| Detroit Free Press
Detroit Pistons guard Delon Wright on win vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Detroit Pistons guard Delon Wright on Wayne Ellington’s hot streak, the team’s win vs. Philadelphia 76ers and his increased aggression, Jan. 25, 2021.
Dwane Casey understands Delon Wright’s game and personality better than most.
Casey was the Toronto Raptors’ head coach in 2015 when they drafted him 20th overall, beginning a relationship that lasted three years in Toronto, before Casey was fired and joined the Detroit Pistons.
Wright is a multi-faceted guard who likes to get to the rim, but is a capable 3-point shooter at 34.5% despite it not being his preferred shot. He can also be a strong rebounder and defender. His nature is to pass first, though. Those around him often urge him to be more aggressive in getting his own shot.
Wright has seen his role shift a few times early in the season, as he has both started games and come off of the bench, and spent time at both guard positions. But he might be at his best when the ball is in his hands.
And on Monday, with both Killian Hayes and Derrick Rose out of the lineup due to injuries, he had one of the best games of his career.
He scored a career-high 28 points, along with nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals, to lead the Pistons to a 119-104 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers at Little Caesars Arena. He was aggressive early and dictated the flow of the game, scoring or assisting on 15 of Detroit’s 34 points in the first quarter. Wright’s lowkey demeanor undersells his approach to the game, Casey said after the win.
“He’s got a quiet toughness about him and he’s always been that way,” Casey said. “It took me a little while to get used to him in Toronto as far as his toughness factor, and he’s got a toughness about him that is, you can’t see it the way he carries himself but it’s there.”
WHAT WE LEARNED: Pistons lead 76ers from start to finish, snap losing skid
Wright enjoys getting downhill, and it opened the floor for his teammates. He assisted three of Wayne Ellington’s six 3-pointers on the night, and also found Jerami Grant and Blake Griffin for open 3s.
The Pistons led from start to finish, bucking their trend of either leading big and losing it, or trailing big and closing the gap. Wright led the Pistons in scoring, but Grant (25 points) and Ellington (20 points) played well. Casey credited Wright for feeding the hot hand all night to keep the momentum going.
“You’ve gotta be a quarterback, you gotta turn down people who are calling for the ball who might think they’re open and are not open, and that’s the part of being a point guard,” Casey said. “… You have to have a strong constitution with a strong personality like Blake and Mason (Plumlee) and Jerami to say ‘nah, I’m going to turn you down and I have Wayne over in the corner and it’s the right basketball play,’ and those guys will respect it.”
Wright also got involved from behind the arc — something he wants to do more of. He attempted a career-high eight 3-pointers and hit four.
The Pistons hope to see more of this version of Wright. He has been the starting point guard since Hayes injured his hip on Jan. 4, and his aggression helped the Pistons snap a four-game losing skid.
“They gotta respect Delon whenever he’s being aggressive, and when he draws a lot of attention it opens up the court for everyone else as well,” Grant said. “I always tell him to be aggressive getting in the paint and making plays, play your game and don’t play timid. Tonight he did it and we’re looking forward to that going forward.”