The Pistons dropped their 17th straight game Saturday to fall to 2-18, but the organization is still emphasizing patience instead of panic, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. Sources tell Sankofa that ownership is unlikely to make major front office changes with so much of the season remaining, which means general manager Troy Weaver will have more time to fix the current mess.
Still, Sankofa cites concern throughout the franchise as no one expected this season to start so badly. Coming off the worst three-year stretch in team history, the Pistons thought they were ready to take a step toward contention. Instead, they have the worst record in the league and are just 4-41 since February 12.
Sankofa traces everything that has gone wrong in Detroit, including management’s decision to be conservative with its offseason cap space while counting on the development of young players to make the team better. The Pistons traded for Monte Morris, who was supposed to bring veteran leadership to the backcourt, but he hasn’t played yet and may be sidelined through January with a quad strain. Joe Harris was acquired to add shooting, but injuries have limited him to seven games and he’s connecting at just 36% from the field.
There’s more from Detroit:
- There’s nothing to be gained by firing Weaver now, but owner Tom Gores will have no choice if things don’t improve over the rest of the season, contends Shawn Windsor of The Detroit Free Press. Windsor argues that Weaver hasn’t done anything in his three-plus years with the organization to justify letting him run another draft or oversee the considerable money the Pistons will have to chase free agents next summer.
- Coach Monty Williams made a lineup change Saturday night, using guards Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Killian Hayes as starters, per Mike Curtis of The Detroit News. Williams explained that the move was made partially to match up with Cleveland’s small backcourt, but he likes the way his three guards have been performing together. Curtis notes that Cunningham played off the ball more frequently for the second straight game and showed better decision making with his shooting.
- The Pistons got a much-needed addition Saturday night with the season debut of Bojan Bogdanovic, who had been sidelined with a strained right calf. Bogdanovic said he suffered the injury shortly before training camp and had another setback that kept him out longer than expected, tweets James L. Edwards of The Athletic.