Pistons set NBA single-season record with 27th straight losing streak: How did Detroit get here?

The 2023-24 Detroit Pistons wrote an unfortunate new chapter in the NBA's history books on Tuesday, becoming the sole owners of the league's longest single-season losing streak.

Detroit fell to the Brooklyn Nets 118-112 at Little Caesars Arena, marking its 27th straight loss. The team's 26-game skid was previously tied with the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers for the longest single-season losing streak.

Against the Nets, Pistons guard Kate Cunningham scored 41 points, shooting 15-of-21 field goals and 3-for-4 from behind. In 29 games played and started this season, the third-year guard is averaging a team-high 22.4 points and 7.1 assists. Still, that's not enough.

“A lot of the burden is on me — on the court, in the locker room. Every day I try to lead the team,” Cunningham said after the historic loss. “I didn't succeed in that; 2-28. I'm right, face it. Everyone cares in that locker room.

The Pistons can match the league's all-time loosing mark (28 games) against the Boston Celtics on Thursday and break it on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors. The record is currently held by 76 players who lost 28 straight between the end of the 2014-15 season and the start of the 2015-16 season.

The Pistons (2-28) last won a game on Oct. 28, topping the Chicago Bulls 118-102 in the third game of the season. The win gave coach Monty Williams a six-year deal worth nearly $100 million this offseason, improving Detroit to 2-1, his only winning record.

“I was brought here to change this thing, and it's mostly on me more than anybody,” Williams said.

How did the Pistons get to this point?

I go back to the fourth game of the season, when the Pistons, who were 2-2 at the time, blew an 18-point lead and fell to the Portland Trail Blazers by 10 points. There was a strange feeling in the locker room. Heads were dropped, spirits torn from bodies and placed next to dirty laundry. A team that thought it had matured and gotten over its own bugaboos is back to where it was a season ago. The Pistons were never the same after that. They looked up and four straight losses turned into seven. Seven is 12. Twelve is 20. So and so on. A young team without much senior help was looking for an answer that didn't come. The young Pistons, who had never won at this level, were asked to climb out of a hole few players could reach.

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Where are the Pistons losing streaks in sports history?

Which players should Detroit target and which young stars should they keep?

Detroit needs veteran wings who can shoot or forwards who can shoot and defend. Jeremy Grant is an interesting name to keep an eye on as a possible candidate. Even Tobias Harris. Veterans like Eric Gordon or Royce O'Neal could help make Detroit even more complete. Tango needs two, but Detroit can't make a trade without sending someone away.

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To me, the only untouchable young players are Kate Cunningham, Auser Thompson and Jalen Duran. I'd love to keep Isaiah Stewart, but he's gotten a decent amount of interest around the league.

What more changes can Monty Williams make?

Now that the Pistons are relatively healthy for the first time, Williams should stick with the Cunningham-Ivy-Pogdanovic-Stuart-Duran starting five until the trade happens. This team produced solid results against the Nets. Second, he needs to stop playing the bench. Bench play is a big reason why the Pistons find themselves in such a hole.

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(Photo: Brad Benner/USA Today)

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