Pistons fall short to Pelicans in preseason matchup
Despite rallying late, the Pistons fell short to the New Orleans Pelicans in their second preseason contest. New Orleans defeated Detroit 107-101 off of the performance of backup guard Jose Alvarado. The second year guard finished with 28 points, and was part of the Pelicans interior attack. The Pistons committed 31 personal fouls, and allowed the Pelicans to get to the line for 34 free throw attempts. However, Detroit still stayed in the game, and brought the game back to single digits during the fourth quarter. Saddiq Bey was aggressive from the offset, and although he is still finding his rhythm, he was far more effective in this contest. Bey finished with 23 points shooting 6-17 from the field. Saddiq was 5-10 from beyond the arc, and was one of few Pistons with a positive plus/minus rating (+6).
Jaden Ivey’s second preseason performance was more down to earth than his first. Ivey did finish with 14 points and go 9-9 from the free throw line, but did turn the ball over 7 times. The rookie guard also went 2-12 from the field, missing all of his attempts in the second half. There were still bright spots, however, in his overall game. His ability to playmake while driving in the interior has flashes of elite potential. And his ability to change speed is already bringing an element to the Pistons that hasn’t been on this roster in years. Definitely a performance that can be learned from.
Pistons are learning to compete, and experimenting with lineups
Going into preseason game number two, the Pistons decided to experiment with a different starting lineup. Bojan Bogdanovic was moved to the bench, and Marvin Bagley was brought in. Both players seemed to struggle with the physicality and length of the Pelicans front court, with Bagley fouling out in just 19 minutes of action. Jalen Duren was a late scracth due to a minor injury sustained in the first preseason game versus the Knicks. As a result, Dwane Casey used it as an opportunity to experiment with lineups featuring Stewart with both Bogdanovic and Bagley.
And in addition, Stewart was able to get more opportunity at the power forward, and playing on the perimiter. The results were more promising returns on the offensive end, and was able to go 2-5 from beyond the arc. This game seemed like an opportunity to pair Stewart and Duren against Zion and Valanciunas, but the third year big showed promise nonetheless. And on the other side of the spectrum, Killian Hayes had a game to forget, 5 points and 5 turnovers, and going 1-7 from the field. Hayes was outclassed by Alvarado, one of the most aggressive players in the league. Perhaps a player that Hayes could learn from.
The Pistons will make their home preseason debut on Tuesday the 11th against the Oklahoma City Thunder.