Why Saddiq Bey and Hamidou Diallo are not flukes

Hamidou Diallo #6 and Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Hamidou Diallo #6 and Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Saddiq Bey and Hamidou Diallo have stepped up for the Detroit Pistons with most of their teammates out with COVID.

It’s been fun to watch the two “veteran” players take over with guys like Cade Cunningham and Jerami Grant out, and it appears both have found some things that will carry over to when the roster is at full strength again.

Diallo has had two 30+ point games in a row and Bey has been filling the stat sheet with All-Star type numbers of his last eight games.

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It’s easy to blow off what they are doing, as they are playing with and against a bunch of G-Leaguers and reserves, so it’s not like they’ve been lighting it up against elite competition in meaningful games.

While I don’t think either will continue this scoring barrage once the regulars come back, I do think their strong play is sustainable and not a fluke.

Saddiq Bey is finding ways to get it done

I’ve been so impressed with Bey this season, as he was mired in a long shooting slump but just kept putting in the work to get out of it.

He’s still had trouble shooting the 3-point shot consistently but is getting it done in other ways, taking the ball to the hoop, playing through contact and making quick decisions, things he was not doing early in the season.

Bey is also getting after it on the boards and is now second on the team in rebounding behind center Isaiah Stewart.

There’s nothing fluky about his ascent, as he is getting it done with hustle and hard work, things that carry over. I think what we’re seeing is a second-year player finding his groove after working on his game, and it’s been great to watch.

Hamidou Diallo just needed a chance for the Detroit Pistons

After finding himself out of the rotation at the beginning of the season, things weren’t going great for Diallo, who was clearly getting frustrated and even had a small dust-up with coach Dwane Casey.

I am not sure what Casey said to him, but Diallo has been a different guy since and the more minutes he gets, the more impressive he is.

Diallo is the best athlete on the Detroit Pistons and one of the few guys who plays downhill, can get to the rack and finish with authority.

What I love about his last three games (where he’s been a focal point of the offense) is that Diallo hasn’t settled for launching a bunch of 3-pointers but instead is getting to the rim and pulling up for mid-range jumpers that he can actually make consistently.

Usually when a guy like Diallo goes off for a few games, it’s on freakish 3-point shooting that is not sustainable, but Diallo has made a grand total of two long-range shots in the last three games, so he is getting it done in ways that he can actually sustain.

Mainly he’s been playing hard every minute, crashing the boards, looking for putbacks and running the floor with intent. He is difficult to stop when he gets going and gives the Pistons athleticism that they lack otherwise.

What we’re seeing from these two guys is not a fluke, as they are both scoring and contributing in ways that have more to do with effort than fluky shooting numbers. The best thing to come out of this stretch is that Saddiq Bey and Hamidou Diallo have gained confidence that is going to carry over to when the games are more meaningful in the future.

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