Pistons

Just How Bad is Detroit’s Losing Streak? What the numbers, NBA history say.

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50 days. Sounds like the title of a below-average horror movie from the mid-2000s, right? Equally as bad, it’s also the last time the Detroit Pistons won a game this season.

The 2-24 Pistons defeated Chicago 118-102 on October 28th. Since then, Detroit has lost all 23 of its games as the arrow continues to nowhere but down with the team most recently falling 146-114 to Milwaukee on Saturday night.

The franchise’s outlook moving forward remains shaky at best and troubling at worst. This isn’t new for Pistons fans: Detroit has only made the playoffs twice since 2010.

But, this time feels different for all the wrong reasons. Just read the comments from the everyday fans on X:

https://twitter.com/DetroitPistons/status/1736197149140926732

Over the offseason, Detroit signed former Suns coach Monty Williams to the largest coaching deal in NBA history (a six-year, $78.5 million deal). Bringing in Williams was meant to bring a sense of direction and stability to the team, something the Pistons sorely needed. Clearly, losses in 23/25 games out of the gate is anything but progress.

What comes next for the Williams Era, Cade Cunningham and company is a a complete mystery. Ditto for when the next time Detroit will win an NBA game.

What we can conclude is that this year’s Pistons are making history for all the wrong reasons:

23 straight losses

After Saturday night’s defeat to the Bucks, Detroit losing streak extended to 23 games – tied for the fifth-most in league history.

The losing streak remains the longest stretch a team has gone winless since the mid-2010s Sixers, who lost 28 games in a row spanning across the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons.

Longest losing streaks in NBA history in a single season:

  • 26 straight losses: Cleveland in 2010-2011 and Philly in 2013-2014
  • 23 straight losses: Vancouver (now Memphis) in 1995-1996, Denver in 1997-1998, Charlotte in 2011-2012 and Detroit in 2023-2024

Seven wins

As of Saturday night, the Pistons sit with a winning percentage of .083. For context, that pace equates to Detroit finishing with approximately a 7-75 record by season’s end.

If the losing persists, Detroit will finish with the worst regular season record in losing history. Currently, the Pistons possess the worst winning percentage ever:

2023-2024 Pistons: 2-24 (.077)

2011-2012 Bobcats: 7-59 (.106)

1972-1973 Sixers: 9-73 (.110)

2015-2016 Sixers: 10-72 (.122)

1947-1948 Providence Steamrollers (writer’s note: not a typo): 6-42 (.125)

27.5 over/under

For Detroit fans, the preseason feels like it happened ages ago. At the time, FanDuel set the over/under line in wins for the Pistons at 27.5.

Simply put, the Pistons would need to finish this season with a 26-30 record just to barely hit the over in wins.

Worst losing streak ever

After the Pistons lost to Philly, this year’s team secured the worst losing streak in franchise history. Detroit’s second-worst losing streak was previously 14 games, which was set during the 1980, 1994 and 2022 seasons.

This season continues one of the worst stretches in franchise history. Four of Detroit’s 10 longest losing streaks in team history happened in the past three seasons, including this year.

Playoff droughts galore

Prior to this season, the Pistons missed the playoffs in four straight seasons. Detroit last clinched a spot in the postseason in 2018-2019 with a 41-41 record.

The 2015-2016 season marks the last time the Pistons finished with an above-.500 record (44-38). Detroit only needs to lose 18 more games to clinch a losing record for this regular season, which would be the eighth-straight season in which the team failed to finish above-.500.

82-245

Since Detroit’s last playoff appearance in 2018-2019 season, the team sits with 82 wins across 327 games combined across five seasons (including this one).

-12.0 net rating

Detroit sits with the league’s worst net rating at -12.0, a full point more than the second-worst net rating in the NBA this season (San Antonio). The Pistons aren’t just losing – some of these games aren’t even close.

The Pistons’ current net ranking would sit as one of the worst in league history should the team struggle to improve over the rest of this season. The Los Angeles Clippers in the 1999-2000 season were the last team to finish the regular season with a net rating of -12 or worse. The Pistons’ current net ranking sits as the fifth-worst in league history – Dallas in 1992-1993 finished with a -15.2 net rating, the worst in league history. Detroit’s net ranking 3.2 away from the 92-93 Mavs and 1.1 points away from the third-worst net rating ever.

About Dominic Chiappone

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