With the trade deadline passed by and an embarrassing loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers still fresh in their minds, the Detroit Pistons looked to secure their 15th win of the season against the San Antonio Spurs.
Detroit and San Antonio sit in the bottom three of the NBA standings, placing both teams in the heart of the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. The Spurs entered the matchup on a 10-game losing streak, losing by 10 or more points in eight of those 10 losses. The Pistons are on a three-game losing streak themselves. Their aforementioned 113-85 loss to the Cavaliers is possibly the worst loss of their season so far.
The first time these two teams faced off this season, the Spurs came out with a 121-109 victory. Since that matchup, San Antonio has won just a single game, while Detroit has won three games.
The Pistons entered the game second to last in the NBA standings, and the Spurs entered with the third-worst record. Both teams are jockeying for lottery positioning. It took extra frames, but the Detroit Pistons pulled out a 138-131 victory over the Spurs in double overtime. The Spurs jump the Pistons in the lottery odds.
Jalen Duren has a huge night for the Detroit Pistons
After trading away Jakob Poetl at the trade deadline, the Spurs were left without a true center in their starting lineup. Pistons’ rookie Jalen Duren took full advantage of the mismatch. Duren scored 30 points and collected 17 rebounds in Detroit’s victory. He also tallied four blocks and three assists.
Outside of Duren, Bojan Bogdanovic also turned in a strong performance for Detroit. The veteran forward finished the game with 32 points, while not making a single three-pointer. Rookie Jaden Ivey struggled from the floor, but he drew numerous fouls and wound up with 17 points, 11 of which came from the charity stripe.
Isaiah Livers played in 40 minutes of action for the Pistons. The second year forward played well tallying 11 points off three-for-six shooting from beyond the arc. Livers added two steals and 10 rebounds in the game as well. Late in the second overtime, the Pistons trailed 131-127, but an 11-0 run propelled the team into the lead, including a key three-pointer from Livers.
Detroit Pistons trade deadline drama continues
The Pistons made just one move at the NBA trade deadline. In a multi-team deal, the Pistons sent away Saddiq Bey and Kevin Knox in exchange for James Wiseman from the Golden State Warriors. Bey and Knox found new homes with the Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trailblazers respectively.
The Athletic‘s James Edwards III reported that some in Detroit’s organization became weary of Bey’s playstyle. Edwards cited Bey’s shot selection, tunnel vision and regressing shooting efficiency as the main factors contributing to the team’s frustration with Bey.
Not every Pistons fan is excited about the trade. Some viewed Bey’s value as higher than the team’s return. Wiseman, the former second overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, has struggled to get his career off the ground. Whether it is injuries or lack of opportunity, Wiseman has not lived up to the billing so far in his career.
The Pistons’ front office was reportedly very high on Wiseman in the 2020 draft, and the team hopes a change of scenery can allow the 21-year-old big man to flourish.
However, it has been reported that Gary Payton II, who was involved in the multi-team deal, failed his physical with the Warriors. Golden State has until tomorrow to decide whether to cancel the trade or not. If the team elects to opt out of the deal, the Pistons would find themselves with Bey and Knox back on the roster.
The Detroit Pistons take on the Toronto Raptors in the first of a three-game road trip. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. on Feb. 12.
(Fetured Image Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)