Detroit Pistons: Rookie hustle is changing the culture in Detroit

Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

If you only watched the Detroit Pistons the last two games you’d think they were headed to the playoffs instead of the lottery.

They are playing hard, sharing the ball and look to be building team chemistry and changing the culture in Detroit right before our very eyes.

Troy Weaver clearly had a mold in mind with his draft picks and free agents signings, as Detroit is full of guys who play hard, give effort on defense and don’t get pushed around by anyone.

Related Story. Isaiah Stewart is NBA's most underrated rookie. light

At the head of this change are two rookies, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart who are inspiring their teammates with their effort and hustle.

It’s been a joy to watch and continued last night in the win over the New Orleans Pelicans, who could certainly use an injection of whatever the Pistons have been taking, as they play with no effort or urgency.

Things are changing in Detroit and the rookies are behind it.

Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey held his own against Zion Williamson

Saddiq Bey’s shooting has gotten most of the attention this season, as the rookie is shooting 42.2 percent from long range after hitting 11 over the last two games.

But it has been his defense and all-around effort that has been most impressive. Bey was everywhere last night, defended all over the floor, including a stint on Zion Williamson.

No one can really “stop” Zion but Bey held his own, standing his ground and not allowing Zion to bully him (much). It was an effort that didn’t go unnoticed as the Pistons’ bench players were visibly cheering after Bey bodied Zion on one end and came down and hit a 3-pointer on the other.

Bey ended the night with three steals and four rebounds and it was his defensive effort that set the tone early on.

Detroit Pistons: Isaiah Stewart’s hustle is infectious

My new favorite thing in basketball is to watch Isaiah Stewart make a defensive play on one end, then sprint like a giraffe to the other end for the dunk.

He did this at least twice last night, once on a made basket, simply sprinting back while his defender (Zion Williamson) stood around admiring his shot.

Stewart never takes a play off and was everywhere against the Pelicans, blocking threes shots and not backing down an inch from the Pelicans’ bigs.

This type of play is contagious and the Pistons feed off of it. Beef Stew’s hustle reminds me of another undersized Pistons’ center, Ben Wallace, whose hustle was the nucleus of the “Goin’ to Work” era.

Bey and Stewart have been two of the best players from their draft, not only because they have talent but because they play hard all the time.

The Detroit Pistons are feeding off their energy and a new era has begun in the Motor City.

Next. Ranking the top-ten young cores in the Eastern Conference. dark