The Detroit Pistons battled for three quarters until the Denver Nuggets took over in the fourth quarter of a 119-100 loss. The effort and desire to win was apparent but NBA MVP front runner Nikola Jokic was just too much. He overwhelmed the Pistons big men with 30 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, mostly in the paint despite tough efforts to defend him.

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For three and a half quarters it looked like the Pistons would send the Nuggets to their 5th straight loss with gritty play, hot shooting and a lot of dunks. The game was tied 86-86 heading into the fourth when the Nuggets “flipped a switch” coach Dwane Casey referenced.

“We got away from what was working and a championship caliber team is going to turn it up,” coach Dwane Casey said. “Instead of complaining to an official, take somebodies head off. I’m proud of the way we played in the first three quarters, but we have to sustain the intensity on both ends of the floor for 48 minutes.”

“That’s the kryptonite for a young team.”

Pistons big men Jalen Duren (15 PTS, 13 RBS) and James Wiseman (14 PTS, 9 RBS) gave good efforts in the matchup, but hopefully learned from the battle with Jokic. At this stage in the season player development and understanding the roster makeup is critical facing such a pivotal free agency.

Big Line Up, Big Results.

Are we sure Jalen Duren is only nineteen years old? He also had three steals and four assist in addition to raking in a double-double on 7 of 10 shooting. But his passing, especially to fellow big man James Wiseman, showed just what could be possible for the Pistons.

With injuries to Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley Casey has found it difficult to play them together. But tonight was a necessity with Eugene Omoruyi, who started at power forward, getting into foul trouble. The lineup had issues spacing the floor, but the pair presented problems of their own to the visiting Denver Nuggets. The duo of Wiseman and Duren grabbed eight offensive rebounds and deterred shots at the rim, despite not recording a blocked shot.

The most impressive development was the offensive connection between the two. Duren found Wiseman twice with lobs just over the outstretched hand of the defender, that ended in dunks.

“We joke about it in practice he can throw some wild ones,” Jaden Ivey said. “But he’s making the right reads right now, I think he’s done a good job with that.”

Jaden Ivey put the rest of the season into perfect context when talking about the success Wiseman and Duren are finding: “The biggest thing is we’re all growing together.”

Stat Line of the Night

Rodney McGruder

17 Points, 8 Rebounds, 3 Assist, 3 Steals and 1 block (6 of 10 three point shooting)


Quote of the Night

Jaden Ivey on Rodney McGruder:

“I respect him. He’s so resilient man. He’s one of the first guys in the gym, besides me. I try to beat him to the gym. Overall in life he’s just a great dude and a dude you want on your team.”

What’s Next for the Detroit Pistons

Jaden Ivey and the Detroit Pistons play the Miami Heat, Sunday, March 19th at 7:00 PM.

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Photo Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

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By Published On: March 16th, 2023Categories: Detroit Pistons, NBA, Podcasts

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