When will the Pistons’ losing streak end? How warm is Billy Donovan’s seat in Chicago?
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Will LeBron James celebrate his championship win this season?
Tapes and geeks
The Pistons won’t stop losing
Think back to last month on October 28th. We were very young, weren’t we?
It was the weekend before Halloween, so everyone dressed up as Barbie, Ken, and Oppenheimer. The first weekend of the 2023-24 NBA season was underway. The Detroit Pistons beat Charlotte and Chicago by double digits to start the season 2-1. Cade Cunningham was hitting, Jalen Duren was rebounding, and Detroit’s flirtation with a Play-In Tournament championship in April wasn’t crazy.
Guess what hasn’t happened since that fateful night? 2-13 Pistons have not won bachelor Basketball game, Although they had many close calls:
- November 1 vs. Blazers: Detroit led by 12 at halftime and entered the fourth quarter with the lead. Portland outscored the Pistons 27-17 in the final period to win 110-101. Blazers are 1-7 since then.
- November 6 vs. Warriors: At home, the Pistons took the lead in the third quarter after trailing at halftime. Golden State outscored Detroit by 10 points in the fourth period to win 120-109, extending the latter’s streak to five.
- November 8 at PAX: Down 119-118 with nine seconds left, Cunningham turned it over and then missed a half-court shot that would have won it at the buzzer. Milwaukee won 120-118.
Then there’s last night. Nuggets coach Michael Malone was ejected in the first quarter before Nikola Jokic was ejected in horrific fashion in the next period (the referees got out of control). Detroit had 24 minutes to get the win over the rest of Denver, which still lacks Jamal Murray. The game was tied 103-103 with 1:41 minutes left.
The Pistons were held scoreless for the remainder of the game, losing their 12th straight game, 107-103. Their losing streak is just shy of tying the team’s longest losing streak in a single season. Detroit visits 7-5 Indiana on Friday and hosts Washington next. If the Pistons don’t beat the Wizards 11-2, they may not win again in 2023. They have won four games since the All-Star break last season – four. Twenty teams have four wins this calendar month.
Huge tip for multiplayer games
I’ll be honest: I’m not sure how to discuss an in-season tournament with conference play going. There are three nights left of this round (tonight, Friday, and next Tuesday) before we know which eight teams will participate in the single-elimination portion of the opening act. Fortunately, John Hollinger has done another great job of outlining our current situation.
The Pistons, Wizards, Spurs, and Grizzlies have already waved goodbye to their championship hopes and dreams, which means they’ve treated it like any other regular-season game.. Blazers, Hornets, Bulls and Thunder – yes, Those Thunder – All of them were wiped out as well. It’s just math now. With everyone in the mix, let’s see the implications of each game and its terrible stadiums tonight:
- Raptors in Magic: Orlando can win the third Eastern Conference by defeating Toronto and then Boston. They’ll need some help from Toronto’s win over Brooklyn in the finale.
- Pacers at Hawks: Indiana takes the East Series A by winning this game. A win for Atlanta could make this group very complicated.
- Cleveland at 76ers: If Indiana loses, this will be an elimination game. If Indiana wins, this matchup between Cleveland and Philadelphia could impact the Eastern Conference wildcard.
- Suns blazers: Phoenix still has a chance in the Western Conference but needs to win by a large margin for points difference reasons. Fortunately, they’re playing Portland, so that’s a possibility.
- Jazz at Lakers: The Lakers win the Western Conference A by defeating Utah. If the Jazz win, the scoring margin could jeopardize the Lakers’ hopes.
Now that we’re almost done with multiplayer, I’m going to get started on this!
Windy city hot seat?
Did Billy Donovan save his job on Saturday?
On Saturday, the entire Internet mocked the Bulls for starting the game 22-1 against the Heat. Eventually, the term “run game” was applied to basketball as the Bulls won the game 102-97 and snapped a three-game losing streak. Last night, I wondered if the Heat would pull a big lead against the Bulls for the second straight game.
The Bulls once again found themselves down by double digits to the Heat, this time with just 2:29 to play on Monday. Chicago trailed by only six goals in the 12th minute, but this difference doubled in the first half to lose 118-100 to Miami. Highlights of the game? Jimmy Butler shouts, “Sky Hook!” When he shot the skyhook.
It’s no secret that Billy Donovan’s team is not having a good 2023-24 season. Chicago is 5-10 and ranks 23rd in net rating (minus 4.5). The Bulls are the third-worst team in the NBA in terms of net rating when it comes to openers (minus 16.6 in the first quarter). Oh, and don’t forget about Zach LaVine in the mall. They dig big holes for themselves and are often unable to get back completely. It’s a big sign that the team is not ready to play.
The Bulls held a players-only meeting after their first game and publicly disagreed with their coach. And I really wonder if Donovan’s job was saved by the embarrassment of Saturday night’s 22-1 start that turned into a comeback win. Or maybe the Reinsdorfs are too cheap to pay coaches. Maybe they believe in Donovan? Regardless, the Bulls rarely start games well and are considered one of the worst teams in the NBA. This seat in Chicago is very hot.
The Wolves tried to tell us they would be in first place in the Western Conference, as they are now.
Does Donovan Mitchell want to sign an extension in Cleveland?
Scotty Barnes and Cunningham have very different paths to stardom.
It’s time to prove it to the many contenders, according to Hollinger.
Screen Game (All Eastern Times)
- main screen: Cavs – Sixers (7:30 p.m. TNT). We can see Mitchell and Therese Maxey hitting 40 in this one.
- Second screen: Jazz Lakers (8 p.m.). This has huge implications for the tournament in the season! Jazz can steal the set.
- League Pass Game Night: Pacers-Hawks (7:30 p.m.). Tyrese Haliburton vs. Trae Young is worth watching. Remember: Indy can win the Eastern Conference A. Full schedule here.
(Top Image: Cole Burston/Getty Images)
(tags for translation) Chicago Bulls Detroit Pistons NBA