There is one thing you can say about the players on the Detroit Pistons’ injury report this season: They aren’t lonely.
The Pistons have been missing at least four rotation players from every game so far and as many as seven at a time have been out with various injuries and illnesses.
It’s made it impossible to evaluate the roster, and probably bought Troy Weaver another summer, though you could argue that the Pistons would be better equipped to withstand so many injuries had he spent his cap space more wisely.
So you can play the blame game or chalk it up to bad luck, but either way the Pistons have lost 10 straight and sit at the bottom of the league. A loss tonight would almost certainly make it 12, as they will travel home to play the reigning champion Denver Nuggets tomorrow for the second game of yet another back-to-back, their 4th of the early season.
It’s nice the way the NBA helped the worst team in the NBA by not only giving them more back-to-backs than any other team, but piling them early in the season so they were sure to be buried before Christmas. Cheers, Adam Silver!
The Pistons’ injury list is lengthy again for today’s game vs. the Toronto Raptors, and like most games this season, there could be a new name added to it.
Pistons injuries vs. Raptors
In addition to the five players who have been staples on the injury report this season (Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Livers, Monte Morris, Joe Harris and Jalen Duren), Killian Hayes has been listed as questionable with a left shouder sprain. I hope it doesn’t affect his shot! I kid.
With Hayes potentially out, will Monty Williams finally do what fans have been screaming about for the entire season and start Jaden Ivey?
Starting lineups vs. Raptors
Those of you hoping that an injury to Hayes may force Monty Williams to start Jaden Ivey probably shouldn’t hold your breath. If Killian Hayes is out, I’d bet on Alec Burks getting the start today, but either way, there should be more offensive firepower and spacing in the starting lineup.
The Pistons’ most common starting five has a -10 net rating for the season and a pathetic 101.8 offensive rating. Just by switching Hayes with Burks, the offensive rating jumps up to 140.6, though to be fair, that group has only played 15 minutes together, mostly because of the ankle injury to Jalen Duren that has caused him to miss several games.
The Pistons did have some success against Cleveland going five-out and surrounding Cade Cunningham with shooters, so we may see that tonight with both Alec Burks and Kevin Knox* in the starting five, but here’s the group I’d love to see:
- Cade Cunningham
- Jaden Ivey
- Alec Burks
- Ausar Thompson
- Isaiah Stewart
Even if he doesn’t start, Ivey should get plenty of run, so hopefully, this will be the game where he breaks out, helps the Pistons get a win and secures a starting spot for good, as Cade needs some help and at least one other player in the starting five that can break down a defense and actually get a bucket.
The Raptors will be missing Thaddeus Young and Christian Koloko. OG Anunoby, the guy the Pistons should trying to acquire right now, is listed as probable with an injured finger.
*Side note: How pathetic is it that the Pistons grabbed Kevin Knox off the street and he is already in the starting five over Jaden Ivey? I am not sure what is going on with Monty and Ivey but it needs to end. Hopefully the 29 minutes Ivey played against Cleveland are a sign of things to come.
How to watch Pistons vs. Raptors
Today is an early start at 4PM ET and you can watch on Bally Sports Detroit or listen on 950 AM. You can stream the game on NBA League Pass if you are out of market or get a free trial at FUBOtv.