The Pistons‘ season hit a new low point on Monday.
After winning two of their first three games, they’ve lost 14 in a row, and Monday’s defeat was a 19-point blowout at home to a Washington team that entered the night riding a nine-game losing streak of its own.
Pistons head coach Monty Williams expressed his displeasure after the game in a post-game press conference that was his “angriest and shortest” of the season, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required). Williams initially referred to it as a “very” disappointing night before launching into a more in-depth assessment.
“It’s just a level of growing up on this team, maturity, understanding what game plan discipline is,” Williams said. “All the stuff we talk about all the time. Enough talking.
“That wasn’t fight on the floor. That wasn’t Pistons basketball by any stretch of the imagination. That’s what this is. We have to have people that honor the organization and the jersey by competing at a high level every night. Not talking about execution. Just competing. That wasn’t it. And that’s on me.”
Williams told reporters prior to the game that the Pistons had a players-only meeting following their 13th consecutive loss on Friday. However, whatever was discussed in that meeting clearly didn’t translate on the court on Monday, Sankofa observes.
Big man Isaiah Stewart acknowledged after Monday’s loss that the vibe in the locker room isn’t “the best,” but stressed that no one is pointing fingers at one another.
“We’re still a family, we’re still together,” Stewart said. “We know we’re going through a test right now. Me personally, I think it’s a test. I know we will get over this hump. It looks bad, the record looks bad. It’s just stuff that we can fix ourselves. We all know that. Everybody in the locker room is frustrated because we all want to win. We’re not happy or smiling. As a whole, we’re all just trying to find … we know the answers. We know what we gotta do. We gotta go do it. That’s all.”
This was supposed to be the year that the Pistons, who haven’t won more than 23 games in a season since 2018/19, took a step forward and entered the play-in conversation, but that looks more and more like a long shot. While the team is hoping to get Bojan Bogdanovic back from a calf injury soon, it would be unrealistic to expect the veteran forward to turn things around on his own.
James L. Edwards III of The Athletic suggests that management should be worried about the losing habits Detroit is developing, noting that the lack of hope around the club right now is a sign of a rebuild heading in the wrong direction.
Edwards adds that a “shake-up of sorts” seems inevitable, given that it’s only November and the Pistons can’t throw the towel in on the season yet. It’s unclear what that sort of shake-up might look like, but it’s safe to assume it won’t involve Williams, who signed a record-setting six-year contract with the organization earlier this year.