There was once a time when the Detroit Pistons were the darlings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The late 1980s and early 2000s teams swept aside any team that stood in front of them, but the current Pistons have forgotten what it is like to win a game of basketball and set an unwanted record on December 26, 2023.
Cast your mind back to the 1988-89 NBA season, when the Detroit Pistons finished 63-19 during the regular season before becoming NBA champions with a dominant 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. The Pistons went 59-23 the following season and won back-to-back championships with a 4-1 mauling of the Portland Trail Blazers in the finals.
The Pistons went off the boil in the 1990s but returned to form in the early part of the 2000s, including becoming NBA champions in 2003-04 and losing finalists in 2004-05. However, since the 2007-08 campaign, the Pistons have failed to enjoy a winning season. They have gone from hot favorites to rank outsiders. Anyone who needs spread sports betting explained in layman’s terms knows to avoid backing the current Pistons team to do anything but lose.
The Pistons Can’t Stop Losing
In no uncertain terms, the 2022-23 campaign was terrible for the Detroit Pistons. Through 82 regular season games, the loyal Pistons fans returned home to celebrate only 17 victories. After losing 12 of their last 13 fixtures, the Pistons headed into the off-season knowing there was plenty of work ahead of them for the upcoming season.
A narrow 102-103 loss on the road at Miami Heat continued the Pistons’ losing streak. However, there were a couple of little green shoots through the barren wasteland when they defeated the Charlotte Hornets 111-99 in Game 2. They followed that win with a 118-102 victory over the Chicago Bulls at the Pistons’ Little Caesars Arena.
Pistons fans celebrated the victory over the Bulls like they had won the NBA Championship. Sadly, that is the last time they have enjoyed the sweet taste of success because the Pistons have lost each and every one of their next 26 fixtures, up to and including December 23. Such an awful run of results equaled the record for the longest single-season losing streak. The Pistons are tied in their unwanted record with the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers. They ten lost on Boxing Day to set a new record of 27 straight defeats.
Following the Pistons’ 115-126 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, head coach Monty Williams spoke to the media, praising his battling players.
“Losing is awful in this league, and we’ve had a lot of it. I’m proud of the way they just keep battling every night. Our guys don’t want to be part of any losing streak, whatever. But every day, they come back with focus and drive and grit trying to win a game.”
Could The Pistons Have the Worst Win Percentage in NBA History?
Right now, the Pistons do not look like they will win a basketball game again this season. Their head coach praised his team for their grit and determination, but the Pistons players look defeated when they step onto the court. Losing games becomes a habit that is difficult to shake off.
When teams continually lose, it feels like nothing will go right for them. They give away needless fouls, three-pointers, and field goals do not drop in, while the opposition seemingly scores with ease.
At the time of writing, the 2023-23 Detroit Pistons are 2-27, which gives them a win percentage of only 0.69. They will become the worst-ever NBA team in the competition’s history if this awful run continues. Currently, that dubious honor belongs to the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats. That team ended the regular season with a 7-59 record or a mere .106 win percentage.
What Has Gone Wrong at the Detroit Pistons?
Billionaire Tom Gores purchased the Detroit Pistons in June 2011, promising to take the franchise back to its glory days. However, Gores is trigger-happy regarding the hiring and firing of staff and has gone through four heads of basketball operations and six head coaches. Gores hired Monty Williams and made him the then-highest-paid coach in the history of the NBA, paying him a guaranteed $78.5 million through 2029.
None of it has worked. The Pistons have not had a playoff game win since Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference finals, and they were swept from the three first-round appearances in the past 15 years. Amazingly, the Pistons have not won more than 23 games in a season since 2019!
The team’s abdominal performances on the court have seen the franchise secure four straight top-10 draft picks. Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Ausar Thompson have all joined the Pistons with high hopes yet failed to consistently perform in the famous blue and red uniform.
A telling statistic relating to three-pointers tells the story of the Pistons’ demise. Today’s game sees teams sink an average of 40 three-pointers per game. Those three-pointers turn the tide of games, but the Pistons cannot hit the basket from a distance. Some 223 players have attempted at least 50 shots from the three, and the Pistons Cunningham, Hayes, Ivey, and Thompson rank 180th, 200th, 209th, and 223rd, respectively.
The Detroit Pistons is one of the NBA’s most famous franchises. There were times when the Detroit Pistons were feared and respected in equal measure, with the hard-working teams mirroring the determination and perseverance of the fans who supported them in the arena.
Unfortunately, those days seem long gone. The franchise looks to have little to no direction, and it has an owner who is keen to fire staff at the first sight of adversity. Throw into the mix underperforming youngsters who left college basketball highly rated, and you can see why the Pistons continue struggling.
Will this Pistons team become the worst side in NBA history? One would hope not, but seeing where the next win will come from is challenging.