For their season-opening game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday, October 25, the Detroit Pistons will be missing two important players.
Bojan Bogdanovic, a seasoned big, and Monte Morris, a veteran guard, will both be absent from the game.
Last season, Bogdanovic played in 59 games for the Pistons and was one of the team’s top players when he started.
The 34-year-old shot 48.8 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from outside the arc during the 2022–23 season, averaging 21.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
Because of Bogdanovic’s absence, it’s probable that Ausar Thompson, Alec Burks, and Jaden Ivey may all get greater playing time. It’s unclear precisely how Pistons head coach Monty Williams’ rotation will alter.
Monty Williams says Bojan Bogdanovic and Monte Morris will not play on Wednesday. Says everyday they “get closer,” but the vets won’t play in the season opener.
— Mike Curtis (@MikeACurtis2) October 22, 2023
This summer, Morris was added to the Pistons. The squad now has a backup point guard to Cade Cunningham, who was injured for the bulk of the 2022–23 season.
Ivey and Killian Hayes, a previous lottery selection, are other guard options for the Pistons.
Detroit had one of the worst NBA teams last year, and the club could struggle to generate offense without Bogdanovic in the starting lineup.
Only Ivey (16.3 points per game) averaged more than 15 points per game for the Pistons last season after Cunningham (who only played 12 games) and Bogdanovic.
Thompson, who was selected with the No. 5 overall choice in the 2023 NBA Draft, might help make up for that, but it could be too much to expect the rookie to score the ball on Wednesday in Bogdanovic’s absence.
The Heat, who advanced to the NBA Finals last year, would dearly desire to begin the 2023–24 season with a victory. Despite losing Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, two rotational players, this offseason, the squad should once again rank among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Miami won two of the three games between the Heat and Pistons during the 2022–23 season. Miami won the last two matches of the season, with the Pistons picking up their lone victory on the earlier side (Dec. 6).