All eyes were on the Detroit Pistons last night, as they prepared to take on the Boston Celtics in a high-stakes Eastern Conference duel. There weren't any playoff implications on the line, however, as the stakes of this game involved whether or not the Pistons would manage to snap the longest losing streak in NBA history of 27 games — a record even the Chicago Bulls should feel a little bit embarrassed about.
Ironically, the Pistons being so terrible has actually helped spike their viewership in recent weeks. Everyone has been tuning in to see if they would break the NBA record for most consecutive losses, and now that they have, it's become a question of just how long this streak can possibly last.
Despite a herculean first-half effort from Detroit, the wheels would soon fall off in the third quarter. Despite Cade Cunningham's 31 points and 9 assists, Boston rallied to force overtime and took control of the game in extra time. This marks the Pistons' 28th consecutive loss, a stain they won't be able to remove from their storied history anytime soon.
The Pistons aren't the only team embarrassed about their losing streak, as it reflects poorly on the Bulls as well.
As much as I love to revel in Detroit's failures in any professional sport — not just the NBA — I shouldn't get too carried away here. That's because the Bulls have arguably just as good of a reason to be embarrassed about this lengthy Piston's losing streak. As you might recall, the Bulls were the last team the Pistons managed to beat before this losing streak began, which could be considered just as embarrassing.
The game proved to not be particularly close, as the Bulls lost 102-118. Despite Zach LaVine's phenomenal 51-point outing, Chicago was still trampled by a Pistons squad employing a more balanced approach. Losing this game has often been cited as evidence as to why LaVine's play style doesn't result in winning basketball, even when he's at his best.
This loss also snapped a 15-game win streak dating back to March 10, 2019, which was coincidentally also the NBA's longest active head-to-head win streak between any two franchises in the league. Little did we know at the time, that where one streak died, another would be born.
Despite the best efforts of Cunningham, the Pistons have simply failed to capitalize on the potential their roster has on paper. He's accepted these struggles with grace, telling reporters, “I think it shows like we’re on the same level as all these teams we’re playing against. There’s no team that I’ve ever come across in the NBA where I felt like I was going into a slaughterhouse.”
Despite his teammates letting him down the stretch on multiple occasions, Cunningham hasn't taken the easy road by throwing his peers under the bus to save his skin. Now if only the Bulls could get the face of their franchise to take this same level of accountability and responsibility for Chicago's losing ways, then perhaps this team could truly become a threat to make noise in the postseason.