3 Takeaways from the Detroit Pistons 122-120 Loss to the Celtics

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9)Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9)Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons fall to the Boston Celtics 122-120.

The Detroit Pistons once again played the Celtics tough in a Sunday afternoon special. The Pistons got their first win of the season on Friday against the Celtics 96-93, so the Celtics were out for blood.

The game was incredibly close as the largest lead of the game was seven points. After shooting the lights out throughout the game, the Pistons saw themselves tied at 120 with 22 seconds left.

Blake Griffin was guarding Jayson Tatum who broke Griffin’s ankles as he pulled up for the game winner. The final possession then resulted in a contested Blake Griffin half-courter that fell short.

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Jerami Grant is Justifying His Price Tag

After a questionable pre-season and a significant pay raise this summer, many were questioning whether or not Jerami Grant was worth the 3-year, $60 million contract he signed with Detroit this offseason.

Six games into the season, Grant is averaging 23 points per game, good enough for 19th best in the NBA, and second best in the 2020 free agent class, ironically behind Christian Wood. Grant has been the leading scorer for the Pistons in all but the first game of the season.

Outside of the stats, Grant has played for the Thunder and the Nuggets in his career, two winning franchises, so he brings tons of experience.

He has been with Troy Weaver before and Troy believed in him to not only help the stat sheet, but to help change the culture of this young and impressionable Pistons team.

Time to Move on from Blake?

While it really pains me to say this after the legendary performance from Blake in the playoffs against the Bucks where he gave his all for the team and city, it might be time to get something in return for Griffin.

He’s not nearly the player he used to be and can’t be a first option on a team, but I firmly believe he would be an asset to a contending team in the playoffs this year. He has changed and evolved his game as he can shoot the three ball.

When Blake is in the game it’s as if the entire offense has to run through him. Outside of Derrick Rose and Grant, every other player first looks to Blake as though they need permission to shoot it or drive to the basket.

That’s when he doesn’t have the ball, when he has the ball, he almost immediately puts his back to the basket and posts up or he shoots a three.

When he’s out of the game the Pistons just play more fluid and fun. As much as it hurts for me to say, Blake would be better on another team. I would say the same for Derrick Rose but him taking Killian Hayes under his wing and how much smaller his contract is, it’s easier to justify keeping him.

That being said I believe he should far less than what he is currently, and ill expand on that in the third and final takeaway.

Casey Should Embrace the Youth Movement.

The third and most obvious takeaway is that Casey should embrace the youth movement. After it took an injury to get Casey to play Isaiah Stewart over Jahlil Okafor, we’re left wondering what it will take to play Sekou, Killian, and Saddiq more than their veteran counterparts.

Isaiah Stewart has made the most of his increasing minutes in Okafor’s absence being one of the top offensive rebounders overall and the number one bench rebounder in the league.

Sekou continues to be extremely efficient in his limited minutes including 8 points in 14 minutes shooting 3-3 from the field with 2-2 behind the arc.

Killian Hayes is the next player who we’d all like to see get an increase in minutes.

With the injury to Josh Jackson today we will get more minutes for Svi and Saddiq, so Killian is the last young guy who needs more minutes. With the entire league making fun of Killian’s lack of a right hand, giving him more minutes would help solve that issue with time.

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