Nov 28, 2022 - Sports

Rebuild continues for Pistons despite early optimism

Cade Cunningham and Dwane Casey converse on the sideline.

Cade Cunningham and Dwane Casey converse on the sideline. Photo: Brian Sevald/NBAE, via Getty Images

Injuries plaguing the Pistons have already dimmed hopes on what looks like yet another rebuilding season.

Why it matters: There was a ton of optimism following last season's late hot streak and the selection of rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren in the draft.

  • Head coach Dwane Casey said Detroit would compete this season, raising expectations that the team could find itself fighting for a chance at the playoffs.

What happened: After a thrilling opening night win, losses began to mount as the team lost its shooting touch and struggled on defense.

  • Then the injuries started to accumulate — none more damaging or concerning than Cade Cunningham's left shin injury, which might need surgery.
  • As of yesterday, the Pistons have the worst record in the NBA (5-16).

Between the lines: A slow start was expected because of a tough early schedule, but the 'Stones have remained ice cold outside of recent back-to-back road wins against the Nuggets and Jazz.

  • The futures of third-year players Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart — once considered franchise building blocks — are now more uncertain.
  • Hayes remains inconsistent and Bey's shooting (29% from three-point range) has fallen off.

What we're watching: This nightmarish season could turn into a dream if the Ping-Pong balls fall in Detroit's favor again.

  • Victor Wembanyama might be the greatest prospect ever, and behind him is Scoot Henderson, who would be the unanimous No. 1 overall player if Wemby was born in a different year.
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