Ripple effect of Pistons injuries to Stewart, Thompson and Fontecchio

Nov 24, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Isaiah Jackson (22) shoots the ball
Nov 24, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Isaiah Jackson (22) shoots the ball / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons are limping through the end of a miserable season with at least six players on the injury list, including Isaiah Stewart, Ausar Thompson and Simone Fontecchio, three players who hope to be key contributors in the future.

Stewart has missed the last seven games, Thompson the last 12 and Fontecchio has been out for eight, which has had a negative ripple effect on a season that didn't need any more negativity.

The Detroit Pistons will finish with the worst record in team history

This dubious feat was on the table even if the Pistons didn't have all of these injuries, but with these three players out, their chances of winning three of their last seven games to tie the worst record the team has ever had are even slimmer.

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Maybe the Pistons officially being the franchise's worst team will be enough to force some meaningful changes to the front office, coaching staff and roster, so this could be a positive, but it would have been nice to see the Pistons win a few games down the stretch and go into the offseason healthy and with some momentum as the rebuild begins again.

No more for the Core Four

The Detroit Pistons are counting on Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Ausar Thompson, Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren to be key parts of the team moving forward and unfortunately, we didn't get to see much of them together.

This group was the most used five-man lineup for the Pistons this season, but they've only played 14 games together for 145 minutes with an offensive rating of 110 and a defensive rating of just under 118, hardly inspiring numbers.

The Pistons have some big decisions to make about this group in the offseason and have painfully little data to know if they can work. What we have says probably not, even with improvement from all of them, but it would have been nice to get a much larger sample size to look at.

Pistons lineups with Simone Fontecchio

The Pistons' second-most used five-man lineup switched out Stewart for Simone Fontecchio and the results were interesting. The Pistons had the same 110 offensive rating but were 12 points better on defense for a positive 3.8 net rating in 10 games and 113 minutes.

The lineups with Cade, Ivey, Fontecchio, Stewart and Duren (the fourth-most used group) had a net rating of 8.9 due to an outstanding 102 defensive rating in nine games and 90 minutes.

These are all things the Pistons needed to experiment more with as they head into an offseason when they have to re-sign Fontecchio, who was a part of the Pistons' two most effective lineups this season.

The losses aren't the only frustrating thing about this season, as the Pistons are wasting time, not gathering the necessary data and using a lot of players who won't be on the team next year.

It's hard to call this season a success at any level, from the standings to player development.