I had a feeling the Detroit Pistons would get a much-needed bounce back win against the Timberwolves. Who knew it would look so convincing and fun? The Pistons won 135-118 in a blowout I doubt anyone saw coming.

Well, maybe coach Dwane Casey expected it. His statements after the game seemed to convey he left his team no choice but to play with energy and dignity. It was on full display all night.

“We have character guys, albeit young, but high character,” Casey said. “No matter who we played tonight, I felt secure that we would have a good effort. That we would compete at a high level…I was sure of that.”

It was one of those games where everyone contributed. Even little used Nerlens Noel who helped set the tone defensively. Once referred to as a “break glass in case of emergency” option by Casey, tonight he was the most important defensive player. In 21 minutes Noel had four blocks, three steals and five rebounds, showing that he probably has a little more left in the tank.


He’s On Fire!

But the story of the night had to be the shooting. The Pistons shot a blistering 60% from the field and 53% from behind the arc. They were led by Saddiq Bey’s 31 points and the return of Bojan Bogdanovic who scored 27. The duo who had a difficult time figuring out how to play together earlier in the season, did so in this game to great success.

Bey appeared more decisive in catch and shoot situations which coach Casey said was by design. “If he shoots 20 and misses 18, shoot 20 more. I trust his shooting. He’s one of the best shooters in the league at catch and shoots, about 50%.”


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Detroit Pistons X-Factor

Everyone on the roster contributed in some small or great way to this victory. But there seemed to be one player that Casey was particularly impressed with after the big victory.

Hamidou Diallo (18 PTS, 5 RBS) began the season acknowledging the franchise wanted him to act more like a veteran player. Though only 24 years old, he’s been taking on a role usually reserved for even more seasoned players. Because the organization believes based on the level of hustle, heart, and perceived basketball IQ that his energy was a necessary ingredient.

With the team shorthanded, he’s been moonlighting at any position the Pistons have asked. When prompted to explain the impact Diallo has had, coach Casey quipped “you mean like playing the five?” He has played back up center in pinches since big men Marvin Bagley and Jalen Duren have been injured.

“He brings something special to the table with his energy and his athleticism,” Casey said about the high flying Diallo. There was a noticeable difference and change of pace to the game when he and Alec Burks checked in for the first time in the game. It’s the effect you would like your bench to have, especially from your veteran players.


What Rookie Wall?

Jaden Ivey led the team in minutes played with 40 in the game. He finished with an impressive eighteen points, eight assists and four rebounds with only two turnovers. This continues a trend that’s seen Ivey elevate his playmaking and three point shooting over the last 10 games. He’s averaged 5.2 assists while shooting 48% from three, on 3 attempts per game.


What’s Next

The Detroit Pistons host the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. Tip off is at 7pm.

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Photo Credit: Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports

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By Published On: January 12th, 2023Categories: Detroit Pistons, NBA

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