Yes, the Detroit Pistons are tanking and yes, it would have helped their potential lottery odds to lose, but sometimes there is the bigger picture to consider.
The young Pistons had lost four-in-a-row, were starting to hang their heads, so it was a good time to get a “W” against a good Memphis team, even if the Grizzlies were on the second game of a back-to-back.
The Pistons still have the second-worst record in the NBA, though they are now separated by just half a game from the third-worst Timberwolves, with one game between them and the Thunder.
The Pistons have five games remaining, including one against the aforementioned Timberwolves, so there could still be some movement between now and the NBA Draft Lottery, which has become the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow of misery.
The Pistons didn’t help the tank with this win, but they are trying to build a winning culture, which eventually requires some wins.
This one gave a glimpse of the culture the Pistons are trying to build.
Here are three takeaways from the win over Memphis.
Detroit Pistons: One for the culture
The word “culture” has been bandied about quite a lot this season, mostly in terms of the Pistons trying to build one.
Dwane Casey was aware of how his team was struggling with all the losing and knew this one was important for their confidence:
“We needed it. We were teetering, our guys kind of hanging our head, losing confidence,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “We needed that to continue our confidence, to have continuation in building our culture.”
NBA players are all used to winning and it has to be tough for a young team to endure a whole season without it, especially when draft-mad fans are cheering every loss.
I was glad to see the Detroit Pistons come out and get a win even if it might hurt their chances slightly in the lottery.