The Detroit Pistons played on the second night of a back-to-back in a matchup of two bottom dwellers in the standings. It turns out, even with many players well-rested they were no match for the Wizards, falling 100-121. Taking into account where the franchise is at the moment in its rebuild, losing isn’t the problem. Especially if you’re a fan worried Detroit’s lottery odds might get a lot worse with a few more wins. How they played was a problem, especially with so many of their best players rested and with the Wizards also on a back-to-back.
The disappointment is on part of the players you wouldn’t expect. The rested veterans – Wayne Ellington, Jerami Grant (a still young veteran), Cory Joseph, Mason Plumlee. Combined, they were 10-for-30 from the floor.
Wayne was efficient (2-of-4), but on a volume that you wonder whether his minutes wouldn’t be better served going to a younger player.
Jerami started the game with three long misses. Then it seemed that he was righting the ship as he made two nice drives against bigs switched on him, showing again what a lethal weapon his tweener nature can be if he gets some help. But then he settled on some more questionable shots and finish the game with 29% shooting.
Cory needed to play, as Pistons were short on point guards with Killian Hayes sitting out after playing the night before. But I’d rather have some of his minutes added to Saben Lee’s account, as Saben is doing well in limited minutes.
And Mason. As much as I like what he did to give structure to Detroit’s offense, Isaiah Stewart can’t be kept on the bench as a future foundational piece. His future is now.
Yea, Isaiah is rocking. After posting 15 points, 21 boards (9 offensive), three assists and a couple of blocks the other night, the rookie (for the way he’s playing the whole year it’s a way outdated title) had 19, 12, 1 and 2 tonight. Yet another game like this and he could become the second Pistons rookie this season to earn the Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors.
Beef Stew was seconded by other young guns. Josh Jackson had another decent game. He wasn’t so sharp as he was in the night before, but for a player with so many ups and downs this season, it was solid. He continues to convert from the long line. Against Wizards he was 2-of-5.
And the other Jackson, Frank, continues to prove that Dwane Casey was right ascribing him a role of a bench gunner. Frank scored 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-6 on his three-ball. Due to his defensive shortcomings, he rather won’t be a difference-maker as a starter, but in the bench unit, he definitely can make a difference.
Unfortunately, Saddiq Bey struggled. After poor performance from distance balanced bya great night from within the arc in the first game of the back to back, against the Wizards he registered bad numbers on both fronts going 1-of-7.
So put together, these two stories about rested vets and unrested youngsters mash into a history of a game in which Detroit tried to stay within a punching distance for more than two quarters, but then the wheels started to fell down and it ended with a 21-point loss. Detroiters had a tough time especially handling Washington players – from bigs Alex Len and Robin Lopez to tinies former Piston, Ish Smith, and Detroit-native Cassius Winston – inside.
Ok, now that we made it straight that losses are fine, but not a near-complete failure of effort up and down the roster,loses, we can relax and watch a match between two heavy-weight tanking contenders Houston and Orlando tonight. That match should make us more straightly cheerful as one of the adversaries will unambivalently undermine its plans with a win.