Detroit started their two game road trip with a rematch against the Minnesota Timberwolves. And despite a fourth quarter surge from Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes, the Detroit Pistons lose to the T-Wolves 118-105. The Pistons were lead in scoring by Bey and Trey Lyles, with Saddiq scoring 24 and Lyles with 16 points. Detroit stayed competitive the entire game, and despite a 14-6 run by Detroit late in the fourth quarter, Minnesota was able to pull away.
The Timberwolves were lead by the returning D’Angelo Russell and All Star big Karl Anthony Towns. Minnesota started with an outside attack shooting 17-36 from the three, and then finished with an attack in the paint in the fourth. Cade Cunningham will shoot to make his return as well from his hip pointer injury. Cunningham warmed up with the team, but was limited to just taking jump shots. He will look to make his return in Dallas on Tuesday night. With the extra couple of days of rest, the Pistons are not taking any risks with this injury.
Killian Hayes has his best quarter as a Piston
With Cade Cunningham missing his third straight game, the Pistons needed someone to take over late. And it came from Killian Hayes, an unlikely source. Hayes played some of the best basketball of his young NBA career late. Hayes had all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, also finishing with 8 assists. Killian also was able to grab 7 rebounds. It is no secret that Killian Hayes being brought off the bench has been one of the best things to happen to Hayes in his career. It allows the young guard to have a lineup of his own, to have the primary playmaking responsibilities. In addition, Dwane Casey has made the adjustment of letting Killian finish games rather than starting. And in this role, Killian Hayes is thriving.
Coming off the bench for the Pistons has brought a new sense of aggression out of Hayes. He was attacking the rim late, and finding open shooters on the three point line. He didn’t shy away from contact, in fact, he finished at the rim through contact. His aggression extended to the boards, to his playmaking, and on the defensive end as well. If Killian Hayes is able to make these kinds of plays consistently, he will have a spot in the league for years to come. Whether that spot is on the Pistons or elsewhere remains to be seen. However, Detroit has to like what they are seeing out of the recent developments from Killian.
Timberwolves were lead by Karl Anthony Towns
All Star center Karl Anthony Towns showed again why he was selected for the All Star team Sunday. Towns finished with 24 points shooting 11-18 from the field. When Towns gets in the post, he is really hard to beat. Especially when he has his pick and roll partner D’Angelo Russell. The Timberwolves are 3 games above .500 and are currently 7th in the Western Conference. Towns and the Timberwolves have only made it to the playoffs once in his career, and if this team keeps playing like this, it is hard to see that staying the case. The core of Karl Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell is proving to be a dangerous one offensively.
Pistons play final game before the deadline Thursday
The Pistons continue their road trip on Tuesday as they face MVP candidate Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. This will be the Pistons final game together before the NBA trade deadline. Therefore, we only have one more game where we could see this roster play together. Reports suggest that Detroit is interested in multiple different players. Including a report that the Pistons are potentially interested with Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson. In addition, this could be the final game for Jerami Grant in a Pistons uniform, as Detroit will be taking calls on Grant right up until the deadline.
A lot of potential change is coming to the Detroit Pistons locker room this week. And with nothing but uncertainty facing the young squad, they will look to take care of business first on Tuesday night in Dallas. Whether Cade Cunningham will return with all of his fellow teammates remains to be seen. But despite the uncertainty, the Pistons will continue to play hard. Because that’s all you can do in this league. This is a business. And we will see the reality of that come later this week.
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