideal.
These aren’t excuses, as every team will go through injuries and tough stretches of the schedule, but it’s important to provide context to this start. The Pistons are going to start humming when they get their veterans back and there has already been some encouraging developments, like the fact Detroit is shooting 38.9 percent from long range, good for 6th in the NBA, and has made huge strides on defense.
So I’m not concerned about the 2-4 start, as this is not the same team we’ll see in a month and some of the players who have been bad will be out of the rotation and replaced with guys who are efficient and take care of the ball.