Monty Williams continues to baffle fans of the Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons v Sacramento Kings
Detroit Pistons v Sacramento Kings / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

This season has become a nightmare for the Detroit Pistons in terms of Monty Williams’ coaching and decisions.

To start the year, we saw Killian Hayes getting minutes over Jaden Ivey. Then we saw Isaiah Livers seeing the court over the likes of Ausar Thompson and Kevin Knox. For Killian/Ivey, I somewhat understood the decision. Killian was the veteran, and Ivey had some growing up to do on the defensive end. Clearly he did, and has been on fire since being given the keys full time in December. Isaiah Livers would eventually be traded, leading me to believe Monty was maybe putting him on display for other teams to become interested. 

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I’ve been extremely hesitant to jump on the Fire Monty train because of this. A year one coach, who is making the money that he is and was given a poor roster, can't be fired this soon, even if you fully disagree with his coaching decisions. Cut to Detroit’s loss last night, and I’m starting to come around on the Fire Monty group.

Monty Williams' decisons make no sense for the Detroit Pistons

Malachi Flynn over Marcus Sasser

When Detroit traded for Quentin Grimes, the Knicks threw in Malachi Flynn and Evan Fournier for salary purposes. Neither of them are likely to be part of the future and most were expecting them to only see the court in extreme circumstances. 

Monty Williams had a different plan, though, as Malachi Flynn saw eleven minutes against the Pacers. What makes this even more frustrating, Pistons’ draft pick and future backup guard saw just ten. Marcus Sasser has done everything Detroit could have asked of him, and more. His three point shooting is elite, and his creation is what the Pistons need. In fact, most people were arguing for even more minutes for the rookie, especially after Monte Morris was shipped out. So to have a newcomer like Malachi Flynn get more minutes than Sasser was a slap in the face of Detroit fans. 

Zero Minutes for Muscala

In addition to Malachi Flynn receiving more minutes than Sasser, Monty Williams also decided to keep Mike Muscala off the court for the entire game. Now, there could be a reason that was not released to the public, but to have Muscala not play, while James Wiseman clocked eighteen minutes is terrible.

The Wiseman experiment is over, and has been over for weeks now. And yet, Monty Williams decided to go with the former Warriors big man over his newly acquired stretch big who has transformed this Pistons offense since arriving. Since Detroit had traded for Mike Muscala, the Pistons’ offensive efficiency has skyrocketed. The 6-foot-10 forward/center provides great spacing and length down low. During his time with the Pistons, Muscala is averaging 38 percent from three. That ability to hit from deep opens the lane for the other Pistons, making the lives of Cade, Ivey and Duren much easier. 

As I said earlier, I was never on the fire Monty train. I figured that he had a method to his madness, and we just needed to trust him. It’s getting harder and harder to defend him, though, especially after Thursday’s loss at Indiana. Eleven different players saw the court in the first 13 minutes of the game, and after Detroit made a run late in the game, Williams refused to go back to his stars to close the gap. I’m not one to believe in conspiracies, but the way that Monty Williams is running this team has people thinking he’s actively trying to get fired. I can’t imagine that’s the truth, but I’m running out of reasons for his decisions.  

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