Positive and negative overreactions to Pistons preseason loss

Detroit Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III (35) dunks the ball against Phoenix Suns center Bol Bol (11) Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III (35) dunks the ball against Phoenix Suns center Bol Bol (11) Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3
Detroit Pistons, Ausar Thompson
Detroit Pistons forward Ausar Thompson (9) defends against Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal (3) Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons lost their first preseason game to the Phoenix Suns, though the final score looked closer than the reality.

The Suns eviscerated the Pistons’ defense early, making over 80 percent of their shots in the first quarter, so we didn’t immediately see the defensive improvements that Mony Williams has been stressing.

The defense did pick up later in the game, but the Pistons’ starters did little to stop the Suns’ big three of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal, which you would expect considering they are three of the best scorers in the NBA.

Related Story. Highest paid Pistons who never made an All-Star team. light

Preseason is the time of wild overreactions, and I saw plenty of them last night, as there are some fans whose loyalty seems to be tested on every play.

But I’ll offer my overreactions to the canon, some of which will become legit concerns and reasons to be optimistic.

The Pistons still can’t defend!

The Suns shot 85 percent in the first quarter, but only 35 percent the rest of the way, so the Pistons’ defense did improve. Part of this is that the Suns put their big three on the bench, but the Pistons also dialed up their intensity in the second and fourth quarters.

You also just have to tip your hat sometimes, as many of the shots the Suns hit early on were not easy attempts and there was at least a Piston nearby. Ausar Thompson had a few nice stands against Booker and Detroit was at least able to slow the Suns down.

There was plenty to improve upon, especially when it came to big men switching on the perimeter, but there were also some things to build upon, especially the defense we saw in the second quarter.

This is going to be a work in progress all season, so expect these kinds of inconsistent defensive efforts early on.

Ausar Thompson may end up being the Pistons’ best player!

Ok, so it’s way too early for that, but I will say that Thompson is one of those guys who just looks different out there. He stands out immediately, which is a great sign for a rookie.

He racked up 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 39 minutes and was everywhere on defense. He’s an underrated playmaker, as we saw on some nice dishes to Jalen Duren, and even though Thompson didn’t get a lot of attempts, he knocked down the game-tying three with the clock running down, which showed a lot of poise.

Thompson can legitimately defend 1-4, is the Pistons’ best athlete and shows a lot of awareness for a guy who hasn’t even played a regular-season game. He was the real standout last night and it’s possible we’ll see him start from day one, especially if Bojan Bogdanovic is still injured.

I am all in on Ausar Thompson; he’s going to be a difference maker on both ends.