Down go the champs! Down go the 2021-22 NBA champs! The Detroit Pistons beat the Golden State Warriors 128-114 behind improved defensive tenacity, and four starters scoring 20 or more. This was the best game of the starters collective unit, with balanced scoring from beginning to end.
“We believed. We didn’t lose our confidence,” Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said. “Also, we did it with our defense. I was on them hard the other night and yesterday in practice as far as defense, and they responded.”
Coming into the game last in opponents points per game, it should comfort every Piston fan to know this was the focus in practice.
“I think tonight we showed what Pistons basketball is. We showed how we’re supposed to play every night on the defensive end and the offensive end. We’re sharing the ball, playing on unselfishly, and everybody was you know getting found for shots.” – Isaiah Stewart
The defensive tweaks weren’t the only impactful changes. Some of the offensive outburst can be attributed to a conversation between Saddiq Bey and coach Casey.
In the press conference following the game, Casey said they were looking for better ways to get the versatile shooter, better opportunities.
“We’ll figure out the rotations. It’s not concrete yet. It’s getting closer. We just want everything to fit.”
Saddiq Bey led the Pistons in scoring with 28 and shot 44% from three point range. Bey continues to prove to be more than just a three point shooter. He looked to attack every time he was defended by shorter players, making a few turnaround shots over Steph Curry.
Via James Edwards, Bey said it has been an adjustment, but it’s also not been 10 games yet. Added that he and Casey talked about playing him more with second unit to get him more usage.
The lineup change worked wonders as the offense looked less clogged, and more sure of itself.
The Detroit Pistons Starters
Bojan Bogdanovic, who signed a 2-year $39.1 million extension with the Piston, finished the game with 21 points. He scored 11 in the first, going 2 of 2 from three, and looked at ease the entire game.
Cade Cunningham just missed a triple double in one of his better 2-way games with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
While Cade Cunningham controlled the game with a methodical pace, Isaiah Stewart took advantage of the Warriors lack of size. Rebounding has been a struggle in the early season, but not on this night, led by Stewart aka Beef Stew.
Stewart achieved his third double double of the season, scoring 24 points to go with 11 rebounds. His shooting was just as impressive as he hit 60% from the field, 40% from three and 10 free throws.
After the game, Stewart expressed satisfaction in seeing his hard work pay off: “I just tell myself keep shooting the rock, whether I miss it or not, I know I put a lot of work in on that. I’m confident, hats off to my teammates who continue to trust the pass, trust that shot no matter what. if I’m open and keep passing it to me to shoot that.”
Rookie Jaden Ivey seemed much more comfortable, being able to pick spots when to attack. Games prior seemed to feature Ivey in the offense more prominently, than versus the Warriors. That didn’t slow down his impressive start in his first year. Ivey finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and scrappy defense.
The Other Guys
Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry dazzled the Little Caesars Arena crowd all night on the way to 32 points and 6 rebounds. The Pistons defense clearly bothered the superstar, as he was held to 41% shooting from the field, only hitting 4 of 14 from outside.
University of Michigan product Jordan Poole followed up his last to LCA with another good scoring output. Poole’s efficiently scored 30 points weren’t enough help, as the Pistons defense only allowed three Warriors to score in double figures.
Poole, while pleased with his offensive game, he is hoping for more from the team defense: “I was being aggressive, taking open shots, and just playing my game. I think we got comfortable playing with that type of physicality. We must get back to playing regular defense, and we will fix it. I know we will.”
Andrew Wiggins rounded out the double digit scoring effort for the Warriors with 10.
The Detroit Pistons travel to Fiserv Forum to battle Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.
Want More Detroit Pistons?
Check out all of our Pistons coverage with Woodward Pistons via YouTube
Follow Brandon Dent (Woodward Sports Network Pistons Beat Reporter) aka @DetroitKoolAid on Twitter and Instagram for more WSN Pistons Coverage.
Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports