Detroit Pistons-76ers: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Detroit Pistons forward Jerami GrantMandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Jerami GrantMandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The undermanned Detroit Pistons faced the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia 76ers, and gave them a tremendous battle, before falling, 114-110.

If you were a new legal bettor, and you had been told that the Detroit Pistons would be without Derrick Rose (sore knee) and Blake Griffin (load management), and that the 76ers would have everyone, and also that Jerami Grant would have a dreadful shooting night, how much coin would you have put on the Pistons?

But one must remember the No. 1 rule about Detroit: They do not get blown out. They lose, they always lose, but, even against overwhelming odds, they always are in it until the end.

So here are the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the 76ers game:

Detroit Pistons: The Good

Wayne Ellington: The Philadelphia 76ers have a lot of firepower, and on a night when Mr. Non-shooter Ben Simmons scores 20 points, they can easily overwhelm an opponent.

But Ellington, a Philadelphia native, was raining three-pointers from the start, making sure the Pistons were able to keep up. In the first half he had 15 points, and made 5-of-6 three-point shots.

To show you how well Ellington is playing, in his long career, he is shooting 38% on three-pointers but, this season, he is making 50%.

He set a club record with 21 three’s over a four-game stretch. One wonders if his fine play was noticed by 76ers president Daryl Morey, in case he is looking for some help around the trade deadline. I am sure GM Troy Weaver would love to have a chat with him.

Svi Mykhailiuk: He is a streaky shooter and he was on a hot streak on Saturday. He scored 15 points in 17 minutes and made 3-of-4 three-point shots.

What was noticeable about Mykhailiuk’s game was that he contributed besides the threes. He had a nice drive, four rebounds and three assists. He was a team-high +13, which basically means Detroit was kicking the stuffing out of the Sixers when he was on the floor.

We will see if this gives the 6-7 Ukrainian a confidence boost, after playing three seconds against Houston the night before.

Sekou Doumbouya: This game must have thrilled the ‘Free Sekou’ crowd.  Doumbouya scored 13 points in 18 minutes and tried hard on defense against some tough players.

He was not perfect, some bad shots on offense, and he got caught a couple of times on defense, but it’s all part of the learning experience for Doumbouya.

Coach Dwane Casey says Sekou has to earn his minutes. We will see if he earned them with this performance.

Detroit Pistons: The Bad

Jerami Grant: He is no longer a secret. The 76ers were ready for him. Ben Simmons guarded him most of the time. Honestly, it looked like Grant was not sure what to do  against a defender who was his equal in height and athleticism.

When Grant tried to dribble into scoring position, the Sixers sent double teams at him, and his ballhandling is not quite ready for that. He finished a horrid 3-for-19 from the field. A definite learning lesson for a new, go-to scorer.

Grant is not in the Ugly category because he did have nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. So he did contribute, just not in the scoring column. He broke his streak of 14 straight games of over 20 points.

Mason Plumlee: There really is no need to debate who starts for the Pistons because Plumlee won’t be out there playing much anyhow. Plumlee fouled out for the fourth straight game.

One would think, being a veteran, Plumlee would be smarter in playing with fouls, but it has become an issue. Yes, Isaiah Stewart did well in his place, but in a close game against Joel Embiid, you should have a veteran at least available.

Detroit Pistons: The Ugly

Dwight Howard’s shorts: This was an easy selection. Rookie center Isaiah Stewart’s feistiness has rubbed some legendary NBA players the wrong way.

On Friday, DeMarcus Cousins got into it with Stewart. On Saturday, it was Dwight Howard mixing it up with the Washington product. Stewart definitely got the better of it. On one play, he got a foul called on Howard, saw Howard get hit with a technical and then left the game due to ripped shorts.

It would have been even nicer if Stewart could have gotten Embiid off his game, but it is good to see that he is not backing down to more experienced players.

Next. 3 takeaways from Detroit Pistons great battle against Philadelphia. dark

A major question from Detroit playing right with the top team in the East is, did the Pistons accomplish it despite not having Blake Griffin or Derrick Rose, or because of it?

We might find out Monday, as the two teams have a rematch, with Rose and Griffin expected to play in that one.