Observations: Electrifying Pistons’ performance belies 6-18 record

Detroit News

Rod Beard | The Detroit News

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The Pistons added another impressive victory to what has been a frustrating season thus far. They played one of their best games from start to finish, dispatching the Brooklyn Nets, 122-111, on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Don’t be fooled by the 6-18 record: the Pistons can be a problem when they’re playing well together — and on the offensive end, they did, shooting 56% from the field and 35% on 3-pointers.

Jerami Grant tied his career high with 32 points and added five rebounds and four assists, Delon Wright added 22 points and nine assists and Mason Plumlee flirted with a triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists.

Here are some observations from the victory:

Grant’s story: Jerami Grant continues to bolster his credential for his first career All-Star selection. He made maybe his biggest statement of the season, tying his career-high with 32 points, and adding five rebounds and four assists. He’s had some of his biggest games against the top teams in the league, including his previous career-best 32 points against the Lakers last week. That he’s doing it against some of the top teams in the league helps in letting others see what kind of season he is having and shows the growth he’s made in his game.

Pregame reunion: They were best friends last season, but after the trade in the offseason, Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya and Nets guard Bruce Brown had some face time to catch up before Tuesday’s game.

When Doumbouya was a rookie last season, Brown took Doumbouya under his wing and helped him get acclimated to the NBA, from Summer League through the regular season. Brown was all over the place in the third quarter, getting to loose balls, and adding six points, carving out time in the Nets’ rotations.

Stew 3: Rookie center Isaiah Stewart has been expanding his game throughout the season, but it reached a new level with his first 3-pointer of the season. Stewart has made his name on his outstanding rebounding ability and effort in going after loose balls. As he’s finding some comfort level in shooting jump shots, and now extending out to the 3-point line, he can become a bigger weapon on both ends of the court. Stewart also had a block on a drive by Landry Shamet in the second quarter.

Scoring burst: The Pistons scored 38 points in the first quarter, their season high for an opening period. It started with a flurry, with a 13-0 run after the Nets hit a 3-pointer to start the game. Grant had six points in the opening stretch and Wayne Ellington, who had cooled off from beyond the arc, started with a 3-pointer for the Pistons. The Nets’ defense was porous and allowed the Pistons to get to the rim almost at will. They finished with a jumper by Grant and a reverse by Delon Wright. The Pistons finished the quarter at 67% shooting (16-of-24) and had 18 points in the paint.

More Jackson: Josh Jackson again was a menace on both ends of the court, as a defensive ace, but also scoring 13 points and helping the Pistons’ bench unit excel. He’s found a nice niche in getting to his shot offensively and then maintaining that intensity on the defensive end as well. He’s been a good pickup in free agency and he’s getting back to the form that he had at the beginning of the season, when he worked his way into the starting lineup.


Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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