When the Detroit Pistons decided to lose, there had been no one better over the last decade, but they have now outdone themselves by assembling one of the worst examples of an ill-fitting roster in a league that now relies on spacing and efficient scoring. At the edge or behind the arc, adaptable formations.
Detroit’s 26th straight loss over the weekend to the Brooklyn Nets ties the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers for the longest losing streak in league history. They still have deeper depths to reach. With two more losses, they will break the Sixers’ 28-game stretch during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. With their next three games against the Nets, Celtics and Pistons. They are likely to break this milestone by the new year.
The aforementioned Cavaliers were rolling out the rug after LeBron James jetted off to Miami in a prime-time television event. The Sixers were in the inaugural season of the process’s most difficult season. This losing streak is the most significant the Pistons have had since their last playoff win in 2008.
When Pistons owner Tom Gores hired Troy Weaver as the architect for their rebuild, he alienated a veteran Thunder executive who had spent a decade learning the dark arts of evaluating expectations from Sam Presti.
“Troy is an outstanding executive with an exceptional track record of identifying and developing talent,” Joris said in a statement.
Jim Boeheim praised Weaver, who was instrumental in identifying Carmelo Anthony at Syracuse before he exploded on the recruiting circuit.
“Anyone can spot LeBron and know he’s good, but not everyone knew Steph Curry was going to be really good. Troy has an eye. He’s a great evaluator of both players and people,” Boeheim said. The athlete After Weaver was introduced as Pistons GM.
Unfortunately, it didn’t play out that way. Today, Presti presides over a mine full of diamonds in the form of players approaching their peak. While the Thunder cruises in high flight, the Pistons Weaver are spy people. Little Caesars Arena in the Motor City is a nighttime haven for basketball pros on doomsday. The Charlotte Hornets, who have the second-longest active losing streak, have lost just seven straight.
The San Antonio Spurs are just 30 games into the French Revolution, but they have a cornerstone to build on and a head coach whose regime took five championship rides between 1999 and 2014. The Washington Wizards have been in limbo for one season too long, but have invested in Tank Jordan and Tank Pippen, also known as Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma, for the near future.
However, the Pistons have lost nearly 75 percent of their games dating back to the start of the pandemic. Since 2019, their number has decreased 40 more games than Wizardsthe worst team in the NBA at that time.
This is not a matter of tinkering. Their entire scheme is flawed. The Crash Brothers, Cade Cunningham, Ausar Thompson and Jaden Ivey are the coldest shooting backcourt in the league. Overall, the Pistons shot the lowest percentage in the NBA from downtown, while mounting the fewest attempts per game and began their season by fielding a large lineup of players including Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart.
For some strange reason, they have become a repository for the other team’s lottery trash. Their total roster includes eight recent top-10 picks.
Kevin Knox quickly fell out of favor in New York, and was eventually pushed out of the rotation and signed with the Pistons in 2022 before Detroit then traded Knox to the Portland Trail Blazers at the deadline in a four-team James Wiseman trade. During the offseason, Knox signed with the Pistons again. Jaden Ivey has been on and off the course, but he’s a Bugatti who thrives when he drives the track. Veteran Bojan Bogdanovic is the only above-average shooter in Monty Williams’ rotation, but at 34 years old, he doesn’t factor into their long-term plans.
Jumbo guard Killian Hayes is still in development hell, posting a career-high effective field goal percentage of .467. Has better, he He cemented his status as a top-30 player in the league. Hayes’ playmaking ability as a blockbuster guard is what got him into the lottery, but his extreme limitations as a bucket-carrier played a big role in the Pistons’ push toward drafting Cunningham first overall in 2020.
During the 2022 offseason, they outbid Marvin Bagley by offering a three-year, fully guaranteed deal to the former No. 2 pick who is a non-threat out of the run, completely devoid of playmaking ability and is a passive defender.
Ausar Thompson is an incredible athlete, but anyone who watched him build mansions at Overtime Elite knew he was one of the most prolific builders in the draft. For what it’s worth, Thompson is a bouncy slasher who can fill the stat sheet at both ends without an effective jumper. But Weaver combining a future world-class defender, who now makes just 20 percent of his attempts from downtown, with one of the worst shooting lineups in the modern NBA, only contributes to the skewness of this roster. Throw in a quartet of large, one-dimensional items, and you’ve got Chernobyl basketball sparks.
Trading Wiseman months after receiving Jalen Duren in a draft trade to pair with Isaiah Stewart was incomprehensible given the makeup of this team. The latter represents more of a perimeter threat than Duren or Wiseman, but defensively he puts the Pistons at a disadvantage whether he’s patrolling the paint or eating fumes as forwards approach him faster.
Three years after taking Cunningham first overall, Detroit is digging itself into a deeper hole. After missing out on the Victor Wimpanyama sweepstakes, despite having the worst record in the league by five games, they will have to get lucky in a draft devoid of top-level prospects.
If the Pistons don’t find a lifeline in the draft, their fate rests on Cunningham’s development. On the plus side, Cunningham is a multi-faceted guard in a small forward’s body, playing a cerebral brand of basketball.
Cunningham recently He became the sixth player in NBA history to record 1,800 points, 600 assists, and 500 rebounds in his first 100 games.. Luka Doncic, Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, LeBron James and Steve Francis round out an impressive list. However, here lies the problem. Of these six players, Cunningham’s true shooting percentage tells the story of a talent better suited to be a lieutenant than a five-star general.
Through his first 100 games, Cunningham sticks out like a sore thumb when you examine how he stacks up against that group based on their respective effective field goal percentages, which weight 3-point shooting the most, and true shooting percentage, which factors in free throws.
His career .312 3-point average It ranks 139 out of 140 worst among mass shooters Who has made at least 500 three-pointers since entering the league. he He leads the league in turnoversAnd in his third year, he’s falling short of getting to the free throw line, hitting the iron behind the arc at a prolific rate and finishing horribly in the lane despite his enormous size and length. This season through 29 matches He has had more shots rejected than any player in the league Except for Jaren Jackson. Detroit has a dilemma on their hands. Sometimes, Cunningham fades into the background.
There is no way Weaver would have survived this structural disaster. Inevitably, he would leave behind an irradiated list. When the Pistons finally win the game, someone is going to have to pull them out of this rubble and Cunningham won’t be able to do it alone.