Monty Williams’ return would be delaying the inevitable — this match doesn’t work

Detroit Bad Boys

When a relationship is over, it’s best to make a clean break. There is no sense of sticking around to ease the financial burden of the mortgage. Do not stay together for the sake of the kids. Just go your separate ways.

The same is true of head coaches and NBA teams. Monty Williams was a wonderfully successful coach for the Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans before them. He could be a great head coach for a veteran-led playoff team. But the fact remains, he is a disaster of a head coach for the Detroit Pistons. And he should be fired so Detroit under new president Trajan Langdon can identify a head coach who can lead this team back to relevance.

Williams’ failings are numerous and are only outpaced by the failings of the roster assembled for him to coach. That’s the rub, though, isn’t it? Was it the coach, or was it the players foisted upon him?

My friends, it was both. And nobody should escape unscathed. Troy Weaver built what could barely be called an NBA roster relying almost exclusively on players 22 years and younger. The players failed by sheer ineptitude and inconsistency. Much of that is part and parcel of being a rookie and second-year player in the NBA. But the players didn’t seem focused, seemed disinterested in even attempting to play defense, and didn’t appreciably develop throughout the 82-game season.

And then there is Williams. The first-year head coach never seemed to win the hearts and minds of his players. He didn’t seem to have any clue how to maximize the meager talents available on the roster, had no idea how to stagger lineups, and would own up to mistakes to the media only to run out and make the exact same mistakes. Repeatedly. Every night. There was ample public data on what was working and what wasn’t with the offensive scheme, the rotations, and more. Yet, Williams seemed unwilling and uninterested in change.

When an owner brags about getting involved in the lineup and rotation decisions, and the owner is right(!!!), this is a sign your tenure as head coach should be coming to an end.

It was Williams who decided to stick with Killian Hayes as the team’s starting point guard despite a career that pointed to him being one of the league’s worst offensive players. It was Williams who, charged with developing Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey coming off of All-Rookie campaigns, saw both players regress so severely they are now commonly thrown into trades rather than seen as legitimate building blocks of a young team. It was Williams who managed the team that lost 28 consecutive games and had no ability to steer out of the skid from Oct. 30 to Dec. 29.

Williams should no longer be the head coach for the simple fact that he showed zero reasons he should be retained. He failed and should be fired just as Weaver failed and is no longer here.

Instead, it appears Langdon will give Williams another year and, presumably, a much better roster and see what he can do. I’m sure with $65 million in additions via free agency, and trades that swap out young players for veterans, the win percentage will be significantly improved.

But I am peering into my crystal ball, and I am seeing a team that is very much asking the same questions about their head coach next offseason as they are offering right now. Can the Pistons really eat the remainder of that hefty contract? What coaching replacements are actually on the market? Why isn’t this team working?

These same questions are being asked because we all already know the fundamental answer. Monty Williams should be out as head coach. Kicking the can down the road would just be delaying the inevitable decision.

Make it now, Trajan, and put your Pistons team on a positive path going forward.

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