Detroit Pistons: Jalen Duren injured in loss to Memphis Grizzlies
DETROIT, MI – The Detroit Pistons lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 116-102 to extend the historic losing streak to eighteen games.
The return of Bojan Bogdanovic was thought to help balance and settle the Pistons young roster consisting of eight players on rookie contracts. Something head coach Monty Williams spoke on earlier in the week.
“We have players getting 20-30 minutes a night who wondered if they’d be in the G-League this year,” Williams said. “Now with the Bojan back we get a chance to reduce those minutes and settle our lineups.
Bogdanovic scored twenty-two points and seven assists in the loss, but his performance wasn’t enough to life the the team to victory.
For three quarters it seemed as if the Pistons would end the losing, but the Grizzlies had other plans even without star Ja Morant. Although he didn’t play, Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson, Jr were more than enough firepower for the short handed Grizzlies.
Bane scored a career high forty-nine points to go with seven assists and six rebounds. He was able to beat every defensive look the Pistons sent his way, and routinely found ways to score inside. Jackson also found ways to beat the dominating the paint scoring twenty-four points and even hit a couple threes.
“I told the guys where is the anger on the floor to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough,” Williams stated. “You have to be angry about this, angry and clawing.”
And despite the Pistons leading 84-82 to start the fourth quarter, they just couldn’t close it out when it mattered most.
“I don’t think we understand what it takes to close or add to the lead,” Williams said. “We’ve been in this position so many times, but it comes with maturity. We’ve put a lot of guys in position to gain that maturity.”
The Hardest Challenge
These types of losses have been a broken record stuck on repeat as the Pistons show competitive fight, until closing time. And as the losses continue, the frustrations do as well. But the young and still learning Pistons don’t have quit in their DNA, and refuse to give in.
“I think for all of us it’s the hardest thing we’ve faced in our lives,” Isaiah Stewart said.“It’s tough for all of us. We’re coming from high school and college where we won, and now we’re facing this for the first time.”
But the team is intent on proving the struggles are simply growing pains on the way to future success. A necessary pit stop on the road to restoration they believe will end more positively than it’s began.
”No I don’t worry because my faith is strong. It sucks for all of us, but none of us are going to turn our backs on each other.”
Though you never want to see the team fighting each other when times are rough, you definitely want to see fight. The ability to hold each other accountable even amidst the rising tension and frustration that comes with stringing together losses. At some point the Pistons will need to dig deeper than they ever have and check the beat of their collective heart.
And find that personal pride to defend, and get back to the level of physicality that’s been missing since the team was 2-1.
Jalen Duren Injured
With a few minutes left in the game, Jalen Duren went down with an apparent ankle injury. He grimaced in pain as he hit the padding around the base of the basketball rim while awaiting help.
And the team is rightfully concerned about what that loss will actually mean.
“It’s tough. I feel like he was just getting his groove back and dominating,” Stewart said. “For Duren to have this injury, I feel for him because I know he wants to play. To be missing him for some games now is definitely going to be tough.”