Detroit Pistons fans fed up after another ugly loss: ‘This is unacceptable’

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons built a double-digit cushion for the third straight game.

And for the third straight game, they fell apart down the stretch, losing for the 11th straight time in what has quickly become a more painful than expected season.

The rebuilding Pistons (4-21) are owners of the NBA’s worst record after Friday night’s agonizing 109-93 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans — without their best player, Zion Williamson — the worst team in the Western Conference at 8-20. The game wasn’t even that close, as the Pels led by 27 in the fourth quarter and the Pistons scored the final 10 points in garbage time.

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The Pistons started hot in building a 15-point lead at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, scoring 43 points in the game’s first 15:30. But they quickly squandered the advantage, and took a mere 55-54 lead into halftime.

The Pistons’ starters hit one basket from the field in a horrific third quarter, allowing the Pelicans to crush them 29-12, for an 83-67 lead. The Pistons scored 15 points in 16 minutes of game time, from the middle of the second quarter to late in the third, turning a 43-28 lead into a 73-58 deficit — an extended 45-15 run.

As you can imagine, the Pistons fans still tuned in weren’t happy with the performance. #PistonsTwitter grew more frustrated with each passing minute in the second half, with some looking big picture and questioning the “restoration” under veteran coach Dwane Casey and second-year general manager Troy Weaver — a man who said after last season’s plucky 20-52 performance: “I don’t like the way it smells. I don’t like anything about it. The only way to improve that is I gotta come back better. I’m looking forward to coming back better.”

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Though expectations were low for this young team — I ranked them 14th of 15 teams entering the season in a suddenly deep Eastern Conference — despite relatively good health, the Pistons have been the league’s worst shooting team, second-worst on offense and second-worst in net rating at minus-9.8, and have rarely been fun to watch. They were booed at home last month, and have lost an NBA-high nine games by 15 points or more.

All this despite the excitement of No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham and all three of last year’s first-round draft picks starting and earning significant minutes.

Is it time to panic? No. Rebuilds are painful. But this has been a dispiriting season thus far, and it’s fair to question the performance of everyone.

A rundown of reactions in real time from Friday’s defeat:

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Our Pistons beat writer Omari Sankofa II was on the scene and tweeted reactions from Casey and Cunningham after the game:

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