What makes the Pistons losing streak worse than The Process

Dec 21, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) looks to pass in
Dec 21, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) looks to pass in / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons are not the first team to try and build their roster through the NBA Draft and they won't be the last.

Building through the draft is not only a way to acquire homegrown talent under team control, but it's like a carrot dangled in front of the donkey fans who keep hoping this will be the draft that turns everything around.

It hasn't worked so far for the Pistons, as they are four drafts into their rebuild and have gotten worse, mired in a losing streak that has no clear end in sight.

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The Pistons have often been compared to The Process era 76ers, a team, who like Detroit, tore their roster down to the studs, tanked for years to acquire high draft picks, and eventually rebuilt their roster around superstar Joel Embiid.

You can argue the results (I'd say the Process was an abject failure considering it took nearly a decade of losing on purpose to finally get a superstar) for Philly, but it's clear that what is happening in Detroit is actually worse.

The Detroit Pistons are trying to win

Philly was intentionally tanking during the entire Process era, so when they put together the two longest losing streaks in NBA history (26 games in a single season and 28 games spread over two), it was almost expected.

They put rosters on the floor specifically designed to lose, especially after Embiid got injured early and it was clear he was going to be out for a long time.

The Pistons may have tanked late in the last few seasons, but they were actually trying to win games. They were expected to make a leap last season before Cade Cunningham got hurt, and came into this one with a lot of bold talk about competing for the play-in.

Unlike Philly, Detroit isn't tanking, they are just terrible.

The Pistons already have their franchise player healthy

As soon as Joel Embiid played his first full season, things turned around in Philadelphia. After winning just 19, 18 and 10 games in consecutive seasons, the 76ers made a mini-leap to 28 wins after getting 31 games from Embiid.

The next season Embiid played 63 games and Philly jumped up to 52 wins.

The Pistons were supposed to make their mini-leap last season but didn't. Fine. As soon as Cunningham went out, that dream was dead.

But Cade is fully healthy this season and that mini-leap hasn't happened and it seems like the team is miles away from making the kind of advancement Philly made with a full healthy season from Embiid.

Philly lost on purpose and then had a plan in place for when they finally landed a star.

The Pistons have mostly tried to win during all of this (or at least claimed to), got their star, got him healthy and it still didn't matter.

So the comparisons to The Process aren't really valid, as Detroit has tanked the last two seasons by accident, not by design.