Deeeeeetroit Basketball is back!!!! (kind of). We may not have seen Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes or even Frank Jackson last night, but we did get our first taste of what the 2021-22 Detroit Pistons might look like. As everyone might expect there were positives and negatives, but it is always good to come away with a W exhibition game or not. Selfishly, I was just excited to have some “semi-meaningful” basketball to watch and break down again. I did not get to watch the game live, but from following Twitter, I knew even before I started the game that Kelly Olynyk and Saddiq Bey were dominating the conversation. So, what two better people to start off the season of film analysis than those two?
I know it’s only pre-season, I know it’s just one game, and just like everyone was reminding each other on Twitter, we have to be careful not to overreact. But man ... Saddiq Bey looked good. I honestly did not even give a lot of focus to what he did on the defensive end or on the boards (an area where I do think he is going to be huge and is something to watch) because what he did offensively was very impressive.
It was not just about the midrange/post-up shots he was making. It was about how he was getting there and how easy and comfortable he looked doing it. I really think we could see a lot of possessions run through him in the mid-post this season. This could create a problem for defenses if he makes good decisions out of it when they are forced to help or double him.
And speaking of his passing, we saw glimpses in improvement in that area as well. This is an area I have admittedly questioned in terms of his growth and ceiling, and it was nice to see him make a couple of really nice reads last night to get teammates some open looks. I break those down and more, along with a misread, in the video below.
The other player that really stood out to me and most of the fanbase last night was Kelly Olynyk. It’s not just about the shooting and floor spacing he provides when he is on the floor. He brings more to the table including some surprisingly good defense.
I love the fact that he is a “ball mover” offensively, you rarely see the ball “stick” when it touches his hands. He immediately shoots, drives, passes or gets into the DHO situation and keeps the offensive flowing. Defensively, nobody will argue he is a great defender or is going to hold up against the best at the point of attack, but as a team defender and executing a scheme and scouting report, I think he can be a positive. You could see even more of the fanbase coming around to this offseason addition last night and this video breakdown highlights why.
Welcome back Detroit Basketball, we missed you!!!