Pistons news: Isaiah Stewart's punch, Monty's motivation and the new Killian

Feb 14, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Evan Fournier puts up a layup
Feb 14, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Evan Fournier puts up a layup / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

At least one member of the Detroit Pistons showed some fight last night, unfortunately, it wasn't on the court. 

Isaiah Stewart was reportedly arrested after allegedly punching Drew Eubanks before the game in after an altercation that took place in the tunnel. 

I have nothing to say about the incident itself, as I don't know what happened. 

That didn't stop some fans from clutching their pearls, calling Stewart a "thug" and demanding he be "thrown out of the league." Sure. 

I don't know what happened, but I do know that people like to throw around the word "thug" when it comes to young black men when we all know what they really mean. If this had been Mike Muscala who punched Eubanks (allegedly), I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have seen that language. 

If you think punching people is wrong, you have every right to say so, and I agree (mostly). If you think Stewart should be suspended, again, that's your opinion and you have every right to it. Those things can be expressed without using racially coded language. I’m sure this will anger some of you and that’s fine too, but maybe explore your own motivation for using loaded terms when there are others available. 

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Most people didn't have that response and I am sure some of those who did, didn't mean it that way, but we all know certain words have been weaponized (read one of the many studies on this) and that's one of them. I'll get off my soapbox now, sorry for the lecture in semantics.

I'm sure we'll talk more about this after the inevitable suspension, but for now, I will withhold my opinion until I have some idea of what happened.

Anyway, back to the "game." 

Is Monty Williams trying to get the Detroit Pistons to fire him? 

As I wrote yesterday, I am not normally one go after coaches, as I do believe that players win and lose games, not the coach. I leave them to their job, as they know more about basketball than me, have direct access to the players and may have motivations of which I am unaware. 

But I am starting to wonder what motivations are driving Monty Williams. 

After using 12 players vs the Lakers, Williams used all 13 players he had at his disposal last night. He went to all bench units early on, well before the game was out of hand, and the results were predictable. 

I just don’t get it. 

Why is Evan Fournier playing 26 minutes (the most of any bench player)? Why is James Wiseman playing at all? Wiseman was a miraculous –28 in just 12 minutes last night. How is that even possible? 

Is Wiseman the new Killian Hayes, the player that the team will have to waive just to keep out of the rotation? 

This isn’t the preseason. What NBA team is using 13 players this deep into the season? 

And the lineups he’s throwing out there aren’t even interesting. It’s not like he’s experimenting with things that could be useful in the future. Most of these bench players aren’t even going to be on the team next season. Why is Monty running out lineups with four guards and James freaking Wiseman? Is there some reason we need to see that? Is it benefitting the team now? In the future? 

After the offense took off with Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari spreading the floor, Williams has promptly cut Muscala’s minutes (He was a +25 last night by the way), which makes zero sense at all. We want to see what the core looks like with a stretch five. Muscala is also a willing defender who knows how to do it without fouling, something the young bigs could learn from. There is also a good chance the Pistons might want to bring him back as a backup veteran center next season, so why isn’t Monty playing him? 

We don’t need to see Wiseman, Flynn, Fournier or Milton again this season, as THEY WON’T BE ON THE TEAM NEXT YEAR. Play your five starters with Muscala, Sasser, Troy Brown Jr and one of the G-League guys (until Stewart is back) off the bench.

If you don’t care about developing young players, could you at least try to win the freaking game? Williams has managed to fail at both by sabotaging the young guy’s minutes in favor of worse players and lineups that make zero sense. 

I’ve never questioned the motivations of a coach before, but I can’t figure Monty Williams out. It’s like he wants to be fired. Tom Gores may have to oblige him, as this is one of the worst coaching jobs I’ve ever seen.  

Williams spoke about spending time with his family and you have to wonder if he should have just done that instead of taking a job that he didn’t want.