Building up and tearing the Detroit Pistons down

Dec 8, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) warms up before the
Dec 8, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) warms up before the / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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Tearing down the Detroit Pistons

Monty Williams

What do you do with a coach in the first year of a seven-year guaranteed deal who has already lost the team? We may be there with Williams, who has been a disaster so far.

It's not just the losing. This team doesn't compete, looks completely defeated and doesn't seem to care. They went through the motions last night and it never once looked like they thought they had a chance to win.

You can criticize Dwane Casey all you want, but the team never looked this pathetic and lifeless under him. The Pistons have exciting players like Jaden Ivey and Ausar Thompson who look like shells of the guys they were coming into the season and you can't blame them.

They've had inconsistent minutes, ill-defined roles and never seem to know what is being asked of them. Williams has jerked around the lineups so much (partly because of injuries) that none of these guys know if they will be playing, or with who, from one night to the next. He's used more five-man combinations than any coach in the league, routinely goes away from things that are working and holds players to different levels of accountability.

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Ausar Thompson went from a rookie with swagger who was tearing up the boards and drawing comparisons to the best defenders in the league to a guy who has no role. Jaden Ivey has never been put in a position to succeed, and even when he does, he could get benched. Killian Hayes had a great stretch in the first half only to barely play in the second last night.

Williams refuses to even try Isaiah Stewart as a small-ball center even though his starting center is out and the other two bigs are virtually unplayable (more of Weaver's handiwork there). I don't think I've ever seen a team with worse body language than the one I saw last night, a night when Williams was supposed to shorten his rotation, but ended up playing 13 guys.

Players look like they have never met, they throw the ball away because they don't know where to be, the offense and defense have gotten worse, and there isn't a single player with a defined role, not even Cade Cunningham, who goes from playing off the ball to being the only guy who touches it.

Monty has taken a young roster that had some confidence coming into the season and completely sucked the life out of it. But don't worry, we only have six more years of this unless Williams decides to quit or Tom Gores doesn't mind paying him nearly $100 million to not work.

This team has no identity and no hope and a big part of that is the coach that zapped their confidence, doesn't have a clear plan and hasn't established roles for any of his key guys.