Pistons open preseason on Oct. 8 against Suns, former team of new coach Monty Williams

Detroit News

Detroit — Fans won’t have to wait much longer to see the revamped version of the Pistons take the court for the first time.

The Pistons revealed their four-game preseason schedule on Thursday and the opener is set for Oct. 8 against the Phoenix Suns — the former team of new coach Monty Williams. The game is set for 3 p.m. at Little Caesars Arena, which is the only home game on Detroit’s preseason slate.

The Pistons will play their final three games on the road, which includes two contests against the Oklahoma City Thunder in semi-neutral sites. The two will face each other in Montreal on Oct. 12, as part of the NBA Canada Series, and their matchup on Oct. 19 will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

From there, the Pistons will hit the road to finish the preseason against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 20. The NBA released the 2023-24 regular season schedule last week, which revealed the Pistons will have 15 sets of back-to-back games this season — most in the league.

The Pistons went winless in last year’s preseason, with losses to the Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks.

This year’s Pistons team features the return of Cade Cunningham, who missed 70 games last year due to season-ending surgery, along with a young nucleus that includes Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart and dynamic rookie Ausar Thompson. The front office also traded for sharpshooter Joe Harris and guard Monte Morris to add to its group of veterans led by Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks.

The Pistons allowed former coach Dwane Casey to transition into a front office role at the end of last season, so hiring a new coach was the top priority of their offseason. Two weeks after Williams’ firing from Phoenix, Pistons owner Tom Gores took a more aggressive approach in the team’s lengthy coaching search by signing Williams to six-year contract worth $78.5 million, making him the highest-paid coach in NBA history.

The Suns added Bradley Beal this offseason to a star-studded group that also includes Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. On paper, Phoenix should be one of the main contenders to reach next season’s NBA Finals.

Williams’ first game as coach of the Pistons will involve coming up with a gameplan to stop the Suns and their newly-formed “Big 3.”

The Pistons’ full preseason schedule is listed below:

▶ Oct. 8 vs. Suns (3 p.m.)

▶ Oct. 12 at Thunder (7 p.m. in Montreal)

▶ Oct. 19 vs. Thunder (8 p.m. in Tulsa, Oklahoma)

▶ Oct. 20 at Mavericks (8 p.m.)


X: @MikeACurtis2

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