From Hardwood to Happiness: A Thanksgiving Toast to the Pistons.

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Thirteen games in, and the Pistons have the WORST record in the NBA. Piston fans worldwide knew it would be a struggle, but NOT LIKE THIS. Last week, I talked about the Pistons taking a page from the Lions in their rebuild, and I still believe this is a process. Despite being at the lowest point they could be so far this season, there are still things the fan base (and myself) can be thankful for. With Thanksgiving four days away, Let’s be grateful for some of the things we’ve seen this season.

A Competent Coaching Staff

Dwayne Casey is an all-American man, but his tenure in Detroit was terrible (for the most part). It took a little money to get Monty Williams to get back into coaching, but he did, and for the first time in years, I am optimistic about the staff. With young teams, You tend to lean on the “high ceiling” guys to play no matter what. I am happy that Monty Williams didn’t take that bait. The first thing he did was start Killian Hayes instead of Jaden Ivey. Yes, Ivey offensively has the more significant potential, but coach Williams’s message to this team is DEFENSE. If you don’t play defense, You will not play a role you think you’re supposed to play. So look at the situation now and understand the team is terrible, but also understand Phoenix was wrong until he was given time to instill his philosophies.

Rookies who aren’t scared of the moment

The NBA draft and the Detroit Pistons are a double-edged sword. For every Cade Cunningham drafted, you’ll have a Henry Ellenson. And there’s been more Henry Ellensons than Cade Cunninghams. Conversely, The Pistons acquired players in the draft via trade, making them better (Stewart & Duren). In the 2023 draft, The Pistons struck gold with a draft pick and a trade for another player selected. Ausar Thompson is asserting himself as a foundational piece for the Pistons, but one surprisingly effective player is Marcus Sasser. Drafted with the 25th pick by the Grizzlies, The Pistons traded for him, and it was seen as a risky deal. That hasn’t been the case as Sasser has also flashed the 2-way abilities he showed at Houston on the court with the Pistons.

Cade Cunningham

After two injury-riddled seasons, Cade Cunningham is finally on the court and looking like the #1 pick he was selected to be. After playing just 12 games last season, There was a lot of talk about the Pistons making a mistake in drafting Cunningham. We could put those thoughts to bed as Cunningham is averaging 21.0 PTS, 7.1 AST & 3.8 REB. He has to cut down the turnovers (4.9) and the fouls (3.4), and you probably want to see his shooting a lot better (40% FG & 31% 3PT), but overall the potential is there.

Being Bad This Season

It’s never a good thing to have a bad season. The ultimate goal is to win a championship, no matter how inept your team may be. Reality sets in, though, and sometimes you have to accept it. Being bad may be the silver lining for the Pistons going into the offseason. If the Pistons happened to be good this season, Their first-round pick would’ve been going to the Knicks. Instead, they will hold on to that pick as they also plan to be one of the worst teams this season. Let’s hope the lottery balls don’t play the Pistons the same way they did last year.

In Conclusion

No matter how bleak things may be, there is always something to be grateful for. As you gather with your family this holiday season, be thankful for everything! The same rules apply to this season for the Pistons. Yes, you’ve lost 11 straight; you got popped by 29 points Sunday to the Toronto Raptors, but there are still things to look forward to. Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers out there, and no matter what you’re going through now, BE grateful for everything you have.

Check out my weekly NBA show, “10 On The Clock,” every Monday on your favorite podcasting app.

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