On the second night of a back to back, the Detroit Pistons had a difficult task in front of them. Without Cade Cunningham again due to his right hip pointer injury, the Pistons would have to face the Boston Celtics. It’s difficult enough to match the scoring of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, let alone without your leading scorer. And it was apparent right away that Detroit would have a hard time generating any offense. The Pistons were outscored in the first half 46-31.
Almost no one on the Pistons were able to get anything going, and the Celtics maintained their lead throughout the game. Hamidou Diallo lead a second half surge for the Pistons in the third quarter, but it was Jayson Tatum who shut the door on any potential comeback. Despite struggling himself in the first half, Tatum finished with 24 points and 9 rebounds, shooting 9-21 from the field. Diallo finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds, almost matching Isaiah Stewart’s 17 boards.
The Boston Celtics are simply more talented, and were able to get a comfortable lead early. Even when Jayson Tatum wasn’t producing, the Celtics put the pressure on Detroit early and often. When a young team struggles to generate offense, the important thing to look for is signs of life. And the Pistons continue to not give up when the game doesn’t go their way. They competed throughout the course of this game, and eventually brought the game back to single digits. In fact, the Pistons were able to score more points in the fourth quarter (37) than in the entire first half combined. Consistency continues to be the Achilles heel of this Pistons team. However, that’s not entirely unexpected, as inconsistency is the mark of a young team.
Saddiq Bey joins elite company
Despite struggling to score early on, Pistons forward Saddiq Bey finished with 21 points shooting 6-17 from the field. He shot 4-7 from three, and hit his 300th career 3 point field goal. Bey is the 5th fastest player to reach 300 made three point field goals, reaching that milestone in just 122 games. The only players that were able to reach that milestone faster were Duncan Robinson, Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, and Anthony Edwards. Saddiq Bey is finding himself named among pretty elite company, and is making teams who passed on him on draft night look foolish. The Boston Celtics drafted Aaron Nesmith at 14th overall, who is averaging 3 points a game. The Celtics passed on both Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart both.
This is another accomplishment to add to the list for the Pistons forward out of Villanova. Saddiq Bey is proving to be a really important piece in the Pistons restoration. And despite the fact that Bey had a quiet 21 points and struggled to generate offense, the Pistons have to be thrilled. Bey’s game is made easier when Cade Cunningham is on the court. And the sooner Cunningham returns to the lineup, the better.
Jerami Grant struggles to generate offense
After a solid 20 point performance, Jerami Grant struggled to get going on the offensive end. He finished with 10 points shooting 3-12 from the field. Grant is still working his way back from missing over a month due to his thumb injury. Between the absence of Cade Cunningham, and the uncertainty of his future, there are a lot of things that are working against Grant. However, Grant was not the only Piston to struggle shooting from the field. The Pistons as a whole shot 32 percent from the field. They missed multiple shots at the rim. And even though they were able to turn it around in the second half, it was too little too late.
Feb 4, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9) dribbles defended by Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) in the first half at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Pistons are eager to put this game behind them
After two straight losses to two teams with playoff aspirations, the Pistons are looking to bounce back after their third straight loss. Detroit will be traveling to Minnesota, and will have another opportunity to defeat the Timberwolves. With six games remaining until the all star break, it is uncertain when Cade Cunningham will make his return. The Pistons will by no means rush him on the court, but will definitely feel his absence as they continue to play without him.
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Featured image credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports