Detroit Pistons: 3 Big reasons why Pistons have been historically bad this season

The Detroit Pistons have been historically bad this season and there are no signs of the team turning it around anytime soon.

Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons
Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons / Nic Antaya/GettyImages
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2. The Pistons have serious weaknesses on defense

Another major issue with the Detroit Pistons is their defense, which is one of the worst in the NBA right now. To be fair, they are not a complete dumpster fire on this end of the floor as they are pretty good at defending the rim and grabbing defensive rebounds, ranking top ten in field goal percentage allowed on shots at the rim, and defensive rebound rate. 

Unfortunately, they struggle in just about every other area. They don’t force many turnovers, they give up too many free throws, and they struggle to defend in transition and in the halfcourt. These aren’t their only issues, though. They are also one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to defending key play types like isolations and pick-and-rolls. Here is where their defense ranks in points allowed per possession vs. these play types:

  • Isolation: 1.14 PPP (0th percentile)
  • Pick-and-roll ball handler: 0.95 PPP (14th percentile)
  • Pick-and-roll roll man: 1.24 PPP (14th percentile)

That’s tough to stomach because these are a few of the most used play types in the modern NBA, and the Pistons can’t seem to stop them whatsoever.

On a more positive note, the Pistons’ defense has been extremely unlucky as their opponents have been remarkably good at shooting from the perimeter, hitting 46.9 percent of their mid-range attempts and 38.2 percent of their three-point attempts. If this changes, we could see the Pistons’ defense improve from being 26th in points allowed per 100 possessions. However, it’s hard to see them getting much better than that because of how many problems their defense has.