The Detroit Pistons may be struggling right now, but their G-League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise, is rolling.
The Cruise are off to a 7-3 start, earning head coach Jamelle McMillan G-League coach of the month honors for November. At this pace, the Cruise are going to win more games than the Pistons, which is a sentence I wasn't hoping to write this season.
One of the Pistons' biggest failures in player development is that they haven't used their G-League to develop players who have contributed on the NBA level. You'd think with all of the injuries and tank minutes the Pistons had available, they might have hit on at least one guy who could stick.
They may have more opportunity to try players out this season, especially if they are still this bad at the trade deadline, as we could see some major roster shuffling.
As bad as the Pistons' bench has been lately, they may want to consider some help from the G-League, as their two-way players are all taking and making a lot of 3-point shots.
Pistons' two-way contracts in the G-League
G-League numbers are hard to gauge, as no one plays defense, which is one of the things I don't like about the format. With little at stake, players are mostly in it for themselves, so we can take some of the gaudy numbers with a grain of salt.
The Pistons need an influx of wing players who can shoot, and the three they have in the G-League have been red-hot. In eight games, Jared Rhoden has hit 47.4 percent of his 3-point shots on 4.8 attempts per game.
Malcolm Cazalon is shooting 47.9 percent on six attempts per game in the eight games he has played for the Cruise and Stanley Umude has made 42.3 percent of his 8.7 attempts per game in the three he's played.
Given the Pistons bench struggles, and the fact that many of their guys could be traded at some point, there is a good chance we'll see these three get some run at some point in the season. It may as well be now, as Alec Burks has been taken out of the rotation after an abysmal shooting stretch and Isaiah Livers has yet to make a positive impact in his six games since returning from injury.
These three players aren't going to save the Pistons, but could represent their best chance to finally find something in the G-League.