The Detroit Pistons dropped their 18th straight and there is no end in sight.
After the game, head coach Monty Williams said that he was going to have some tough conversations with guys on the bench who were not cutting it:
The bench is in a disturbing freefall along with the rest of the team, so yes, these conversations need to happen.
But I'd also like to open a dialogue with you, coach Williams, even though I know you are not reading this and couldn't give a toss what I think. It's more of a mental health exercise for my own benefit, so bear with me while I ask some questions designed to start tough conversations.
Tough conversations with Monty Williams
I'd like to start this one-way conversation by saying that I don't blame you, coach. You probably didn't fully know what you were getting into when you took over this team, how could you? You were the coach of one of the best teams in the league and the Pistons have long been one of the worst, so I am sure they weren't on your radar.
I also don't blame you for the missed shots, the porous defense, the lack of effort and the millions of boneheaded mistakes your team makes. You can coach them up, but they are the ones who have to execute.
But some things are under your control, so let's focus on those. I have a series of questions, think of them as conversation starters.
1. Do you really want to be here?
I am not asking this to be flippant or facetious, I'm serious, you ok, man? I know it was difficult to come out of your short retirement and I hope everything is well with you, your wife and family. This wasn't your first choice, and I get that money was too tempting to pass up, but collecting all of that Suns money to not work and spend more time with your loved ones has to seem pretty appealing right about now. No one would fault you if you just said "you know what? I didn't give myself enough time. I came back too soon." I don't think you should be fired, coach, but consider your well-being here.
2. What did Jaden Ivey do to get on your bad side?
Once again, Ivey was the 11th man in the rotation last night, and while he ended up playing 24 minutes, he didn't come off the bench until the 2nd quarter. Like it or not, Jaden Ivey is the 3rd-best offensive option you have. He's a lot better than Marcus Sasser or Isaiah Livers or Alec Burks or James Wiseman or any of the other guys you brought off the bench ahead of him. If you have to take Cade Cunningham and Bojan Bogdanovic out at the same time (more on that in a minute) shouldn't Ivey then be your primary ballhandler and go-to guy? In fact, couldn't you use Ivey to alleviate some of the pressure from Cade Cunningham? I get what you were trying to do at the beginning of the season and I agreed with it, but it seems you are holding Ivey to a standard that none of your other players have to meet. This is a good kid with a strong work ethic who wants to be great and maybe more importantly, wants to be great IN DETROIT. Jerking around his minutes and role like this can't be good for a developing player. Why are you handling him this way? Please enlighten us, because those of us who are not experts like yourself cannot figure this out.