The Detroit Pistons managed to find a new low point last night, losing to a shorthanded Jazz team at home for their 25th straight defeat.
It wasn't just that Utah was missing three of their top four scorers, but they were also on a back-to-back and playing their 4th game in five days.
The Jazz had every excuse to not show up for this one and no one would have blamed them. But even weary second-stringers are enough to beat the Detroit Pistons these days.
Cade Cunningham looked like a broken man after the game as he rubbed his temples like a middle-aged dude with two mortgages and kids getting ready to start college. He looked fed up. He looked like he was getting ready to cry and who could blame him?
Cunningham blamed himself, and yes he was part of it with all of those turnovers. But he was also the only thing keeping them in the game, which was evident every time he went to the bench.
Speaking of the bench...
It's time for changes on the Detroit Pistons' bench
The bench was again abysmal last night, with a collected net rating of -63 and not a single player scoring in double digits. If you take out the eight points rookie Marcus Sasser scored, the bench offered 14 total points.
Alec Burks and Isaiah Livers continued their ice-cold shooting, going a combined 0-for-6 from long range. This isn't new, Livers has now missed 13 straight 3-point shots over the last five games. He's shooting just 23 percent from long range on the season. This is the Pistons' 3-and-D guy and he does neither, as he played blow-by defense all night. I don't mean to pile on Livers, as he seems to be a really good guy, but he's struggling and can't continue to get minutes.
Same with Alec Burks, who is 1-of-14 from long range over his last five games. He's been a different player since coming back from injury, as he is shooting just 25 percent on 3-pointers.
I get that Monty Williams doesn't have a ton of options, but what am I missing here? Both Malcolm Cazalon and Jared Rhoden have been on fire of late and are both shooting around 45 percent from long range. At this point, what would it hurt to bring them up?
The bench is so reliably horrible right now that I wasn't the least bit surprised when they came in last night, immediately surrendered an eight-point lead, and allowed the Jazz to go on a 14-2 run.
Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser are the only players on the bench worth salvaging and NONE of the others should be on this team next season and hopefully well before then.
And at what point is veteran coach Monty Williams (2nd-highest paid in the league) going to figure out that he cannot under any circumstances run all bench units? I have to wonder if he is trying to make a point to the front office.
Pistons fans with a holiday message for Tom Gores
I felt sorry for the diehards at the game last night. The Pistons have some of the best fans in all of sports (I wrote about it before the season), and they showed it by turning up during the holidays even though this team has not given them a single reason to care.
The fans obviously care more than the owner and front office, who have been completely silent during this whole debacle. At this point, it's just cowardice and I can't blame them. I wouldn't want to own up to this either.
For a guy who has preached accountability and arrogantly talked about "restorations" and compared his "Core Four" to the Yankees' dynasty, Troy Weaver hasn't opened his yap once during all of this. So much for accountability.
And the same can be said of Tom Gores, who has also been completely absent. To be fair, his disgusting prison phone company has lost a billion dollars (how is that even possible?), so he's probably busy. If you need some quick cash, I know an asset you can sell, Tom!
The fans suggested as much last night as "SELL THE TEAM" chants rained down on Little Caesar's Arena. Gores should be embarrassed, but his fashion sense suggests a man who doesn't have any self-awareness, a man who doesn't feel shame. If the 24th straight loss didn't do it, I doubt the 25th will have much effect.
Fans may as well have been chanting to an empty room, to an empty shirt unbuttoned to reveal its empty chest hair, to an empty pair of $500 jeans.
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