As 2022 drew to a close the shorthanded Detroit Pistons found a way to sneak an improbable victory. It will also be the least meaningful game they’ve ever popped bottles after. But at least they get to ring in the new year in winning style. after beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-104.

Bojan Bogdanovic and a band of merry vets off the bench were the major contributors in this one. Trailing most of the game, Bogdanovic went full blown microwave in the third quarter. He had 17 points and didn’t miss a shot out of seven tries.

The bench scored a combined 65 points led by an 18 point, ten rebound double-double by Marvin Bagley. He also played active defense with two blocks and seven defensive rebounds.

The Detroit Pistons hoped to have more performance like this, than they have. The season hasn’t gone according to plan thanks to injuries, inexperienced roster and a lack of chemistry. And at 10-29, the Pistons would like the record to better reflect the positive growth through adversity they’ve shown.

Until they become more consistently competitive it will be difficult for outside observers and casual fans to see the improvement and dedication.

In true New Years fashion, what would it be if resolutions weren’t in order?


Detroit Pistons New Years Resolutions

Cade Cunningham – Just get healthy and come back next season knowing this team is his. Before having season ending surgery, he averaged 19.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 6 APG. We have a 20/5/5 player on our hands in Detroit folks! Improving on efficiency could catapult his career next season.


Bojan Bogdanovic – What a pleasant surprise Bogey has been to the offense and starting lineup. He’s been absolute money on that side of the ball. Which may surprise you that my resolution for him, has nothing to do with improving defense but rather his offense. He’s having a career year in assists at 2.6 per game. But providing even more could benefit when he’s playing in lineups with Alec Burks, Saddiq Bey, Jaden Ivey and eventually Cade Cunningham again.

Saddiq Bey – He’s been known to have slow starts to the season, so his shooting numbers didn’t concern me much. Over the last ten games he’s shooting a much improved 38% from three on 5 attempts per game. See, nothing to worry about. But one area of improvement coach Dwane Casey wanted to see from him was in the pick and roll game. This could be key to unlocking his overall game.

Jaden Ivey – Ivey has largely surpassed my expectations on the season as a rookie. And even moreso over the last 10 games has showing he can play make (4.2 APG), shoot (38.5% from 3) and ability in the mid range recently. With blazing speed and bigger build as a perimeter player, I want to see Ivey become a lock down defender.

Jalen Duren – The big fella’ has passed every test so far this season. Once observers pondered if he’d spend time in the NBA’s Player Development G-League, and now wonder how high is the ceiling. That may depend on how good his defense is. Already showing the tools and more than flashes, I want to see rim protection be what he craves.

Isaiah Stewart – The player affectionately known as ‘Beef Stew’ has absolutely answered if he can play the stretch-4 position. He’s shooting 36.6% on 4.2 three point attempts per game which is definitely better than many thought he’d achieve. The area of resolution is on hitting the glass. I want to see Stewart grab a few more rebounds a game to average a double-double nightly.

Killian Hayes – After a historically rough start to the season, Hayes has acquitted himself nicely. Averaging close to ten points and 6 assist is a far cry from when he was averaging more fouls than points per game. In the new year and upon return from suspension, Hayes needs to make aggressive two-way basketball a staple. Especially in the free throw department. He’s notoriously shot low volumes and it could be do to not attacking the rim consistently.

Marvin Bagley III – He’s shown to be a great option off the bench and will show even more when his pick and roll partner Cade Cunningham is back from injury. But the area I want to see Bagley focus on is in being a paint bully. A la Corliss Williamson, known as the big nasty and member of the 2004 Detroit Pistons championship team. I’ve seen capable flashes of Bagley being a dependable paint scorer, and that may be helped if he took less three pointers. He’s shooting 27% on the year from three and only 14% over the last 10.

The Bench Brigade – This includes Alec Burks, Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox and Cory Joseph as veteran bench players who regularly play. They’ve each contributed in big ways, but may have largest impact by focusing even more on the maturation of the rookies and young players. By assisting with instilling an identity of defense. They’ve surely outscored their fair share of opposing benches, but defensively could take a step forward.

Rodney McGruder and Nerlens Noel – Just be ready when called upon and provide mentoring for the younger players. McGruder has shown that propensity during his time as a Piston, and I hope Noel takes it up to impart some defensive nuggets with guys like Stewart and Duren.

What resolutions would you like to see the players have as the new year begins?


What’s Next

The Detroit Pistons play the Chauncey Billups coached Portland Trailblazers Monday, January 2nd, at 10 PM.

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Photo Credit: Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports

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By Published On: January 1st, 2023Categories: Detroit Pistons, NBA

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