Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart Set the Tone in Detroit Pistons Big Win



All year I’ve remarked how the defense needed to take things to another gear physically. Whether the talent is there or not, Detroit teams have historically been known to bring the pain. But early on this season I saw this iteration of the Pistons being too handsy on defense. Sometimes appearing to be flat footed and standing around while opposing players waltzed down the lane.

Coach Dwane Casey has spoken about this in harsher terms than I, especially when discussing the perimeter defense. They’ve had a tough time defending pick and rolls and pretty much any ball handler with a pulse at times. It’s been head scratching because the talent is apparently there, but that lends credence to Casey saying they’re still learning to play NBA defense. Being young is no excuse, but being new to something requires time, patience and experience to truly reach the desired level.

But tonight was different. The Pistons played an aggressive defense, intent on constant effort and disruption. Led by Isaiah Stewart, they made it tough on secondary players trying to get into the lane.

Beef Stew Set the Tone Defensively

In the first half before looking at the box score, I continually noticed Stewart’s energy all over the court defensively. I knew for the Pistons to win, the team was going to have to match his energy. The stats didn’t tell half the impact he had in helping the Pistons hold an opponent to under 100 points, their first occurrence this year.

Stewart played a brand of basketball that Detroit sports fans are accustomed too. Tough, physical, not giving up any and-1’s and versatile.

It helps to have both Jalen Duren and Marvin Bagley along with Isaiah Stewart all healthy and available to play. When they dealt with Bagley’s injury and then Stewart’s later, they couldn’t play bigger lineups that would assist their lineups.

Stewart and Duren have looked like the most promising defensive front court pairing when given the minutes. But again, you don’t want them both getting into foul trouble early and having that effect their ability to play defense to close a game.

Bojan Bogdanovic was on FIRE!

For the Detroit Pistons to get their second win this season over an eastern conference team, Bojan Bogdanovic made sure to do his part on the offensive side of the ball. He made seven of nine three pointers to bolster a thirty one point performance.

Bogdanovic looked like he enjoyed every single shot he hit during the stretch. He plays with such a wry confidence backed up by extreme ability to score the basketball. For what his limits are defensively, Bogey continues to prove that much more valuable as a scorer. He took control of the game about half way through the third quarter and continued to hit big shot after big shot in the fourth quarter. Taking on a role that has been largely vacated since Cade Cunningham has been out dealing with a shin injury.

What role? The role of absolute certified bucket getter when it matters most. There have been games this season where Bogey has had good scoring output, but not necessarily when the team needed it most. On this night, that wasn’t an issue at all.

What’s Next

The Pistons face the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday, December 7th at 8PM.

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