Detroit Pistons: The good, bad and ugly in tight loss to the Suns

Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Killian Hayes
Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons may have the worst record in the Eastern Conference, but they definitely found something on their lengthy road trip out West.

The Pistons not only won a couple of games, but stayed within shouting distance in all of them, all without Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, with Jaden Ivey joining them on the injury report last night.

The team is finally showing some heart after a lackluster start, which has fans wondering what this season might have looked like if the team were ever healthy.

Last night’s loss to the Suns wasn’t pretty, as both teams shot the ball poorly and there was some ugliness towards the end of the game.

Related Story. The 3-part nightmare of losing Cade Cunningham. light

The good news is that this road trip is finally over, and there were some good signs in this game, but there was also some bad and some ugly.

Detroit Pistons vs. Phoenix Suns: The Good

The Bench

This recent surge has mostly been because of the Pistons’ bench, which outscored the Suns 38-26 last night, the 6th game in a row in which they have won the battle of the benches.

Alec Burks led the way again last night, scoring 17 points in just 18 minutes, which makes you wonder why he only played 18 minutes. Burks should be close to in full game shape by now, so hopefully we’ll see him start playing 20+ minutes off the bench because he has been on fire.

Hamidou Diallo added 10 points and Kevin Knox scored seven, breaking his streak of three games in a row in double figures.

The bench has been an asset of late, which is a good sign if the Detroit Pistons can ever get back to full health.

Killian Hayes

Hayes didn’t have the greatest night shooting, but he was all over the court on defense (with three steals) and ended the game just two rebounds and an assist shy of a triple double. Hayes has had a turnaround over his last 10 games and showing signs of breaking through on offense, as he has shot 40 percent overall and 37 percent from long range. Those aren’t great numbers by any means, but compared to where he was early in the season, it’s a revelation.

You see how his offense bleeds over to the other end, as Killian has been more aggressive defensively during this stretch.

Offensive rebounds

The Pistons were all over the offensive glass again last night, racking up 19 offensive rebounds to just 11 for the Suns, which was one of the things that kept him in the game even though they shot  just 42 percent overall.

Marvin Bagley III and Jalen Duren had 10 offensive rebounds between them, something that can be a weapon for two very athletic big men.