What Monty Williams missed with Pistons turnover talk

Dec 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams calls a play in
Dec 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams calls a play in / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

If you had to name the biggest problem for the Detroit Pistons over the last four seasons (aside from a lack of talent), it might be turnovers.

The Pistons are 2nd-worst in the NBA this season and have been at or near the bottom of the league in turnovers per game for the last four.

Part of this is that they are a young team, part of it is the constant moving parts and role changes and part of it is just plain carelessness.

But some of it can also be put on the GM and coaches. Troy Weaver hasn't gotten enough floor spacing around his young guards, which causes clogged lanes and more turnovers.

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Monty Williams, and Dwane Casey before him, haven't done enough to get and keep the right personnel on the floor to try and add spacing, though in their defense, they are limited by a roster that doesn't have many reliable shooters.

So I am not putting all of the blame on the coaches, but a recent quote from Monty Williams misses his complicity in this issue.

Monty Williams is part of the turnover problem for the Detroit Pistons

Williams has talked about turnovers plenty to the media and I am sure even more to his team. It's frustrating, as a lot of the turnovers are just careless errors that he can't do anything about. These players aren't children, they should know how to take care of the ball.

Here's what Williams had to say when asked about the turnovers that plagued them again in the most recent loss to Utah:

While I agree with him about the "carelessness" part, I don't agree that's the "only way you can sum it up."

Williams mentioned "playing in a crowd," which is interesting coming from a guy who admitted the spacing was better with only one big on the floor but then promptly ran a two-big starting lineup out there again as soon as he got a chance. Predictably, after cutting his turnovers in the games with only one big in the starting five, Cade's turnovers went right back up when Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley III were back in the starting lineup. Shocker.

In the previous six games, all without two bigs at the same time, Cade never had more than three turnovers. The team as a whole had a good stretch, with two games with turnovers in single digits. Two bigs returned against Utah and Cade jumped right back up to six turnovers and the team logged 20 overall.

It's hard not to play in a crowd when your team has at least three players on the floor that no one has to guard outside of the paint. It's not like the Pistons have a ton of options, but continuing to run two bigs at the same time is asinine and everyone but Troy Weaver and Monty Williams seems to be able to see it.

Williams also said his young team is "not being sure about where we need to go with the ball," which seems like a big issue this deep into the season. I get these are mostly young players, and I agree that they look lost most of the time, but whose fault is that? What is the offensive scheme? Where is that .5 offense I heard so much about? Where is the ball movement, the cutting? What is the plan?

So often we see the Pistons guards dribble into a crowd and not know what to do with the ball, which leads to turnovers. Part of that is on them, but part of that is on the coach putting them in the right position to succeed.

If your team doesn't know what to do with the ball, that's on you, coach.

Williams is frustrated by the turnovers like the rest of us, but unlike the rest of us, he can do something about it by implementing more ball movement and not constantly shooting his best player in the foot by clogging the lane with bigs.