NBA: At the Midway Mark of the Season, What’s Left for Pistons?

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
Detroit Pistons Sport News


  • Entering Monday’s game at Washington, the Pistons have the worst record in the NBA at 3-36.
  • Starting Wednesday, the Pistons start a long homestand with six straight at Little Caesars Arena and eight of their next nine games in Detroit.
  • The record for worst record in a full NBA season is Philadelphia in 1972-73 when they went 9-73.

It’s almost like Michigan had to trade football joy for basketball tragedy.

While the state of Michigan is still euphoric over the Wolverines national championship and the Lions playoff run, it’s been a bad fall/winter on the hardwood. Michigan State and Michigan have struggled, and well, the Pistons are a record-breaking flop.

Michigan sportsbooks have everything you need to enjoy the rest of the basketball season, with odds each day on NBA and college games. BetRivers has future markets on college basketball, while BetMGM has great daily boosts and parlay options for the night in the NBA.

We’re closing in on the midway mark of the NBA season. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 8. What can the Pistons do?

Just Win Baby 

The Pistons biggest season highlight is the win over the Toronto Raptors that ended the NBA record tying 28-game losing streak. Incredibly, the Pistons were 2-1, but have now lost 35 of their last 36 games.

From a sports betting standpoint, the Pistons have been a decent bet. They’re 16-23 against the spread, and 24-14-1 over/under. That’s tied for the most overs for any NBA team at this point.

The schedule is not easy the next two weeks. The Pistons kick off a six-game homestand Wednesday, where they play the team with the best record in the Western Conference (Minnesota) and the team with the second-best record in the East twice (Milwaukee). 

Let’s Make a Deal 

The only drama remaining for the Pistons this season is whether they will threaten the all-time record for worst season in the NBA. The hapless Sixers went 9-73 in the 72-73 season. At the moment, the Pistons are on pace to break that.

The Pistons could be active in the trade market, but are they selling or buying? That has to be decided first. If the Pistons are buying….um, for what? To not have the worst NBA record ever? Any dream of the playoffs is over.

So even though they have just three wins, Detroit probably is only in a position - as crazy as it sounds - to sell. About the only player untradeable is Cade Cunningham.

The Future Again 

The sad truth is that the Pistons have systemic issues in the way they are constructed. They are nothing but a bunch of wing/small forwards who need the ball, don’t really shoot the 3 well and don’t play great defense. The Pistons rank 26th in scoring, 28th in shooting threes and are 28th overall in defensive rating. There isn’t one specific thing that dooms Detroit, it’s a bunch of things.

Cunningham has been the lone bright spot, but at some point, you do worry about his injuries. 

The upcoming NBA Draft isn’t considered super special. There’s Ron Holland out of the G League, but he’s another wing player, 7-2 Connecticut center Donovan Clingan would give Detroit a presence in the middle and at least allow the Pistons other bigs to shift to the 4.

The Pistons will have the best shot at the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery, but so few things have gone the Pistons way this season, why should the ping-pong balls?

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.