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Pistons GM Troy Weaver on Jerami Grant’s ascension, emptying the clip
Detroit Pistons GM Troy Weaver on ‘Core Four’ rookie class, Jerami Grant’s ascension, Killian Hayes’ injury and emptying the clip, Jan. 14, 2021.
The Detroit Pistons capitalized Saturday on facing a shorthanded Miami Heat squad by putting together their best performance of the year.
They defeated the Heat, 120-100, for their first road win of the season. Detroit took control of the game after outscoring Miami, 38-19 in the third quarter. The Heat were missing Jimmy Butler and several key bench players due to NBA COVID-19 protocols.
Jerami Grant extended his streak of scoring 20-plus points to 11 and had his best all-around performance, finishing with 24 points, nine rebounds, six assists, four blocks and two steals. Derrick Rose scored 23 points off of the bench, and Blake Griffin had 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Rookie big man Isaiah Stewart had his first double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
PISTONS MAILBAG: Their ceiling, Sekou Doumbouya’s minutes, Killian Hayes’ injury
Derrick Rose excels in return
Thanks to a sprained left ankle, Rose missed his previous two games before Saturday. He was aggressive in his return to the lineup.
He crossed the 20-point threshold for the second time this year en-route to a 23-point, four-assist, four-steal night in just 21 minutes. He scored nine of his points in a dominant third quarter for the Pistons, during which they outscored the Heat, 38-19. He hit both of his 3-point attempts and finished the night 3-for-5 from outside.
His return meant that two-way guard Saben Lee, who appeared in the previous game, didn’t play until the final minute. Detroit’s other two-way guard, Frank Jackson, was inactive with an ankle sprain.
Isaiah Stewart continues impressive rebounding work
It’s been said before, but the Pistons rookie big man makes rebounding look fun. He’s among the NBA’s per-minute leaders in offensive rebounding, and it’s a big reason why he’s already replaced Jahlil Okafor as the primary backup big man in the rotation. His energy is infectious.
Stewart had the best game of his career against the Heat, finishing with his first double-double — 10 points and 11 rebounds — in 19 minutes. He might’ve added more to his total if he didn’t get into foul trouble.
Sekou Doumbouya returns to the lineup
After Doumbouya picked up his first ‘Did Not Play’ of the season on Wednesday against the Bucks, following consecutive games of playing around five minutes, some wondered where the second-year forward stood in Dwane Casey’s eyes.
The next day, Casey made it clear that Doumbouya hasn’t done anything wrong. It can be tough to get Doumbouya on the floor when the Pistons’ two highest-paid players, Griffin and Grant, both play Doumbouya’s natural position of power forward. Casey vowed to find more minutes for Doumbouya, and he did just that on Saturday.
Doumbouya entered the game midway through the first quarter, and started the fourth quarter. Casey made it a priority to get him minutes early in the game, and the Pistons entered the fourth with a 15-point lead, which certainly made it easier to give Doumbouya some run late in the game.
He had some nice plays. Toward the end of the first quarter, he outran his teammates and the entire Heat defense for a transition dunk. He also completely missed the rim on a wide-open 3-point attempt in the second quarter. In a game the Pistons took complete control of in the second half, Casey could live with the good and the bad. Doumbouya finished with six points and three rebounds in roughly 16 minutes.
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