Hamidou Diallo tied the game between the Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies three minutes into the contest. Then Memphis ripped off 17 straight points and the game was over nearly as soon as it started.
The first-quarter run was fueled by a slew of lazy drives that resulted in turnover on pass attempts through a crowded paint. When Memphis grabbed the steals, they were met with little to no resistance going the other way.
Detroit’s defensive effort was pretty disappointing from beginning to end. Ja Morant drew a lot of attention, and that contributed to a lot of odd-man advantages. Morant scored only 22 points on average shooting, but he added nine rebounds and six assists. That’s on top of the impact he had just by being the threat that he is.
The Grizzlies’ point guard grabbing nine boards was a symptom to a much deadlier problem for the Pistons. Detroit was badly outrebounded all night long, ending with a 22 board deficit over the full 48 minutes. Some of that can be attributed to a number of long rebounds but it is also indicative of poor effort level on the second night of a back-to-back.
Offensively, the Pistons just didn’t have it. Cade Cunningham looked off all night, scoring only 12 points on 19 shots. Killian Hayes added only five on 10 attempts. The young Detroit backcourt was out of sorts and failed to find any real rhythm.
Saddiq Bey struggled to find his stroke as well, though he did provide some nice passing that, through no fault of his own, didn’t end up in many points.
Perhaps the one bright spot in the blowout loss was the return of Isaiah Stewart. He didn’t have a huge impact, but it was nice to see him on the floor as a rim protector. Detroit has badly missed his interior presence and it was nice to see some resistance after dribble penetration.
There were far too many games like this in 2021 and back-to-back blowout losses after starting 2022 with two wins is surely discouraging. It’s a loud reminder that the Pistons still have a long way to go.
Perhaps it’s time for a bit of a shake up.
- It obviously didn’t matter, but Rodney McGruder continued his trend of providing good minutes whenever he’s called upon. He brought more energy than any Piston tonight.
- Ziaire Williams looked nice during Memphis’ great first quarter stretch. If Memphis wanted to consolidate assets in a trade, Williams might be a nice target.