I wouldn’t dare say the Detroit Pistons are good, and I wouldn’t even go far as to say they are too good to finish in the bottom three, but there is no denying that the team has won three of four and it’s worth thinking about what that all means if anything.
Partially it can be credited to roster health — Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk have joined the young guys in the lineup and even leaving aside Olynyk’s buzzer beater in overtime, they obviously both help the lineup. Another factor would be the young guys figuring things out, however incrementally. It’s been obvious for a while that Saddiq Bey has taken a pronounced step in his game and is now dangerous on multiple levels as a scorer. The consistency isn’t there yet, but the way he can get good looks is plain to see. Isaiah Stewart also looks more comfortable on both ends. Even though he still has a limited offensive impact, he’s picking his spots better and rebounding at a better rate than earlier in the season. Even Killian Hayes is figuring out how to have a defensive impact and pushing his offense a little harder (to, shall we say, still mixed results).
Finally, there is Cade Cunningham. He still turns the ball over too much, has issues with fouling and is inefficient. But it’s also obvious he is what makes the Detroit offense run, and when he is hot the team as a whole is markedly more dangerous.
Tonight, the Pistons face a struggling Washington Wizards team, which also happens to be one of the teams Detroit has not managed to beat yet in two tries. Is the third time the charm?
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit Extra
Odds: Pistons +3.5
Washington Wizards: (27-33)
Raul Neto, Cory Kispert, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Daniel Gafford
Detroit Pistons (15-46)
Cory Joseph, Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart