The Detroit Pistons young core propelled the team to its first win of the season, edging out the Boston Celtics 96-93.
Midway through the fourth quarter, it looked like the Detroit Pistons were en route to losing another game off another blown lead.
However, Jerami Grant and Derrick Rose had other plans.
After a pair of clutch free throws and layup by both, the Pistons finally got a W in the win column. Beating the Celtics 96-93 should give the Pistons (and its fans) a sigh of relief. After the last few outings, the guessing game between fans and critics started. Many wondered when the Pistons would get their first win. The Pistons, now 1-4, will face the Celtics again on Sunday at Little Caesars Arena.
Before that takes place, here are three takeaways from the Pistons’ big victory over the Celtics.
Can we put a pause on the Jerami Grant criticism?
If there are still any doubters of the Pistons signing Jerami Grant, the concerns should be no more. His 18-point first half was the catalyst of the Pistons leading by 15 at halftime. He finished the game with 24 points and four rebounds.
It is the fourth straight 20+ point outing for the newly signed Piston.
Grant’s strong start was evident from the beginning of the game. With Blake Griffin in the concussion protocol, he started at power forward. And once again, he showcased his skill set as the stretch-four the Pistons need. He scored a quick 10 points for the Pistons to get them out to a 23-8 lead.
After his explosive start, Grant cooled off in the second half. He shot 7-11 in the first half, but a woe 2-13 in the second half, finishing 9-24 on the night. Despite that, he nailed two clutch free throws in the game’s final minutes, which set up Derrick Rose’s layup to give the Pistons the lead.
There were a few times were Grant seemingly settled too much for the three-pointers.
He finished 2-9 from beyond the arc.
Be that as it may, without Grant’s aggressiveness, the Pistons would still be looking for that elusive first win. While it’s only six games into the season, Grant’s signing proves to be a smart one by the Pistons.
Isaiah Stewart has the potential to be a fan favorite in Detroit.
When the Pistons activated Jahlil Okafor for Friday’s game vs. the Celtics, there was a question of whether rookie Isaiah Stewart would see any action. Pistons head coach Dwane Casey killed any curiosity early on, making Stewart the first substitute for Mason Plumlee.
Stewart made the most of his 18 minutes, finishing with eight points and five rebounds. While the box score is nothing to write home about, Stewart’s physicality and strength on both sides of the ball was a problem for the Celtics.
He was a straight-up bully.
Stewart’s aggression mirrored that of Pistons legend Ben Wallace. Now to be fair to Wallace, Stewart is not in his class yet. Regardless of that fact, if he continues to improve his game with that same intensity intact, he can become a fan-favorite like Wallace.
After starting the season with a few DNPs (did not play), Stewart played both losses to the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors. And in both losses, he had respectable performances, with one being a historical one.
During the Pistons’ 128-120 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, Stewart became one of 39 players in NBA history to record at least five offensive rebounds in a debut game.
“Mr. S-A double D-I-Q” got involved all night in his second start for the Pistons.
Outside of Anthony Edwards, this year’s No. 1 overall pick, scouts touted Saddiq Bey as having the most “NBA-ready” build of all the draft prospects.
In his second start, he showcased that and then some.
Bey tallied 17 points, seven rebounds, and two steals. Outside of his two free throws, he earned all of his buckets from beyond the arc, shooting 5-8 from long distance.
While the Pistons are still high on the struggling Killian Hayes, Bey is proving to be the steal of the 2020 draft. In four games this season, he’s shooting just above 45% from beyond the arc. Pistons fans were unsure of the decision to send Luke Kennard to the Los Angeles Clippers. Kennard was the Pistons’ leading three-point specialist during his time in Detroit.
Health issues and inconsistent play, unfortunately, hindered Kennard. With a looming payday ahead for the former Duke Blue Devil, the Pistons dealt him to avoid paying the four-year, $64 million that the Clippers are now paying.
In four games, Bey is averaging 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
His production is coming at a significantly lower price than Kennard’s with a higher upside.