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May 29, 2024

Pistons Make History With 27 Straight Losses, Tying Longest Single-Season Skid

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Dec 27, 2023

The Detroit Pistons etched their names in the NBA record books on Tuesday night, though it was for a mark no team wishes to achieve. With a 118-112 loss on the road against the Brooklyn Nets, the Pistons tied the record for the longest single-season losing streak in league history at 27 games.

Season of Misery Reaches New Low

Detroit’s latest defeat came after yet another second half collapse. The young Pistons squad led 65-57 at halftime, appearing poised to finally snap their epic skid. However, the Nets outscored them 36-19 in the third quarter to seize control.

Despite a valiant late rally that got them within three points, Detroit simply didn’t have enough to avoid matching the record set by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013-14. The Pistons also now share the second-longest slide including streaks spanning multiple seasons, tied with the Vancouver Grizzlies who dropped 23 straight in the 1997-98 campaign and the first four games the next year.

Longest Losing Streaks in NBA History

Team - Season(s) - Losses
Cleveland Cavaliers - 2010-11 / 2011-12 - 26 
Philadelphia 76ers - 2013-14 - 26  
Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies - 1997-99 - 23  
Detroit Pistons - 2022-23 - 27*

*Active streak

Making history was little consolation for Pistons head coach Dwane Casey. “This one hurt,” he told reporters after the game. “To be that close and let it slip away…we just have to stay the course.”

All-Star forward Bojan Bogdanovic cited familiar culprits for the loss. “We relax, settle for bad shots, turn the ball over. We have to learn how to win.”

Indeed, fans have witnessed a recurring theme all season of Detroit failing to execute late in contests. Their inability to make winning plays has directly contributed to the mounting losses.

No Relief In Sight

As the Pistons chase the 1976-77 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ NFL record of 26 straight defeats, the schedule isn’t providing any easy opportunities for redemption. Their next six opponents all possess winning records, including defending Eastern Conference champion Boston twice.

After that grueling stretch, Detroit catches a slight break before hitting another tough portion of games. They’ll play seven of eight matchups versus teams currently over .500.

All told, winning even one contest over the next six weeks looks to be a monumental challenge. Barring an unexpected upset, the Pistons appear destined to shatter the NBA futility mark they just matched.

Upcoming Pistons Schedule 

Date - Opponent - Opponent's Record
Dec. 27 - at Knicks - 18-18
Dec. 30 - at Spurs - 13-23
Dec. 31 - at Pelicans - 23-12  
Jan. 2 - Celtics - 25-10
Jan. 4 - at Clippers - 21-17
Jan. 6 - at Warriors - 20-18
Jan. 7 - Kings - 17-15         
Jan. 9 - Magic - 13-23
Jan. 11 - at Nets  - 22-12  
Jan. 13 - Pelicans - 23-12
Jan. 15 - Heat - 18-18
Jan. 17 - Warriors - 20-18
Jan. 19 - at Bulls - 16-20  
Jan. 21 - Grizzlies - 23-13

Fall From Grace

The era of sustained success spearheaded by front office exec Joe Dumars seems a distant memory. Detroit hoisted the championship trophy in 1989, 1990, and 2004, while making six straight conference finals appearances from 2003-2008.

However, the franchise has not won a single playoff game since 2008. After middling seasons the past decade, they now sit firmly at the bottom of the NBA.

Trading away stars Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond signaled the start of a full rebuild centered around acquiring assets like lottery selections Cunningham, Ivey, and Duren. Establishing a young core comes with plenty of painful learning experiences, as the team has discovered.

Veterans like Bogdanovic have attempted to instill good habits in the locker room. But with youth comes inconsistency at best, and repeated meltdowns at worst.

Will Help Arrive In Time?

As the losses and scrutiny mount, Pistons governor Tom Gores made a surprise appearance before Tuesday’s loss. “I feel your pain, I want you to know we’re not sitting idly by,” he told fans, also admitting that changes must come.

Speculation is swirling that Detroit could be an active participant ahead of February’s trade deadline. Gores indicated moves could happen sooner rather than later. “We will make changes and get this right,” he promised.

With Cunningham sidelined since early November recovering from a shin injury, Detroit lacks a clear direction. Trading veterans like Bogdanovic, Burks, Noel, Joseph and Jackson for future assets would signal embracing a total youth movement.

On the other hand, dealing away any more picks would hamper rebuilding through the draft. The Pistons are stuck balancing competing goals until their vision straightens out. Identifying a functional core must happen first before supplementing areas of need.

Tough decisions await Gores and general manager Troy Weaver. Their actions by February 9th could determine how soon Detroit escapes the darkness of this lost season.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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