3 takeaways from the suddenly surging Pistons win over Jazz

Detroit Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports /

Don’t look now, but the Detroit Pistons have won two in a row after winning on the road in back-to-back nights.

The Pistons put together one of their best games of the season even though they are still shorthanded without Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey.

The offense has actually picked up in their absence, mostly due to the addition of Alec Burks and the suddenly red-hot Kevin Knox.

Marvin Bagley III has been 16-of-18 from the field over the last two game and it just feels like the Pistons are figuring some things out even though they are without their best player.

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Detroit has been shooting the lights out over the last three games, averaging over 50 percent from the field as a team and scoring 121.3 points per game, which has catapulted them all the way up to 20th in points per game after spending most of the season at the bottom of the league.

The Pistons got contributions from just about everyone last night, but there were three things that really stood out.

The Detroit Pistons brought the energy on a back-to-back

If you didn’t know, you would have thought that Utah was the team on the tail end of a road back-to-back and playing their 5th straight game away from home.

Detroit came out with energy and didn’t let up all night. They hustled for loose balls, were faster to everything and racked up the second-chance points in the first half.

One play really exemplified this, as rookie Jalen Duren blocked a shot on one end and sprinted back, got an offensive rebound and dunked it on three Jazz players. Duren had two blocks on the night, including this one:

The defense still wasn’t great, but it has improved marginally over the last eight games. Last night was all about energy and hustle, which is something we’ve been waiting to see from the Detroit Pistons.

The Detroit Pistons’ bench is humming

This marked the 5th game in a row that the Pistons’ bench has outscored the opponents’, a huge turnaround from earlier in the season when they were awful.

Getting Alec Burks back has been huge, as he has had an impact on everyone around him, which makes me wonder if he is really trade bait this season or a guy the Pistons should sign long term.

Kevin Knox scored in double digits for third straight game, and hit a career-high six 3-point shots. Knox has always been a streaky shooter, so let’s hope he can keep this up, as he’s been huge off the bench.

Cory Joseph had a really solid game last night, taking control of the offense in the second quarter and racking up six assists. The Detroit bench outscored Utah’s 58-47, which was once again the difference in the game.

Taking care of the ball

Reducing turnovers was a point of emphasis coming into the season, and Dwane Casey has to be given some credit for improvement in that area, as the Pistons are currently 7th in the NBA in fewest turnovers per game, coughing it up just seven times last night.

They are now just over 11 turnovers per game over their last three games, best in the NBA, so they are trending in the right direction. Their turnovers are almost the same as last season, but they are doing this with a younger roster and without their starting point guard, so have been impressive of late.

This mini-surge has shown that this Pistons’ roster might be better than its record if they could ever just get back to full strength.

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