The month of December was more of the same for the Detroit Pistons. Granted, it technically was not as poor of a month as November, but it still brought to Detroit the new NBA record for longest single-season losing streak at 28.
This also meant that Detroit tied the longest overall losing record, previously held by the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons. But, there were some good performances and promising play from a few guys. And the Pistons would eventually end their losing streak just as December came to a close, which in itself makes the month better than November.
Let’s go through each position group and give grades on their December performances.
Detroit Pistons' report card for December
Point Guards/Guards: C+
Cade Cunningham was spectacular in the month of December. Night in and night out, he proved he is the future of this franchise as he shouldered the load of this losing streak. Cade gave everything he had each game, and you could visually see how exhausting it was. Still, he put up All-Star numbers with very little help around him. During the month of December, Cade took the All-Star step that many thought he could. He averaged over 25 points a game with five rebounds and 7.5 assists all while shooting 35 percent from deep.
Killian Hayes had a great November, and honestly a good start to the year. December saw his numbers come back down to earth, though, as was expected. Hayes was firmly playing himself into a backup position, in a good way, but has somewhat fallen from this during the month of December. An illness that took him out of the lineup for multiple games mid-month did not help him either. His numbers across the board dropped as this past month came to a close.
Jaden Ivey, while also struggling at times throughout December, was forced out of rhythm due to Monty Williams and his indecisiveness on Ivey’s rotation spot. To begin the month, Williams had Ivey coming off the bench, and Jaden’s numbers fell. Slowly, however, Williams worked Jaden back into the starting lineup, and his numbers continued to improve. His three-point shooting, rebounding and points per game all grew exponentially. As the month concluded, it became abundantly clear that Ivey needs to be in the starting lineup to continue his electric play.
Alec Burks had an interesting month of December, as he started extremely cold. About as inefficient and cold as one can be. But, as the month came to an end, Burks played a vital role in ending the losing streak. It’s known that Alec is historically an above average offensive player, and he simply had to work through his slump. His newly found hot streak has carried over into January as well.
Marcus Sasser saw his role diminish during December, really through no fault of his own. Sasser continues to play as though he can be a top tier backup in this league. Detroit’s roster just has to work itself out first (i.e Killian Hayes). His three-point shooting still is one of the best on Detroit’s roster at 43 percenet. I’ve been pounding the table for more Marcus Sasser minutes for months now, and will continue to do so after his December numbers.