Pistons news: Bambi legs, bench blunders and buyouts

Cleveland Cavaliers v Detroit Pistons
Cleveland Cavaliers v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The Detroit Pistons got to enjoy one afternoon of not being the worst team in the NBA. What glorious hours those were. We should have hung a banner: NOT THE WORST!

Of course, it didn't last, as the Pistons immediately lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers (a team they should be imitating) and rejoined the Washington Wizards in their familiar place at the bottom. Ahhhh, back to normal. *The Wizards also lost their 14th in a row, so the Pistons are a half game ahead.

It was a predictable loss that came in predictable ways, as the Pistons' bench was once again dreadful and handed the Cavs the game before the 1st quarter was even over.

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The Cavaliers got out to an 11-0 run to start the game but the Pistons responded, getting it within three at 25-22 when Monty Williams did his thing and put in an all-bench unit with 2:26 remaining in the 1st quarter.


As they have done all season, the bench immediately went to work to help the other team build a double-digit lead, starting with James Wiseman, the tank commander who is the Pistons' secret weapon when it comes to their chances to end the season with the NBA's worst record.

He started with an immediately busted pick-and-roll with tank lieutenant Malachi Flynn, in which Wiseman stamped around unsteadily like a newborn deer on ice skates, then promptly threw the ball at Flynn's feet. Beautiful stuff.

Wiseman fouled on the next play, giving up an "and-1" after leaving his feet on a pump fake, his bread-and-butter play. Flynn tried to match on the next offensive possession, throwing up an airball that made me nostalgic for Killian Hayes. The name may have changed but Hayes' spirit lives on.

In just over two minutes, the Cavaliers' lead ballooned to eight but Monty and his all-bench warriors weren't done yet. By the time he mercifully put his starters back in, the lead was 37-24, a 12-2 run by the Cavaliers that essentially sealed the game before halftime. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Monty Williams was baffled after the game and just doesn't get why his genius moves aren't working:

Here's a tip: There is no combination involving five players off the bench of the worst team in the NBA that will work. Not one, not ever. You're welcome.

That bench got a little shorter, not that it will matter to Magic Monty, the man who can immediately transform the game from competitive to a blowout just by pointing his finger at the bench.

The Detroit Pistons bought out another player

I would love to see a breakdown of how much money Tom Gores has paid players to play for teams that are not the Pistons.

Between the buyouts, stretched contracts waived players and guys who were so terrible they couldn't get off the bench, I reckon Gores has spent about $100 million in sunk costs in the Troy Weaver era. Not that it matters to him, as that's like 10 bucks when you're a multi-billionaire, an equation he should probably consider when deciding whether to fire Monty Williams this summer.

That number grew yesterday when the Detroit Pistons announced another buyout, this time of Shake Milton. The Pistons are generously giving back to the NBA community by donating any veteran players who might actually help the team win a game. Why do for yourself when you can do for others?

Tom Gores is all about the community.

This and the inexplicable buyout of Mike Muscala (the only decent backup center they've had all season) all but ensures we'll see plenty more of the Flynn/Wiseman duo that has to rank among the worst to ever play the game in the modern era.

It must be fun for the starters to battle back, make the game close and then come back in the 2nd quarter and have to do it all again. You can't spot good teams multiple double-digit leads and expect to win, but don't tell that to coach Williams, as he's sure there's a combination he just hasn't discovered yet, ignoring the "grandeur of the dooms" of his own making.