Detroit Pistons Continue Strong Defense In Home Opening Win


Detroit Pistons fans had Little Caesars Arena rocking for the home opener versus the Chicago Bulls. They are ready for a winner and on this night they went home satisfied after a 118-102 win over the visitors from west of Lake Michigan.

Defense has made a resurgence in the Motor City which has led to a revival on the court. After losing the season opener to the Miami Heat 103-102, the Pistons have rebounded with two wins in a row to move to 2-1 on the season.

Cade and Jaden Show

Third year star Cade Cunningham led the way with twenty five points, four rebounds and ten assists. Cunningham flexed his way through contact all night with three ‘and ones’ while hitting six of seven free throws. Jalen Duren was big in the paint, as he has been all season, with a twenty three point, fifteen rebound double-double. Duren, the center, also had four assists showcasing how unselfish this team has been to start the year.

”I’m feeling very confident but I can’t say it’s just me, but my teammates,” Jalen Duren said. “They make the game easy for me and I really have to credit them.”

“I learned that we’re fighters and we all want to win. I know last year we had a lot of ups and downs defensively and offensively, but Monty (Williams) has set the standard and we’re all buying into it.”

Zach LaVine kept the Bulls in the game with a career-high fifty one points, but it wasn’t enough as the Pistons defense kept his teammates under wraps.

Rookie Love

Rookie Ausar Thompson filled the stat sheet with nine points, twelve rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal, and tightened up the defense down the stretch on the Bulls star LaVine.

Though he was credited for only one steal, Thompson forced several turnovers that a didn’t go on his box score stats. But it didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

“Ausar is going to be amazing,” Duren said. “What he does on the floor doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet.”

Veteran Alec Burks led the bench unit with eighteen points, making six three pointers on eleven attempts. Marvin Bagley chipped in eleven points and six rebounds as he continues to be a big lift in the middle.

Head coach Monty Williams is a big fan of Burks as the veteran leader and impressed with his influence on the team.

“I didn’t know him at all before here but I knew when I coached against him he could get hot,” Williams said. “His ability to knock down shots is what he’s always been. but being around him for these 6 months, I’ve been pleased. I think he’s a great example for all of our young guys on how to handle your business.”

Overall this was a great night for Detroit Pistons fans who have hope  the season will bring more happy nights.

Quote of the Night:

“We just want to win the game. We stayed as steady as we could. Coming off the back to back we showed great conditioning mentally and physically. I thought we did a good job of handling the pressure.” – Monty Williams

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Photo Credit: Brandon Dent – Woodward Sports Network