Pistons and Monty Williams need to channel their rage vs. Bulls

Detroit Pistons v New York Knicks
Detroit Pistons v New York Knicks / Elsa/GettyImages

The Detroit Pistons weren’t happy after last night’s controversial loss to the New York Knicks. 

Detroit was robbed of a victory by a dubious no-call by the referees, who admitted after the game that they blew it. Oops. 

Cade Cunningham was “livid” and Monty Williams spent his enter postgame press conference giving it to the refs, something he probably should have done when it mattered to the outcome of the game. 

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But they won’t have to wait long to get back on the court and see if that anger can be turned into something positive, as they have another road game tonight against the Chicago Bulls, a team that has become the symbol of Eastern-Conference mediocrity. 

It will take more than rage to get a road win, as the Pistons must be smarter, starting with their head coach. 

Enough of the all-bench lineups for the Detroit Pistons 

I feel like I’ve written this sentence about 8,000 times this year, but Monty Williams has to stop running out all-bench lineups that gift the other team a double-digit cushion almost every game. 

This isn’t that difficult, as all he has to do is play Jaden Ivey as the one for 8-10 minutes per game, staggering him and Cade Cunningham so that one of them is always on the court. This is even easier now that Quentin Grimes is back in action, but Williams has still failed to do it. 

It’s not only the smart move, but it’s what is best for the players, but I’ve given up hope that Monty Williams cares about either of those things, so I won’t hold my breath. We can expect the Bulls to go on a run somewhere in the latter stages of the first quarter, which is when Monty Williams loves to unleash the all-bench squad that has become the focus of fans’ ire. 

The Detroit Pistons have to execute in clutch time 

Fans and the team can blame the refs for what happened in New York, but the truth is that the Pistons had plenty of chances to seal the game well before the blown call on Ausar Thompson. 

The Pistons failed to secure the rebound on a big miss, and then let Josh Hart corral is own board after he missed the free throw he never should have gotten. Get that first board and it’s game over, get the second and you at least had a better chance at victory. 

But the Pistons also had crucial turnovers in the 4th quarter, most of them leading to points, a theme that has hovered over them all season. They make boneheaded fouls on overplays away from the hoop and moving screens. 

They aren’t good enough to lose battles for loose balls. They aren’t good enough to fumble rebounds and commit stupid fouls on jump shooters. 

So yes, it would be nice if the league would do something about its horrible officiating, but the Pistons have to help themselves with smarter rotations and better execution.