Pistons news: A familiar misery, injuries vs Pelicans and should Cade be shut down?

Nov 2, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) dribbles
Nov 2, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) dribbles / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

I woke up this morning with a familiar feeling and looked at the NBA standings to confirm it. After winning two straight, the Washington Wizards have leapfrogged the Detroit Pistons, who now have the worst record in the NBA again.

Ahhhh, back to normal.

With only 12 games remaining and a boatload of injuries, it seems likely the Pistons will claim the worst record in the league for the second season in a row, basking in a familiar misery.

Nine of those games are on the road (including one against the Wizards), so it appears the Pistons will once again have a top-five pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. I'll try to contain my excitement.

Related Story. Recent Mock Draft has Pistons selected Ivey's replacement. Recent Mock Draft has Pistons selected Ivey's replacement. dark

It now just comes down to who is going to play out the rest of this embarrassing season and whether the Pistons should start shutting players down.

Detroit Pistons vs. New Orleans Pelicans injury update: Should Cade Cunningham be playing?

The Pistons will be missing Ausar Thompson, Isaiah Stewart, Stanley Umude, Simone Fontecchio and Quentin Grimes with Jalen Duren and Taj Gibson listed as questionable on the official injury report.

Another thing that is questionable is whether Cade Cunningham should be playing in these final games. He's listed as "available" with knee management. He's been in a slump since his name started appearing on the injury report again, shooting just 38.9 percent from the floor in the last six games and just 19 percent from long range.

He was cooking before that, so this could just be a mini slump or it could be that his knee is causing him some problems. If you've watched his shots of late (especially from long range) they have been flat as if he is not getting enough lift. That is just speculation on my part, but he was leading the NBA in 3-point percentage prior to his latest setback and is now struggling.

It's fair to ask if the Pistons should just shut him down to at least ensure he goes into the offseason healthy. I'm sure Cunningham doesn't want that, but there is painfully little to play for at this point, especially when Jaden Ivey is the only regular starter left who isn't injured. If Cade is not 100 percent, what is the point of playing him in meaningless games with a bunch of G-Leaguers and recent signings who won't even be his teammates next season?

On the flip side, Cunningham has only played 59 games this season and would probably at least like to get to the 65-game mark, which would be the highest of his career.

A season that started with dreams of being competitive will end the same way as the three before it, with the Pistons at the bottom of the league wondering if it's even worth playing their guys. Good stuff.