The Detroit Pistons play today, but for a multitude of reasons, no one cares.
The Detroit Lions also play this evening and are just one game away from the Superbowl, so fans are rightfully gearing up for that, evidenced by the "Jared Goff" chants that rained down on the Pistons last night as they laid down for the horrible Wizards.
It's also because the Pistons have sucked the life out of even the most optimistic fans in ways that I've not experienced in my decades of following this team. Consider this: The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) interviewed me about the Pistons this season. They don't give a toss about basketball, but wanted to know what it was like to cheer for/cover a team this bad. I was a curiosity to them, a case study.
The Pistons aren't just bad, they are mind-numbingly bad at everything that makes basketball fun to watch. Last night was a grim affair, as a joyless team went through the motions of getting blown out at home. The Pistons handed the ball over, threw up brick after brick, let the Wizards have a layup line and looked completely miserable while doing it.
They didn't seem to care, and why should they? The team is used to this by now and so are we.
Monty Williams has even ruined "development" for the Detroit Pistons
For the last four miserable years, the Pistons have nudged us donkey fans along by dangling the carrot of "player development" in front of our faces, but even that has disappeared this year under the guidance of Monty Williams.
Williams is still using an 11-man rotation months after promising to shorten it. The bench players still don't have defined roles and they are wondering when or if they will play from night to night.
Williams has prioritized players who won't even be on the team next season, first Isaiah Livers, who was mercifully traded (and can't even get off the bench for the Wizards, think about that) and now Killian Hayes, who must have incriminating evidence on the entire Pistons' organization.
Forget about Marcus Sasser, the guy your clueless GM traded up to get, we need to play Killian Hayes, a player who still can't make a layup in year four, not that he ever gets close enough to the rim to attempt one.
More than halfway through the season and Williams can't figure out a way to use Ausar Thompson aside from standing the uber-athlete in the corner. He still hasn't figured out there is no spacing in his starting lineup, yet continues to run it out there anyway.
Still hasn't figured out how to put his "Core Four" (what a freaking joke) on the floor together, as they've only played just over 60 minutes as a group all season. That seems like a minor problem if these players represent the hope of your franchise, no?
So the Detroit Pistons are not only losing, they aren't even losing while getting their young guys the reps they need to improve, or to see if this alleged "Core Four" is anything more than another propaganda campaign from a front office that has done nothing but lose for four years.
Speaking of which, is there another franchise in the NBA that would allow this level of front-office incompetence to continue? I get that Weaver et al. had little to start with, but to be worse after four years of rebuilding is as unacceptable as it is inexplicable.
The only plan was to lose on purpose for elite talent in the draft and when that didn't work, they literally had no plan B. An empty chair could have done that, and to be fair to the chair, it wouldn't be down a first-round pick to build a team that has won 22 games in the last season and a half.
It's hard to continue to come up with explicatives and superlatives to describe how bad they've been and we haven't even gotten to the inevitable Zach LaVine trade where Weaver gives up one of his "Core Four" for a guy who has played on one winning team in a decade and is currently hurt. LaVine will fit right in.
So you can ignore the Pistons as they are getting stomped by the Thunder today. Get some good grub ready for the Lions' game, down a few beers, and enjoy time with your friends and family.
I doubt the owner and front office will even notice or care, and you shouldn't either.