Detroit Pistons: Heat game observations

Jan 16, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) looks to pass as Detroit Pistons guard Delon Wright (55) and Mason Plumlee (24) defendMandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) looks to pass as Detroit Pistons guard Delon Wright (55) and Mason Plumlee (24) defendMandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons rolled over the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat. That was fun.

It was Saturday Night and the Detroit Pistons were very much Live as they crushed the Miami Heat, 120-100. For once, the final score was indicative of the game.

The Pistons gave Miami an old-fashioned butt kicking. (This is a sentence I did not think I would be writing for a couple years).

Yes, the Heat were missing Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, but the rest of the gang was all there. And well-rested, as half the team had sat out the last two games due to COVID-19 health protocols.

Let’s get to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of this game:

Detroit Pistons: The Good

Derrick Rose: Ponce DeLeon explored Florida trying to find the Fountain of Youth. He failed, but, apparently, Derrick Rose found it. The 6-2 guard looked like the 2011 MVP version of himself on Saturday.

Rose scored 23 points in 21 minutes and did it efficiently, on just 12 shots. He also had four assists, to just one turnover, and made four steals. It was his best game of the season.

Isaiah Stewart: He banged with all-star Bam (Adebayo) and fouled out in 19 minutes, but he had an impact for the short time he was in there. Stewart had 10 points, 11 rebounds (four offensive) and was a plus-16.

Coach Dwane Casey says referees have to learn that Stewart creates space inside legally. Refs do not give rookies any breaks, and these officials sure did not give the Washington product any.

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Delon Wright: After some ho-hum performances, the 6-foot-5 point guard was great. Wright had 10 assists. he also chipped in eight points and four rebounds. Detroit was +19 when he was on the floor.

Jerami Grant: The Heat are known for their defense but Grant still was able to score 24 points. Even facing double teams, which he has almost never seen before in his NBA career, did not faze him.

Grant also had nine rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots. He continues to look good with every game.

Pistons turnovers: What had been a killer for them in most games, was a positive this time. Miami committed 22 turnovers to just 11 for the Pistons. In points off turnovers, Detroit led in that category, 27-14.

Winning the turnover battle was key in Detroit’s victory.

Detroit Pistons: The Bad

Pistons slow starts: Detroit had been getting pounded at the start of games and coach Casey had said he would look at revising the starting lineup if it continued.

Except for swapping veteran Wayne Ellington for the struggling Josh Jackson at shooting guard, it was the regular starting lineup.

It did continue, but not as badly as the past few contests.

Miami held a 12-7 lead at the start of the game.

The starters played better to start the second half. They erased a six-point halftime deficit to take the lead, but, it was not until the end of the third period, with the second unit mostly playing, when Detroit really pulled away.

Svi Mykhailiuk: He only played in the final two minutes of a game long decided. Why?

Mykhailiuk was coming off a very good game, scoring 18 points in 18 minutes against the Milwaukee Bucks. It was odd that he never got into this game until garbage time.

Detroit Pistons: The Ugly

Miami Heat defense: This team road its fine defense to the NBA finals last year but, sheesh, they are not stopping much of anything right now.

Detroit, hardly an offensive juggernaut, scored every which way on them: inside, outside, the fast break and off turnovers.

Put it this way, the Pistons had eight different players score eight points or more. Basically, Miami did not stop anyone.

Next. Detroit Pistons: Time for new starting lineup. dark

It will be interesting to see how both teams respond in Monday afternoon’s (yes, 3 p.m.) rematch.

Will the Pistons be satisfied with a split in Miami or will they come out just as fired up? Miami is a prideful organization, you know they will not want to get swept at home.