Detroit Pistons: Three takeaways from win over Suns

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 28: Sekou Doumbouya #45 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 28: Sekou Doumbouya #45 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons got their second win of the season, 110-105, in overtime, and their victims were the previously high-flying Phoenix Suns. What are the main takeaways? Here are three.

It was often ugly, with the Detroit Pistons shot poorly from the floor. There were also tons of foul calls, many of which were questionable. but in the Pistons favor for once. While the Phoenix Suns cold shooting was not purely the result of the Pistons switching to a zone defense, Detroit will take the win however they can.

1. Jerami Grant is an All-Star

I was not the mockingly disrespectful type that many were, in regards to Jerami Grant coming to Detroit for a larger role, but I was certainly skeptical.

Grant was incredible.

A second straight 31-point game, on great efficiency, while also making the overtime-forcing play with a pass, and then hitting more than one dagger in overtime, seals this deal for me.

It’s possible, even likely, that he will come down a bit at some point, but you can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Grant can get to the hoop constantly, and his combination of size and touch makes him one of the best finishers in the league. He even did some of his work in the mid-range, with  face-ups and out of the triple-threat.

His final line of 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting with 10 boards and 2 assists is absurd. He’s proving to be an incredible offensive player, and a plus defender.  Grant will probably not make the all-star game because the Pistons stink, but he should make it.

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2. Blake Griffin showing signs of life.

Blake Griffin didn’t exactly have a breakout game from his slump. But he was noticeably more active on both sides of the floor.

The Pistons switching to a zone helped him on defense, as it allows him to stand in one area a lot more, and makes it far more difficult for opposing teams to relentlessly target him. But he also just played harder, which is big, considering how completely uninterested he has been in giving effort on defense so far this season.

Offensively, he finished with 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting (5-6 from the line) with 10 rebounds and five assists. Once again, that isn’t exactly a monster stat-line, but Griffin was getting into guys, attacking the paint, and generally being active and aggressive.

It remains to be seen if Griffin can bring his play up to the point where he becomes useful, whether as a guy who actually makes the Pistons better, or as a guy another team might want to trade for, but it was good to see him actually put in some effort, to be the guy on the Pistons.

3. Saddiq Bey is still not afraid.

Saddiq Bey does have some real issues. For starters, he remains totally hopeless inside the arc. He did hit a two-pointer tonight but that’s only because his foot was on the line, and his defense is still a bit wonky sometimes.

That said, Bey is totally unafraid of gunning from deep, and he’s been superbly accurate so far. That continued Friday. While10 points on 4-for-8 shooting don’t seem like a big night, and well, it isn’t, but he hit some huge shots late in the game, and even made a couple of nice defensive appearances.

The rookie out of Villanova’s issues with athleticism are less of a problem in the zone defense, and his size is more of an advantage, so the switch to the zone didn’t just help Griffin, but also Bey.

I do have some fears still; he is gunning so much that even if he is going to be one of the league’s best shooters long-term, a dry-spell of misses will come at some point. For now though, let’s just enjoy it.

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