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Detroit Pistons Navigating Injuries and Performance Dips in March 2024



Detroit has been busy, but maybe not in the ways that some fans expected.

It’s that time of year again for the Detroit Pistons, where they encounter a recurring problem: injuries sidelining players and a decrease in their significance to the season’s outcomes. By the halfway mark of March, crucial players like Ausar Thompson and Isaiah Stewart found themselves ruled out for the remainder of the season due to injuries. Moreover, starters such as Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, and Simone Fontecchio also missed several games, further compounding the team’s challenges.

The absence of these key players had a noticeable impact on the team’s performance, creating disruptions and causing a negative ripple effect throughout the roster. Despite these adversities, the Pistons managed to secure four victories throughout the month of March, a commendable feat given the circumstances.

Now, let’s break down the March performance for each position group.

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Here’s how the Detroit Pistons fared in March:

Guards D+

In March, the Detroit guards faced a tough time. Nearly all of them, except for Malachi Flynn, had their field goal percentages drop by quite a bit, ranging from 5 to 13 percent. Players like Sasser, Grimes, Ivey, and Cade struggled with shooting efficiently, and the team’s three-point shooting took a hit as well.

Cade and Ivey’s three-point shooting percentages together dropped by 33 percent, while Sasser and Grimes saw a drastic 47 percent decrease. While a decline was anticipated due to the guards’ strong shooting performance last month, this slump has exceeded expectations.


However, it’s not all bad news. Cade managed to increase his assists per game, and most guards improved defensively with more steals and blocks per game. Malachi Flynn also performed impressively whenever he was called upon, with all his stats going up, except for a slight dip in three-point shooting.

Due to the poor shooting, everyone’s points per game decreased, except for Cade, who actually increased by 0.5 points per game. This indicates that Cade, the star point guard, is making contributions in other areas. But for everyone else, March was a challenging month, especially for Jaden Ivey, who had his worst performance of the season, shooting just 38 percent overall and 23 percent from long range in 15 games.

Forwards C-

The forwards group faced significant injuries in March. Ausar Thompson played in just five games, while Simone Fontecchio only managed nine appearances. Both players had been showcasing some of their best basketball skills in February prior to the injuries.

\Before the injuries, Ausar Thompson and Simone Fontecchio were playing well. Despite a slight drop in field goal percentage, they were contributing more in rebounding, steals, and blocks. Fontecchio was particularly impressive, hitting the three-point shot at a remarkable 43 percent. Unfortunately, Ausar was sidelined due to blood clots, a serious condition, while Fontecchio has been out with a bruised toe since March 17th. Evan Fournier, on the other hand, saw a decline in almost every statistic compared to February, where he had shown promise.


Centers C

Like Simone Fontecchio and Ausar Thompson, Isaiah Stewart also faced limitations in March and was later ruled out for the season. Despite losing Stewart, the center position for Detroit had a decent month. Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren, and James Wiseman all improved their field goal percentages. Their percentages are Stewart by 12%, Duren by 5%, and Wiseman by 1%.

Jalen Duren saw a slight struggle compared to February, with decreases in rebounds, assists, and blocks. But these drops were minimal and not a major concern. Isaiah Stewart’s assists and steals per game increased. But what stood out the most was his three-point shooting, which improved from 33 percent to 42 percent in March. He’s been working hard on his perimeter shooting, and it’s paying off.

Similarly, James Wiseman has been dedicating himself to improvement, and it’s starting to show in his numbers. In March, he averaged 9.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.8 steals. This consistent improvement is making a case for his future with the team.

Overall C-

Some might argue that the Pistons deserve a worse grade than a C- for the past month. Almost every player saw their stats per 36 minutes decline, suggesting a low grade for the month. However, it’s important to consider a few factors. Last month, the Pistons were likely playing their best basketball of the season. So, it’s understandable that their numbers dropped this month in comparison. While some declines are concerning, it was expected that there would be some drop-off.


Furthermore, as the month progressed, we had to witness starting lineups consisting mainly of G-League players due to injuries. Playing with such varied lineups and talent levels is incredibly challenging, and it definitely impacted player performances this past month.

With only six games left in the season, we did see some good performances from Wiseman and Cade. At this stage, any improvement and development over the next two weeks will be considered a win for Detroit.