It's not easy to lose 26 straight games in the NBA, even if you have had as much practice at losing as the Detroit Pistons.
Every NBA team has professional basketball players with skill who can occasionally get hot and win a game. Every team has off nights when they can't make a shot. These two factors make it difficult to go this long without a win, even for a team that desperately needs an influx of talent.
Recent talk has turned to whether the Pistons are the worst team in NBA history as their record indicates. The strange thing is if you look at the rosters of the other two teams to suffer losing streaks like this (76ers and Cavaliers) those squads were nowhere near as good as the Pistons on paper.
The 2010-11 Cavaliers were in the post-LeBron aftermath and had a 34-year-old Antawn Jamison as their best player surrounded by a bunch of guys who wouldn't be long for the league.
The 76ers from 2013-14 were led by Evan Turner, Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young and a bunch of players you've never heard of.
Just look at the most used starters for the 2014-15 76ers, who were part of the 28-game losing streak that stretched over two seasons:
-Luc Mbah a Moute
Unlike the Pistons, this was a team designed to lose and I would argue that on paper, this Detroit team is much more talented. So why are they about to tie and maybe surpass The Process teams for ineptitude?
The Detroit Pistons are poorly built, poorly coached and it has sucked the life out of their young players
The worst part about this historic losing streak is that the Detroit Pistons aren't supposed to be tanking, unlike The Process 76ers. They are trying to win and Troy Weaver thought this roster was enough to make them competitive. Wrong.
While the Pistons undoubtedly have some talented individual players, the team itself makes no sense. You have a big point guard who likes to get into the paint to set up his teammates and his own shot and you got him no wings that can shoot to create space.
The Pistons were desperate for forwards in the offseason, so of course they traded up to get an undersized guard in the draft and then traded for the corpse formally known as Joe Harris with all of their cap space.
They've invested $25 million this season into backup centers, one of whom is completely unplayable, neither of which can shoot outside of five feet or defend.
The roster is too young and has exactly one veteran contributor, Bojan Bogdanovic, who missed a big chunk of the season.
So even though this roster has some talent, it is far from behind a coherent team. Detroit is once again at the bottom of the league in 3-point shooting and we are once again talking about spacing around Cade Cunningham as we have been for three seasons. Troy Weaver seems to be the only one who doesn't get it.
The new coach has jerked players in and out of lineups, given out minutes with no consistency and looks to have sapped all confidence from most of his young players. They look lost, more clueless than they were as rookies. This has been sad to watch.
Between the lack of help from the front office and the head-scratching moves by their coach, this young core no longer looks like a core at all, it looks like a bunch of guys running around unaware that the others are even on the floor.
It takes more than a lack of talent to lose this much, it takes everyone from the front office to the coaching staff to make it happen. It takes a GM who has never even tried to build a coherent roster as he collects second-round picks for salary dumps. It takes a coach who still doesn't know his personnel well enough to not run all bench lineups or use two centers in the starting five. It takes players who have checked out and look dead inside.
So you can't just blame this on not having enough good players, as the Pistons have more talent than any of the epic losers that came before them. This is a team effort from the owner on down and everyone has fingerprints on the crime scene.