The Pistons have now lost 17 of their past 18 games
It’s always fun. Sure, most times it’s fun because it’s two downtrodden teams muddying it up as they endure yet another year of rebuilding, but it’s fun! Tonight was no different as the Pistons traveled to take on the Thunder in OKC.
The difference, of course, is the Thunder are no longer shamelessly tanking.
They’re ready to roll, competing for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. Detroit is still dreaming of that day, but with Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sitting out, we had ourselves another Detroit-OKC classic.
And in typical Pistons fashion, it ended in the stupidest way possible.
After Cory Joseph nailed a go-ahead triple with 13.5 seconds to go, Oklahoma City overcame two misses in the final seconds to beat the Pistons at the buzzer 107-106 with a put-back off an offensive rebound by Jalen Williams.
It’s the third time the Pistons have lost a game at the buzzer on an offensive rebound put-back, a sentence that doesn’t even seem possible for a professional basketball team.
But this team is real — really, really bad.
Just look at these plays, starting with tonight:
Jalen Williams saves the Thunder against the Pistons pic.twitter.com/r3mpeTbYuH
— ProCity Hoops (@ProCityHoops) March 30, 2023
Then vs Washington in March:
Here’s Daniel Gafford’s buzzer-beater to give the Wizards a win over the Pistons. pic.twitter.com/ZDRyE7PIQJ
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) March 8, 2023
And of course, Orlando in February:
Wendell Carter Jr game winner‼️ pic.twitter.com/hSpMOLHbFn
— Blue Devils (@BlueDevils) February 24, 2023
Honestly, losses are losses, but what continues to be infuriating it is that this team does not appear to be learning from these mistakes. They play hard some nights, sure, but collectively they aren’t getting better.
There are individuals are getting better — guys like Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren — but overall they just makes the same mistakes nightly. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results… aka welcome to Deeeee-troit Basket-ball in 2023.
Being the worst team in the league is good for the lotto balls, but these losses aren’t all that productive. Bad teams gotta learn how to win. They need to overcome their mistakes. It’s ok to make new mistakes as long as you clean up old ones.
The team that tanked for Cade Cunningham in 2019-20? That team sucked, too, but they got better and you could see the effort and learning in those losses last in the year. It’s night and day different from this one.
That isn’t happening this year.
I’ll give them credit, though: they played their asses off.
The game could have turned after James Wiseman was whistled for a flagrant foul on Jaylin Williams with 4:43 left. The Thunder, up four at the time, would convert one of two at the line to extend the lead to 100-94.
It wasn’t a good foul, but it wasn’t overly malicious, either. The shame is that Cory Joseph stripped Williams clean on the play… so if the flagrant doesn’t occur, it’s just a good stop.
Alas, these are the Pistons and ill-timed mistakes haunt them on a nightly basis.
However, Detroit didn’t relent. They tied the game at 100, and it wasn’t until Lu Dort’s and-one with just over 2 minutes to go that the Thunder took the lead for good. Ivey had a chance to tie it, making a driving layup with 1:48 to go.
But it was Jaylin Williams who drew a charge, erasing the bucket and fouling Ivey out in the process.
The rookie had another great game with 24 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds. He nailed five triples and, though he turned it over five times, played a pretty controlled game considering he spent most of the night dueling with one of the best defenders in the NBA in Dort.
Eugene Omoruyi got his Revenge Game shot tonight, and he played well. The former Thunder forward knocked down a pair of threes and scored 14 points off the bench and had a great two-handed block on Giddey late.
Jalen Duren was good off the bench. He should have been on the floor late, his development is more important than Wiseman — who forced the initial miss on the final possession. The rookie had 10 points and six boards and was the best big on the floor in his limited (19) minutes.
Wiseman scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half and grabbed 10 rebounds, hitting a big hook shot in the final minute to keep the Pistons within a possession to go with a good late contest.
Hampton and CoJo were good off the bench as well with 12 and 13 points, respectively.
The Pistons have now lost 17 of their past 18 games. Losing to the Houston Rockets on Friday might get them within range of locking up the worst record in the NBA.
Are you jazzed about the loss? Did you actually want the win? Let us know.