Detroit Pistons: Best games of the season’s first half

Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons Copyright 2021 NBAE.
Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons Copyright 2021 NBAE. /
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The Detroit Pistons had a record of 10-26 in the first half of the NBA season. However, the team had plenty of exciting games for the fans to watch. Here is a look at the best Pistons games, so far, of the season.

This year’s Detroit Pistons team has been a bit odd. They have one of the worst records in the NBA, yet many of its few wins are against the top teams in the NBA.

They also rarely get blown out.  Pistons fans have been entertained by a lot of close, competitive games. They (almost always) don’t win them, but they at least make people watch all four quarters.

Here are the Top 5 most exciting games for the Detroit Pistons from the first half of NBA season:

(all statistics courtesy Basketball-Reference.com)

5. January 1:  Detroit Pistons 96, Boston Celtics 93

The Pistons lost their first four games of the season. A couple (Minnesota, Cleveland) of them seemed to be sure wins, before spectacular fourth quarter collapses grabbed defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Their fifth game of the season seemed to offer little hope for a ‘W’, as their opponent, the Boston Celtics, were seen at the time as a contender for the NBA title.

This is the game where Saddiq Bey stood out for the first time. Starting in place of Blake Griffin (concussion protocol), Bey had 17 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Detroit jumped on the Celtics from the start, taking a 35-14 lead in the second quarter. Boston fought back, and, with three and a half minutes remaining, the Celtics held a five-point lead.

However, the Pistons defense played maybe its best stretch of the season. Boston did not score a point in the final 4:15 of the game. A driving layup by Derrick Rose and two clutch free throws by Bey, gave the Pistons the margin for their first win of the season.

Rookie point guard Killian Hayes did not score, but he had six assists (to only two turnovers) to help.

4. March 3: Detroit Pistons 129, Toronto Raptors 105

This might be, overall, the best game the Pistons played all year.

Yes, the Raptors were a bit shorthanded. Toronto was without standouts Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet due to health protocols, but the Pistons were not exactly 100-percent either.

Mason Plumlee was the only Opening Day starter to play for Detroit. Jerami Grant and Josh Jackson, two of its main scorers, sat out with injuries.

The Raptors jumped out to a 13-3 lead, so it looked like the depleted Pistons would suffer a blowout loss.

But, for the first time in a while, Wayne Ellington and Svi Mykhaliuk, got hot from outside, and began raining three-pointers to get Detroit back in it.

The Pistons only held a 5-point lead midway through the third quarter, but that was last time it was close. Detroit pulled away and were up by 20 points after the first play of the fourth quarter.

Unlikely heroes stepped up. Saben Lee, a rookie point guard drafted in the second-round, and only playing due to injuries and the Derrick Rose trade, exploded for 20 points, to go with seven assists (and only two turnovers).

Little-used guard Rodney McGruder, best known for getting dumped on by Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, poured in 20 points of his own.

light. Related Story. Meet Detroit Pistons newest Bad Boy: Rodney McGruder

Plumlee and newly-acquired guard Dennis Smith Jr. each had a triple-double. It is the first time since 1964 that two Detroit players have had triple-doubles in the same game.

Basically, everyone played well, and it was a fun game for Pistons fans to watch.