History Seeking Pistons: Struggles, Coaching Crisis, Path Forward.

History
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Remember when the Pistons were trending upward? Well, The Pistons are chasing history to finish the season. With a record of 12-60, they have seven losses from becoming the worst team in franchise history. Today’s worst team in history is the 79-80 Pistons, who went 16-66. Are you wondering who they’re playing to finish out the season? Well, here’s the list of teams.

  • Minnesota
  • Philadelphia
  • Dallas
  • Washington
  • Memphis (x2)
  • Atlanta
  • Brooklyn
  • San Antonio
  • Chicago

Looking at the rest of these games to finish the season, I can see the Pistons winning two or three games. With guys like Ausar Thompson and Isaiah Stewart out for the season and Cade Cunningham and Jalen Duren missing games, Guys like Troy Brown Jr, Chimezie Metu, and Buddy Boeheim are getting rotational minutes. I am not here to talk about this year’s Pistons this week. I want to talk about the worst team in franchise history right now: the 79-80 Detroit Pistons.

History Always Start With Interesting Off-Seasons.

In 1979, the Pistons had three first-round picks and selected Greg Kelser, Roy Hamilton, and Phil Hubbard. They also picked Terry Duerod in the second round. Unfortunately, they made one of the worst trades in franchise history when they gave up two first-round picks and M.L. Carr for often injured Bob Mcadoo from the Celtics. Those picks turned out to be the #1 overall pick and the #13th pick, which the Celtics used to acquire Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.

In 2023, the Pistons were robbed of the first overall pick when their draft position dropped from a projected 1st to 5th. They used their 5th pick to select Ausar Thompson and traded back into the first round to choose Marcus Sasser. In free agency, The Pistons acquired Joe Harris (whom they waived), signed Michigan native Monte Morris (whom they traded), and re-signed Marvin Bagley to a 3-year 33 million dollar contract (whom they traded). The Pistons’ most significant move was giving Monty Williams 78 million dollars to coach the team.

History Always Has Questionable Coaching Decisions.

Monty Williams was set on not returning to basketball for at least a season before the money prompted him to return. What do you expect when you have an unmotivated coach who’s only back because of the money? Williams started rough when he started Killian Hayes over Jaden Ivey to begin the season. Watching the Pistons play sometimes, I see they always start decent and can hold their own. Many of their losses have come from the lack of adjustments for the second half of games. The Pistons don’t put together a complete 48-minute game, and I blame that solely on Monty Williams and his lack of adjustments.

In 1978-79, the Detroit Pistons hired Dick Vitale as their coach. After a successful run at the University of Detroit, Vitale signed a three-year contract worth $100K per season and a new Cadillac. However, coaching professional athletes proved challenging, and Vitale had to be hospitalized due to immense pressure; Vitale’s first season ended with a disappointing record of 30-52. After coaching just 12 games in the next season, the Pistons fired him and replaced him with assistant coach Richie Adubato.

History Always Starts Out Promising.

There are so many similarities between these two historically bad teams. Both teams had pretty solid starts to their seasons. The 79-80 Pistons started 3-1, while the 23-24 Pistons started 2-1. Their seasons went downhill after that. The 79-80 Pistons had two losing streaks of ten games or more and three of five or more games. Winning rarely came for the 79-80 Pistons as they only had three two-game winning streaks, with their season-high being three.

The Pistons started the season similarly optimistically, going 2-1. A 28-game losing streak followed that start. Since then, The Pistons have had three losing streaks of five or more games and just three two-game winning streaks. Unlike the 79-80 Pistons, These Detroit Pistons have yet to put together one three-game losing streak this season.

The Conclusion.

I understand that being a part of history is only sometimes something we strive for. Accepting that we need to change to improve can be challenging. In the past, the Pistons had their fair share of struggles, but we brought in players who had a passion for changing the narrative of Pistons Basketball. In the present day, it’s tough to see the team struggling and being the worst in franchise history. I empathize with everyone, from ownership down to the players, who try their best to turn things around.

The city of Detroit has always supported its team, and it’s evident that they care deeply about the Pistons. However, it’s understandable that they might eventually tire of supporting a losing cause if the players don’t show enough effort.

If the Pistons happen to break the record for most losses in a season by a team this year, it could be a wake-up call for everyone involved. The players must understand that they must prove they’re worth their paycheck and not just steal money from the organization. I hope everyone can come together and work towards a brighter future for Pistons Basketball.

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