The Detroit Pistons and Portland Trail Blazers played a game that could only be described as loose, back and forth, and exhilarating. At one point Portland lead by as much as 23. However, Saddiq Bey and Cade Cunningham willed the Pistons back into the game. And at the end, it was turnovers and mistakes that was Detroit’s undoing. The Trail Blazers won this one 119-115. Cade Cunningham had an uncharacteristically sloppy performance. But even through 9 turnovers, Cunningham scored 25 points and recorded 7 assists and 3 rebounds. And Cade got 4 steals of his own, negating some of the struggles on the offensive end.
Saddiq Bey and Marvin Bagley both shined in the lineup together, with Bey finishing with 25 points. And in addition, Bey made 5 of his 6 field goals from beyond the arc. As Saddiq is feeling more confident in his scoring, it would be good to see him shoot for consistency. In addition, Bey needs to shoot for efficiency. And as Marvin Bagley is making himself at home, he is doing everything Detroit can ask for his first games. Marvin Bagley gave the Pistons 15 points and 9 rebounds, as well as going 6-9 from the field. Cade Cunningham and Marvin Bagley had some electric plays in the pick and roll that Pistons fans should expect for years to come.
Cade to Bagley 🔥 #pistons pic.twitter.com/tOc5cCpBVV
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) March 22, 2022
Pistons Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey show their strengths and weaknesses
Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey are the Pistons two best players. And they have been for a while. However, both players can still be effective, and have aspects of their game that can negatively affect the team. Cade has a turnover problem that can be real. And tonight was just an excessive amount. Although Detroit was able to double the Blazers in points off turnovers (30 to 16), it can cost Detroit games. And for Saddiq Bey to go 5-13 from three and 1-4 from 2, the volume of scoring can be helpful but if not done efficiently can cost possessions as well. They ultimately are great players who have high ceilings. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t going through growing pains.
Killian Hayes also had a game that was a tale of two halves. When looking for jump shots, Hayes struggled to execute. However, when aggressive and cutting to the basket, he shined. Ultimately Killian finished with 12 point and 6 assists in 36 minutes. With the season winding down, it is evident that Killian is going to get more playing time. As the Pistons are officially eliminated from contention, they have only the incentive to use these games for growth. And with the bench still being filled with the Motor City Cruise starting rotation, it’s apparent that development is the only focus now. Jerami Grant might not play every game down the stretch. And Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson perhaps won’t even return this season.
Pistons host rematch against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday
Detroit played a competitive game and played good transition offense. They stormed back into the game and showed grit. And ultimately, it is the growing pains of the development stretch of the season that was their undoing. This Detroit team has overachieved since the all star break. However, at this point of the season, there is no incentive to get wins. You can give your young players reps and they can compete. However, now it is time to secure their spot in the draft lottery. With March Madness currently underway, Detroit is looking to secure their place to select whichever young star they can acquire.
The Atlanta Hawks, on the other hand, have a lot to be playing for, as they are preparing for a play in tournament appearance. Trae Young can put on an offensive firework display. And that’s exactly what Detroit will be up against. However, the Pistons have had fireworks of their own. And that’s the only way they will have an opportunity to defeat the Hawks.
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Featured Image Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
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