Detroit Pistons' report card for January: The rise to mediocrity

Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers
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This has been a historically bad year for the Detroit Pistons. October was actually decent, coming away with a record of 2-2 and an overall grade of a B.

It was all downhill from there. November and December saw the infamous losing streak, with grades of a D and a C.

January was easily the best month of the year for the Pistons, though that isn’t saying much. With a record of 3-12 in January, Detroit doubled their win total.

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Still, Detroit played better basketball than the month before, so let’s break down each position group and give grades based on their January performances.

Detroit Pistons report card for January, 2024

Point Guards/Guards: B-

December saw Cade Cunningham playing at an all-star level. Averaging over 25 points, five rebounds, 7.5 assists and shooting 35 percent from three is fantastic. January brought Cade slightly back down to earth, stat and health-wise. Cade would only play in six games throughout January and his numbers all declined as well. His points per game dropped to 18, rebounds went down 1.5 per night, turnovers went up, three point percentage dropped three percent. However, his assist rate did increase by .5 per night, likely thanks to his teammates playing better around him this month. 

Jaden Ivey and Alec Burks both excelled during the month of January, having increased almost all their metrics from last month. Both players averaged 17 points per game, an increase of 3.3 for Ivey and an absurd 9.2 for Burks from last month. Ivey connected on 35 percent from deep, and Burks a scorching 46 percent. The increased play from these two directly led to the Pistons coming out of January with the wins they had. It's thanks to Ivey and Burks that the guards stayed out of the C category.

Marcus Sasser continued his good, but limited time for Detroit. His points per game increased from last month to 6.7, as did his rebounding, assists and turnovers. His shooting took a slight hit, but that much is expected after he shot 43 percenet from deep last month.

Killian Hayes saw almost all his statistics decline, eventually leading last week to Monty Williams all but announcing that Killian is likely done in Detroit. Detroit also got Monte Morris back in January and, over his four games back, he provided some veteran leadership this team needed. His 6.3 points, 1.8 assists and just 28 percent from deep aren’t great, but given some time, he will improve. I expect a major jump for him in next month’s grades.