If you were a Detroit Pistons fans, the team’s 123-91 throttling at the hands of the Orlando Magic was a disappointment. If you were a fan of a Michigan college team, well, hey, all five of the Magic’s players with Michigan ties outscored Pistons starter Isaiah Stewart and Michigan alum Isaiah Livers combined.
Franz Wagner scored a game-high 27 points, Michigan State’s Gary Harris added 11, Caleb Houston added six, as did Jett Howard, and Franz’s brother Mo chipped in four.
If you turned those players into a Magic starting lineup, they would have outscored the Pistons’ starters 64-58.
The loss was Detroit’s worst of the season.
The game was never particularly close because the players were never particularly engaged. The starters — Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley — jumped out to an 18-12 lead but then the Pistons went to their anemic bench and the wheels completely fell off.
Monty Williams talked about shortening his rotation and he played 11 guys in the first half. He talked about getting Jaden Ivey more involved and leaning on him more, and he played 1` minutes and had seven shots.
This team is absolutely in its own head, has no idea how to get out of this tailspin, doesn’t trust each other on either end of the floor, and has no idea what to do. That’s on head coach Monty Williams, and I hope publicly and privately he is taking full responsibility.
This team is not good. It was never going to be good this year. But the main culprit for the Pistons experiencing their most lopsided loss of the season, scoring a season low in points, and being aboslutely confused about everything on the floor is he head coach.
He needs to shorten his rotation, play his starters heavy minutes, stagger the lineups so there is never more than three bench players on the court at any time, and they need to end this losing streak.
Oh, yeah, and starting center Bagley tweaked his back and left the game early in the second half. If he misses time, then the Pistons, already down starter Jalen Duren, will be down to one center — James Wiseman — on the roster.
Is this season over yet?