March 2024 grades for the Detroit Pistons: Injuries and regression

Detroit Pistons v Minnesota Timberwolves
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We are, once again, into that time of year in which we get multiple players shut down for the remainder of the season due to a combination of injuries and lack of importance. Halfway though the month of March, the Detroit Pistons had lost Ausar Thompson and Isaiah Stewart for the rest of the year, and other starters such as Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren and Simone Fontecchio all missed their fair share of games, which had a negative ripple effect on the rest of the team. Still, Detroit managed to steal four wins in the month (woohoo?).

So let’s take a look at the March report card for each position group. 

March grades for the Detroit PIstons

Point Guards/Guards: D+

March was a tough month for the Detroit guards. Everyone across the board (outside Malachi Flynn), saw their field goal percentages plummet by anywhere from 5 to 13 percent. Sasser, Grimes, Ivey and Cade all struggled with efficiency, and Detroit’s three point shooting bottomed out this month as well.

Cade and Ivey’s three point shooting percentage dropped a combined 33 percent, while Sasser and Grimes dropped a shocking 47 percent. If you go back and look at last month's grades, the Pistons guards were shooting incredibly well, so a drop off was expected. But this is more than a drop off. This shooting has been abysmal. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though. This month saw Cade increase his assist per game, and pretty much every guard increased their steals and blocks per game. March was a good month, defensively, for the guard group. Additionally, Malachi Flynn has been extremely impressive when called upon. All his numbers were up, outside a small dip in three point shooting. 

It should be noted that as a result of the poor shooting, everyone’s points per game has decreased, except for Cade. Cade saw his points per game increase .5. If nothing else, this is showing that the star point guard is getting it done elsewhere, i.e the line. Everyone else, though, it was tough sledding in March, particularly for Jaden Ivey, who had his worst month of the season, shooting just 38 percent overall and 23 percent from long range in 15 games.