The Detroit Pistons aren’t going to get a parade for beating the Charlotte Hornets in the second game of the season.
The Hornets aren’t good, and the Pistons weren’t at times either. They turned the ball over 23 times, committed 29 fouls and the offense struggled in the half court.
But if you squint hard enough, you can see the vision for this roster starting to take shape.
Yes, it’s just one win early in the season against a bad team, but it was the culmination of four years of losing that may finally be starting to pay off. It’s the type of win fans of the Detroit Pistons have been waiting a long time to see.
Detroit Pistons news: This team might actually be good
That definitely was not a pretty win.
There were a ton of fouls on both sides, especially in the second half when the game lost all flow because of constant whistles. The refereeing crew didn’t have a particularly good night, as they missed calls on both sides, called a lot of touch fouls, missed some muggings and then let the game get out of hand towards the end.
But as ugly as it was at times, it was the exact type of win fans have been dreaming about.
The Pistons were flying around on defense and look to have several players who can be plus defenders in Ausar Thompson, Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart and Killian Hayes.
They set the defensive tone early, smothered the Hornets, made perfect rotations and contested everything, which led to the Hornets shooting just 37.5 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range.
The only thing that kept Charlotte in the game at all was the Pistons’ turnovers, a problem they have to clean up, but this defense is something they can hang their hats on. Monty Williams has been stressing it all offseason and it has paid off already, as the players have bought in. The offense will come around, but defense is there for you every night and the Pistons have put on two great defensive performances in a row, holding the Heat and Hornets to under 105 points and Charlotte under 100. The Hornets are not a good team, but they can score, so holding them under 100 points in their home gym is something.
Even though Cade Cunningham did not have a great game, his still controlled the offense (before fouls cost him minutes) when he was in there. With another game against Chicago tonight, it was great to get a win with him only playing 24 minutes, as the rest of the team picked him up.
The bench was amazing, with Alec Burks doing exactly what you want your veteran leader to do, which is calm the team down, get buckets when they needed them and recognize when he needs to step up.
Jaden Ivey had a big bounce-back game after the first one didn’t go his way. He was poised, played more under control, picked his spots on offense, and most importantly, put in the effort on the defensive end, which is how he’ll get back into the starting lineup. But to be honest, I love him in this bench role as a change-of-pace sixth man who can come in an run the other team’s bench off the floor.
So the Pistons have a starting five full of big, athletic guys who can get after it defensively, including a wing in Ausar Thompson who is a beast on the boards and whose energy seems to have rubbed off on the entire team.
Did I mention they are the youngest starting five in the NBA with an average age of just 22 years old?
And when Bojan Bogdanovic, Monte Morris and Isaiah Livers come back, this team will have more shooting to help their offensive woes and more depth.
In other words: THERE IS HOPE!
This looks like an actual NBA team, which is all fans have wanted for the last four years as Detroit tanked away to get all of this young talent. They aren’t perfect and have a long way to go, but this is as excited as I’ve been about Detroit basketball in four years.