Detroit Pistons projected to be worst team in NBA this season by FiveThirtyEight

Detroit Free Press

Omari Sankofa II
| Detroit Free Press

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Earlier this week, ESPN anonymously polled eight NBA scouts and executives on the offseason. In the “who had the worst offseason category,” the Detroit Pistons tied the Houston Rockets for No. 1 on the list. 

Sports and politics stats analysis site FiveThirtyEight isn’t a fan of the Pistons’ offseason, either. On Thursday, the website released its stats-driven 2020-21 season predictions and projections. 

The Pistons ranked dead last across the board.

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FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR projection indicates that Detroit will finish the 2020-21 season with a league-worst 18-54 record, with a 1% chance of making the playoffs. Its Elo projection isn’t much better, forecasting a 24-48 overall record (tied for league-worst with the Cleveland Cavaliers) and a 13% chance of making the playoffs. 

FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR and Elo forecasts are based on 100,000 simulations for the season. RAPTOR solely takes into account the site’s NBA player projections, while Elo is “a measure of team strength based on head-to-head results, margin of victory and quality of opponent,” according to the site. 

The Pistons had an active offseason and will bring back just four players from last year’s roster. Jerami Grant headlines their free agency crop, while Killian Hayes is the highest-drafted of their four rookies selected in the 2020 draft. 

Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose, who return from last season and are embracing mentor roles, could give the Pistons their best chance at surpassing FiveThirtyEight’s projection. 

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.

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