3 Takeaways From Detroit Pistons season opening loss

Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya (45) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya (45) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons got their season kicked off against the  Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. It did not end well. Here are three quick takeaways from the game.

The NBA regular season started for the Detroit Pistons with a game at the Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the worst teams in the Western Conference last year.

Detroit held as much as a 14-point lead in the first half. They were still ahead, 101-100, with two minutes, 24 seconds left in the game.  The T-Wolves proceeded to outscore them, 11-0, margin the rest of the way for an 111-101 victory.

Here are the three quick takeaways:

1. Mason Plumlee may not be worth the money, but he won’t be an issue.

Plumlee had a monster stat-line: 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists. His ability to finish around the hoop shined and he made several lovely passes as well. He even hit a mid-range jumper!

It’s not clear he should have the ball in his hands as often as he did tonight. There were a few times he had the ball on the perimeter as the shot-clock wound down, but he does lots of useful stuff on offense. I haven’t even mentioned his constant movement and smart screening.

It’s also important to remember that all of these little things are exactly the things that help make other players, most notably the younger ones the Pistons are trying to develop, better and more comfortable on the offensive end. Plumlee is a clean fit and, while he won’t have as much success as he has against a soft Timberwolves interior, expect more of the same.

Worth mentioning that Plumlee remains very ineffective on defense, a big reason why he’s not really worth the money he got. Karl-Anthony Townes crushed him at the end, one of the major reasons they lost.

But he is good enough offensively that he is not completely over his head as a starter and at least communicates defensively.

light. Related Story. Did Detroit Pistons really overpay for Mason Plumlee and Jerami Grant?

2. Josh Jackson’s preseason wasn’t a mirage

It is entirely possible that this ends up being a mirage long-term.

Outside of his time in the G-League last season, he has no history of being even remotely competent as a shooter. But he’s carried over his preseason form for at least one game.

Jackson’s shot is quick and accurate and he is letting it fly with confidence, and his hustle on defense and in transition kills. It will be interesting to see what happens with Jackson when he hits some sort of shooting slump.

Also interested to see him try and create a little bit more, given that his passing was billed as one of his best skills out of college. He led the team with 19 points and he really does look like a changed player, and could be a great find for the Pistons.

3. Killian Hayes needs to try to assert himself.

Hayes didn’t have a terrible night by the numbers. Certainly not good, but not terrible, but that is sort of the point. He spent most of the night uninvolved in the game, his points all came in quick succession in the third period.

He just wasn’t very involved. Certainly it isn’t a bad thing for him to stay within the offense and not force things, especially since the Pistons have other capable ball-handlers on the floor with him, but to be so passive is not what you want.

Hayes will have bad mistakes and bad nights, probably a lot of them, but making those makes mistakes is part of the growing pains of young point-guards. Hayes and the Pistons coaching staff need to have the confidence to have him step up and learn through mistakes. Because even in all the mistakes, there will be glimpses of excellence.

If Hayes is really going to become a elite point guard, he can’t spend the season watching other players run the offense.

Next. Can the Detroit Pistons really make the playoffs?. dark

The Pistons (0-1) now play in their home opener on Saturday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs opened the season with a 121-114 win over the Charlotte Hornets.