Detroit Pistons couldn’t match their Central Division rivals for the second game of their World Series in Bucks’ land. While in their first matchup, the Pistons were able to have a lead and stay within striking distance, this time it was wire to wire win for Bucks and the game was decided before it ended with the lead reaching as many as 34 points in first minutes of third quarter.
Despite losing yet another game, Detroit fans should find some things to cheer about in that game. Jerami Grant led all scorers with 31 points on 9/20 shooting including 2/6 on threes. This is a career high for him. Pistons leading offensive weapon didn’t need to take an extraordinary amount of shots to reach that career number. Instead of taking lots of questionable midrange jumpers – a feature of his game at display in games Pistons play without Blake Griffin – he took it to the hole as much as possible, scoring at the rim or drawing fouls (11 trips to the charity stripe, every one of them converted into point). Jerami also had 3 put backs/tips in on his way to his Pistons high in offensive rebounds (4) and to matching his Pistons high of total rebounds (10).
Accompanying Grant in his career night was Saddiq Bey with his own career high of 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Villanova alum apparently is on a mission to compensate us with large interest for the loss of Luke Kennard (traded for a draft pick to acquire Saddiq) as he’s making triples in volumes that even for Kennard could be tough to handle. In the game, Bey made 6 out of 10 treys, with four of them coming in the last frame as Pistons trimmed the deficit to more good looking number. To get to his first 20, Saddiq added two freebies made. He also had 3 dimes. Unfortunately, Bey continue to have problem with making closer shots, as he missed all four of his attempts inside the arc.
From other good news, the game was also a scenery for Saben Lee’s NBA debut. The former Commodore scored only two points, plus an assist and rebound in 12 minutes of action. But he showed that he should be able to attack the paint with not less ease than that he displayed in college. He also showed signs that he can be a better defender than he was at previous level, registering two steals that included picking the pocket of savvy veteran ball handler, DJ Augustin.
We also could see Deividas ‘Dave’ Sirvydis playing for the first time in Pistons not Summer League uniform.
Finally, Isaiah Stewart's rebounding spree, as the rookie from Washington again show some of his Dennis Rodman-like activity in getting every ball, as Dwane Casey put it. Isaiah finished the game with 7 boards with four coming on offensive glass. He also had 5 points.
But the loss wouldn’t be a loss if we couldn’t find many things to complain about. Blake provided further evidence that he might not be 2018 Blake anymore. Although in one of his drives against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, in his 5 assists and in some sprint on a comeback, he showed that he’s still fighting to be back.
Already depressing by the possibility of Killian Hayes missing all season, the injury report has expanded as Derrick Rose needed to leave the floor with right knee contusion.
Sekou, who shows some encouraging signs on the defensive end, continues to disappear on the other end. So is Delon Wright.
Svi Mykhailiuk has cooled down, making only 2 of his 6 triple tries, and the whole team didn’t shoot well again (39,2 FG% and 31,7 3P%). In addition, it happened despite Detroit playing a lot of Wayne Ellington. Ellington was quite efficient and his off ball game is so crucial to space the floor and create more open opportunities all over the court. Nevertheless, a secondary veteran playing heavy minutes on rebuilding team will always be suspected of stealing occasions to play from youngsters. But I guess in this specific situation, it’s a function of the time Svi and Dave need to learn this whole off ball game. So let’s hope that the Righty and Lefty Svi (as Laz called them) will turn out to be quick learners.
Ahh, yes. And for those who care, Bucks were led by some Greek Freak named Antetokounmpo, who scored 25 points, and former Piston, Middleton (23). Brook Lopez chipped in with 17 points. They also got 16 points from newcomer, Bobby Portis, who continues to show how good an acquisition he is, and 11 from another newcomer, rookie Jordan Nwora, whom they, rightly, continue to give time to show that it was correct to trade into the second round of last Draft and take him.