The Detroit Pistons cannot get to the all star break fast enough. Despite the debut of Marvin Bagley III, Detroit fell short to the Washington Wizards, losing 94-103. Outside of Saddiq Bey and Marvin Bagley, the Pistons were not able to generate consistent offense. Bey finished with 24 points shooting 7-17 from the field, and was on a mission to attack the rim all night. Bey even was able to get to the line consistently, shooting 6-7 from the free throw line.
Killian Hayes had one of his rougher games as a Piston, scoring 0 points on 0-5 from the field. In addition, Cade Cunningham struggled in his second game back from injury. Cunningham shot 5-16 from the field and 0-5 from beyond the arc. And Kelly Olynyk has really struggled over the course of the last 8 games since returning from COVID. Olynyk over the course of the last 8 games has a net rating of -32. In comparison, Isaiah Stewart’s net rating is a -7. That’s quite a steep drop off.
Jerami Grant did not have his best game, but was better in the box sheet than his piers. He was 4-10 from the field, and despite some misses late in isolation, he is learning to play alongside the likes of Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey. One area that Grant will need to be better is in his playmaking. Grant finished with 0 assists, and this team would be better offensively if that wasn’t a regular thing. He is still learning to play alongside this young core, especially alongside Cade Cunningham.
Marvin Bagley III impresses in Pistons debut
In 21 minutes of play, Marvin Bagley shined in his time on the court. Bagley finished with 10 points and 8 boards, shooting 4-10 from the field. One area that Marvin did not shine was from the free throw line. Bagley shot 2-6 from the charity stripe. During his time on the court, Bagley was aggressive and looking to attack. He showed his ability to protect the rim, slip in pick and rolls and get to the bucket, and his ability to put his back to the basket.
His versatility allows him to play multiple positions on the court. In addition, his athleticism was on display as well. Watching Bagley in his 21 minutes, it is obvious why the Pistons traded for the former second overall pick. and it will definitely be interesting to see his development in Detroit. The more playing time he gets, the more he will continue to impress in my estimation.
One area that the Pistons continue to struggle is in the offensive department. As a whole, Detroit went 37% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc. In comparison, the Wizards shot 47% from the field. And if Detroit wants to start seeing more wins in the win column, they will need to improve in their efficiency from the offensive end. Their shots are not coming easy, and the team as a whole will need to get out of this drought to get out of this 8 game losing streak. Detroit is in their dog days of their rebuild. And they will need to figure some things out over the all star break.
Feb 14, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III (35) is fouled while shooting the ball by Washington Wizards forward Anthony Gill (16) in the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
One game remaining before the all star break.
The Pistons will play one final game before heading to the all star break, facing the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. Jayson Tatum and the Celtics are in an exact opposite position of Detroit, as they are 9-1 in their last 10. Since the new year, there have been few teams hotter than the Boston Celtics. And in stark contrast, there is no team struggling more in February than Detroit, as they are 1-9 in their last 10 games in action. This all star break will be crucial for the Pistons as they will be looking to go back to the drawing board.
Whether there’s changes in rotations, or changes in scheme will remain to be seen. What is apparent, however, is that coach Casey and crew will not look to keep this momentum. Detroit has struggled on both ends of the floor, and the concern is that this doesn’t stagger the development of other players. If there’s any solace, it is that Detroit is continuing to fight. Players like Saddiq Bey are shining in the midst of the losing streak. And despite perceptions that Bey couldn’t play well besides Jerami Grant, that seems to be actively being put to bed. Bey, Cade, And Isaiah Stewart will spend the All Star break appearing in the Rising Stars Challenge. But first, they will look to take care of the Celtics.
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Featured image credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports