After seventeen losses in a row it’s safe to say nobody expected the Detroit Pistons’ season to go this way.
Social media, work rooms, sports radio and anywhere the Pistons are being discussed, it has been with disdain and disappointment. And rightfully so given the hope that comes with the return of Cade Cunningham, the hiring of coach Monty Williams and Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey entering year two.
“I don’t think anybody saw this part coming, and we aren’t ok with it,” Williams said. “But at the same time we have to accept it and do the things to change it.”
The message from the head coach has been to learn from this time and move forward with humble hearts and hard work. Williams is grateful that he coaches a team that continues to go all out while staying motivated to turn the losing around. He’s even more appreciative to have the team more healthy with the return of Bojan Bogdanovic. Although it may not result in wins right away, it should balance the lineups and minutes of a young team.
”Having those guys back settles some of these really young guys stressed with minutes. Some of them were wondering if they’d start out in the G-League, and now they’re playing 20-30 minutes per game.”
The Pistons currently have eight players in the regular rotation still on rookie contract deals, which has come with many growing pains. Especially for a team that was seeking to compete nightly and show that Troy Weaver’s ‘Restore’ was on the right path. But this season has brought more questioning the rebuild including the handling of Jaden Ivey’s role, if Cunningham really is a true number one, and if Weaver should oversee the free agency ahead.
Not Giving In or Giving Up
Head coach Monty Williams is sure that this team at its core resembles more of what was displayed in the beginning of the season, rather than the losing that has followed. No team wants to go through this, but Williams does believe his team will be better for it.
“I was pleased with the start, camp and the first week of the season,” Williams stated. “These tests make you stronger if you stick together and keep doing the right things.”
Williams is confident that the team is on the right path to turning things around and showing more of what was expected. Although he knows there’s a lot for his team to improve on, he places the responsibility on himself to lead and teach them.
“The humility and humbling has forced me to work and ask questions,” Williams stated. “So we can put this thing in a good place.”
And he knows better days are on the horizon. Because of the players on his roster who show they care and aren’t giving up. Williams has confidence this is the right group of players to have if you go through a tough stretch as they are.
“I’m looking for the bounce back and if it isn’t there is where I throw a red flag,” Williams said. “We’re not going to fail, this thing is going to turn.”
Ultimately fans may tune out the rhetoric but Williams sees an opportunity to really help this young team grow. Despite the unfortunate start to the season plagued with injuries and inexperience. He’s hoping to lead this team by example and hopes his perspective keeps them grounded.
“I didn’t know it’d be like this, but my role is to help guys get through it.”
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Photo Credit: Brandon Dent – Woodward Sports Network