Three takeaways from Detroit Pistons second loss to Bucks

Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons faced the Milwaukee Bucks for the second straight time and the rematch did not go well, losing by 15 in a game that was over after three periods.  What are the takeaways?

This game was always going to feel deflating no matter what occurred. With the news that Detroit Pistons rookie point guard Killian Hayes was going to miss significant time with a hip injury looming over it all, and then starting shooting guard Josh Jackson didn’t even make his planned return.

The Bucks were up by 24 at halftime and Detroit never really challenged after that in 130-115 loss. Despite the 1-7 record, following the Pistons first real shellacking, there are some takeaways.

1. It’s a low bar, but Blake Griffin looked better than he has.

As the headline says, this is not a huge accomplishment.

Blake Griffin has looked like a geriatric patient in the early going, and while he didn’t exactly break out of any slump, the eye-test looked better Wednesday.

His bad scoring efficiency, nine points on nine field goal attempts, was hurt by going 0-6 from deep, where he’s actually been very effective this season. He hit two of his three shots inside the arc, shot six free throws, and had five assists in just 26 minutes.

If he had hit a couple of threes, and the game been close enough to warrant more playing time, it’s possible his game looks way better.

He still needs to put in more effort. The degree to which he simply doesn’t move on both ends of the floor is comical, but at least Griffin showed some signs of life.

2. Jerami Grant really is doing this.

Jerami Grant had a bit of a tough outing the last time out against the Bucks. He did get his numbers, but at very poor efficiency. He bounced back in the rematch, with a monster effort of 31 points, a career-high, on good efficiency.

The night wasn’t as good, given that the game was well out of reach by the time he did for a lot of his scoring, but he kept plugging away, and had a nice bounce-back game.

He did it in a variety of ways, getting to the hoop, hitting a pair of long guns, and also did a lot of work at the line, where he went a monstrous 11-11.

I said in this same space after the last game, that I was choosing to take the optimistic view of his inefficient game. That sometimes things just don’t go your way; the whistles don’t come and the gaps for easy buckets don’t appear, but if you’re the number one option, like Grant now is, you still need to grind out some points, even if it’s not pretty or efficient.

Wednesday, he made good on that optimism. Once again, it’s fair to question if the Bucks may have shown more resistance if the game had been competitive, but Grant has no control over that.

The fact is, he came out following a mediocre game and killed it. It’s hard to do this over the course of an entire season, but every game he keeps it up, is really impressive.

The one down-side is that Grant, who hypothetically is a good profile to give Giannis Antetokounmpo some issues on defense, but was utterly ineffective for the second straight game against the back-to-back MVP. That isn’t a huge deal, Giannis kills most defenders, but it would’ve been nice for him to maybe bother Antetokounmpo at least a little bit.

Related Story. Jerami Grant fits Detroit Pistons future in NBA. light

3. Saddiq Bey has a 2-pointer problem

Saddiq Bey had another nice outing starting in place of the injured Josh Jackson. The 6-foot-8 rookie finished with 20 points on 6 for 14 shooting is is a tidy stat-line, including going 6-for-10 from deep! That does make it obvious, however, he missed all four of his shots inside the arc.

Next. Detroit Pistons: What Killian Hayes’ injury means for the season. dark

If his long-gun maintains its early-season accuracy, it won’t matter much, but Bey does need to find a way to get some shots to fall inside the three-point arc.