Detroit Pistons’ Delon Wright stands out in preseason win, 97-86 over Wizards

Detroit Free Press

Omari Sankofa II
| Detroit Free Press

For the second straight game, the Detroit Pistons made positive strides forward. 

They got out to a quick start and defeated the Washington Wizards, 97-86, their third preseason game. Five Pistons scored in double-figures, and they shot 40% (12 for 30) from the 3-point line.

Head coach Dwane Casey stuck with the same starting five of Killian Hayes, Delon Wright, Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin and Mason Plumlee for the third-straight game, and the group has continued to gel after a short training camp. 

TRUST THIS PROCESS: How Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose will help Pistons avoid being awful

Wright on time

Through his first two preseason games, Wright didn’t make much of an impact. He had six points and two assists in Sunday’s win against the Knicks, and zero points, four rebounds and two assists last Friday. 

He surpassed those numbers in just the first quarter on Thursday. He got the Pistons on the board with a layup and followed that with a steal that set up a Grant 3-pointer soon after. He then made two 3-pointers — one being a stepback — and a cut that led to another layup. 

[ Pistons projected to be worst team in NBA this season by FiveThirtyEight ]

He had 10 points after the first quarter, and finished with 13 points (5 for 7 overall, 3 for 4 from 3), three rebounds, three steals and two assists. His shooting from outside might’ve been the most encouraging improvement, as it’ll make it easier for Casey to play him alongside either Hayes or Derrick Rose. Wright can be a reluctant shooter, but he was comfortable letting it fly. 

His early activity set the tone for the Pistons, who carried a double-digit lead through most of the night. 

Plumlee’s passing

Part of the reason the Pistons handed Plumlee a three-year, $25 million contract is because of his ability to move the ball. He’s long had one of the NBA’s best assist rates as a center. On Thursday, he looked much more comfortable moving the ball. 

He threw one of the nicest passes in preseason in the first quarter, threading a perfect bounce pass to Svi Mykhailiuk in traffic after Mykhailiuk came off of a screen he set. He also had a nice pass to Hayes roughly a minute prior, but Hayes couldn’t finish it. 

Plumlee finished the night with eight points, six rebounds and four assists — his strongest showing so far this preseason. His teammates appeared to be more aware of his ability to find them off of screens. It’s a potential building block for a Pistons team that had its best offensive performance yet on Thursday. 

Jackson, the playmaker?

With each game, Josh Jackson has gotten a little better with the Pistons. Following a trend, he also had his best outing on Thursday, finishing with 17 points (7 for 11 overall, 3 for 4 from 3), seven rebounds, two assists and a block. 

Jackson was confident with the ball in his hands all night, penetrating the lane and finishing at the rim and from short midrange. He kept his head up and moved the ball well when he didn’t have a clear look at the rim. Coming out of Kansas, he had a reputation as an above-average playmaker for a forward. He looked the part on Thursday, and it could give Casey some more flexibility in his rotation if he can handle playmaking duties. 

Jackson was also good defensively, for the second-consecutive game. He’s one of Detroit’s most-athletic players, and he used his length to disrupt the Wizards. 

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.

Articles You May Like

Pistons mailbag: Answering questions about the coaching search, picking at No. 5
Niyo: Tom Gores, Pistons called the bank shot with Monty Williams
10 best undrafted NBA players of all time
Report: Pistons land their man, agree to monster deal for Monty Williams to become new head coach
3 Detroit Pistons trades they could make with No. 5 pick in NBA draft 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *