The Detroit Pistons lost to the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, 113-93. Jaden Ivey continued his productive week with 18 points to lead Detroit, Killian Hayes had 12 points and 4 assists, and Saddiq Bey scored 11 points off the bench. Joel Embiid led the way for Philly with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists, and former Piston Tobias Harris had an uber-efficient 17 points in short minutes.
Turnovers, turnovers, and MORE turnovers were the story tonight for Detroit. The Pistons gave the ball away TWENTY-TWO times, with every starter having at least two turnovers. The Pistons really let the game get away during the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second, where live-ball turnovers resulted directly in easy baskets for the Sixers and helped Matisse Thybulle stave off competition for rotation minutes.
The Pistons couldn’t get the ball over the midcourt line. It was brutal. They really looked like a bottom-of-the-barrel team tonight. Perhaps this game being the second night of a back-to-back that they traveled for has something to do with this, but that’s cold comfort this December night.
In the “At Least This Was Interesting” segment, we saw a slight lineup adjustment from Dwane Casey, staggering the starting backcourt so that one of Jaden or Killian was on the floor at all times. We also saw the return of the Isaiah Stewart - Marvin Bagley III frontcourt for stretches, perhaps to preserve the two-big look at all times, or an admission that a Marvin Bagley - Saddiq Bey frontcourt is going to be too problematic defensively to make work.
I like the tinkering, it’s not like this team has been playing too well to experiment with. With that said, an Alec Burks - Ivey - Kevin Knox - Saddiq - Bagley lineup is going to get SHREDDED defensively, and the Pistons are going to continue to get worked defensively until they obtain or develop some better defensive players:
If you want to have functional lineups you feel good about, DET needs to use some combination of Bogey/Bey/Bags to flip into some defense + connectivity along the wing.— Halbridious (@Halbridious) December 22, 2022
So yeah. This remains a flawed team that shouldn’t win, and they don’t. With that said, it was definitely more entertaining and compelling when they were more competitive.
Hopefully, they return to competitiveness beginning Friday in Atlanta.