The Detroit Pistons won their third game of the season, defeating the undermanned Miami Heat in Miami Saturday night, 120-100. The Pistons took advantage of Miami being without perimeter talents like Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Maurice Harkless, and Avery Bradley.
After a quiet second quarter from Detroit that saw them get outscored by 10 and had them behind by four at halftime, the Pistons, led by Jerami Grant’s personal 8-0 run, stormed out of the second half gate in a hurry. Detroit was firing on all cylinders, with crisp spacing and passing and occasionally impressive one-on-one play. In addition to Grant, Griffin and Rose carried the offense with stellar inside and outside play.
Detroit started their own mini-block party towards the end of the third quarter when Josh Jackson and Jerami Grant used their athleticism and tenacity to erase Heat shots in the paint. Detroit put up 38 on Miami in the third and led 90-75 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Detroit didn’t let up in the fourth as they cruised to the victory, winning the final quarter 30-25.
Detroit was paced by Grant’s 24 points and Rose added 23 off the bench. Blake Griffin scored 15 with eight assists and seven rebounds. Detroit assisted on 34 of their 46 buckets.
Duncan Robinson, perhaps the NBA’s most efficient perimeter shooter, kept Miami somewhat within hailing distance with threes from all around the state of Florida. He finished with 22 points and six triples. Smooth All-Star big man Bam Adebayo scored 28.
Jerami had three first half blocks and several other terrific defensive plays we are accustomed to seeing from him. In the second half, Jerami took over and showed the whole package. Heat defenders were no match for his length on the perimeter and inside the paint. Jerami had six assists to boot.
Blake battled all game, and then battled some more. As usual, there were some defensive issues with him moving (or not moving) his feet and his lack of verticality, but tonight Blake was able to make up for them with all his success on the offensive end.
Delon stayed within himself and mostly did a good job at running the team. He is a sneaky passer and he probes with the best of them when he doesn’t try to do too much.
Another good effort from the veteran big man. His steadying presence keeps things intact on offense, even despite his turnover issues (four turnovers in this one). Box score wise, Plumlee’s influence on the game tonight won’t show up much at all. Also worth it to note - two over-the-head buckets from Plumlee gets a big thumbs up from Pistons nation.
Not a great defensive display for Wayne, who is inexplicably stealing minutes from Svi Mykhailiuk, who had a strong offensive showing in Detroit’s previous game. No offense to Wayne, it’s not his fault he is playing over a talented young shooter.
Josh put up five three-pointers in 11 first half minutes, connecting on zero of them. He managed to make two threes in the second half, and took some good shots, although there were a few questionable chucks as well. More than anything, Josh is getting consistent minutes and is competing his butt off all over the floor. Pretty good defensive performance despite his offensive struggles.
Rose was more than opportune with four steals before the halftime break. On offense, he was superb as well. He found his teammates in their sweet spots. He was a step quicker than everybody. He also got his own with three treys and found holes and seams in the defense that you didn’t necessarily think were there. Rose knows they are there. Still one of the better shot makers in the world when he is fresh and in rhythm.
Big Stew, in four first quarter minutes, scored four and grabbed three rebounds. In one sequence, he out-rebounded Adebayo while his right arm was interlocked with Adebayo’s. Big Stew then corralled the rock with his left and finished off the glass. Big Stew finished with a career-high 10 points and 11 rebounds in 19 quality minutes. He is a handful underneath and still has so much room to grow.
Sekou had a pretty quality nine minute shift in the first half. Overall, not a bad 17 minutes on either end. I noticed he drifted a bit on his second three-point attempt.
Only six minutes in the first half for the rookie. Although, Bey hit the first bucket of the fourth, which, as you might have guessed, was a pretty swish from downtown. Bey didn’t have the defensive impact in this one that he needed to have to play more minutes.