The Pistons came into the Madison Square Garden without their best player, Cade Cunningham, with a shin soreness injury. Their task was already tall, as the Knicks gave the Pistons problems in their last matchup. And despite a late surge in the fourth quarter lead by their veteran Bojan Bogdanovic, it was ultimately not enough. Detroit was defeated on the road as they ultimately lose to the Knicks 121-110. The attack was lead all night by their trio of Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle.
Despite the fact that Cory Joseph filled Cunningham’s place in the starting lineup, it was Killian Hayes that helped take the workload. He finished with 11 points, all in the first half, as well at 7 assists and 6 boards. In addition, Alec Burks had 17 points off the bench in his Pistons debut. It was clear that his presence was felt on both ends of the court, and he alone brings improvement to the Pistons second unit. In their next game at home versus Boston, they have the potential of getting back Marvin Bagley III as well.
Pistons couldn’t buy a three, face Boston the next night
Another game, another day struggling from beyond the arc for the Pistons. The team shot a combined 7-31, shooting an overall 22 percent. Their most consistent shooters on the floor were Isaiah Livers and Isaiah Stewart, both shooting 50 percent beyond the arc. Another issue for Detroit that kept this game out of reach was the turnover battle. Jaden Ivey in particular struggled to move the ball against the wall that is a Tom Thibadeau lead defense. But despite all of these struggles, the Pistons still managed to bring the game to single digits in the final minutes. The key? Detroit shot 41 total free throw attempts, getting to the basket and drawing easy fouls.
Despite the fact that Detroit lost another game, there were still signs of growth and improvement. Killian Hayes has looked like a completely different player over the past week, and Hamidou Diallo had another solid performance on both ends as well. The team as a whole is beginning to find their groove, but more importantly, they’re starting to stay in games. There doesn’t ever seem to be a deficit that makes this team quit, and that’s what you want to see from a young team. The Pistons will have the opportunity to get revenge at home against the Celtics Saturday night.
Featured Image Credit: Vincent Carchietta