The Pistons ended a four-game losing streak Wednesday with an impressive 116-112 win over the Toronto (Tampa?) Raptors at Little Caesars Arena. Detroit was able to keep it close late and pulled away in the final minutes and improve to 2-0 over the Raptors this season.
There were a lot of things to like out of this win, so here are some takeaways:
►ANOTHER JACKSON: With the Pistons’ myriad injuries, they had to go deeper into the bench to find a starting guard. Frank Jackson got his first start of the season because Dennis Smith Jr., who missed the last two games because he was in the health and safety protocol, remained out. Jackson was steady, with some good plays going to the rim, and he connected on two baskets, including a three-point play. Jackson started alongside Delon Wright and he played a total of 31 minutes, finishing with seven points.
►SADDIQ DUNKING: Saddiq Bey has shown this season that he can be effective from 3-point range, but he’s putting together the complete package, also showing a knack for getting to the rim and finishing with some strength on a drive in the first quarter. He’s been improving on that part of his game in recent weeks, and the threat of the drive or the 3-pointer is making him much harder to defend. When defenders close-out hard, he’s able to drive, and it’s helping show a more complete offensive game.
“What impressed me is some of the rebounds he got in a crowd…he just snatched them down. That’s not easy to do against (Aron) Baynes,” Casey said.
►WRIGHT STUFF: Delon Wright stuffed the stat sheet, nearing a triple-double, with 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Playing off the ball some more helped him to get more engaged as a scorer and when needed, he was able to shift back as a point guard. With some of the Pistons’ top shooting guards out of the lineup, there was more onus on Wright to be a bigger presence on the offensive end, and he delivered.
►DIALLO WARMING: Hamidou Diallo hasn’t been able to play in a game yet, but he was getting some light running in during pregame warmups. It doesn’t seem like a big thing, but as he’s working his way back from a groin injury, it’s a step forward for him to be doing some running with trainers. Diallo will help the reserve group with his athleticism and defensive presence. He’s able to be with the team, so his first game with the Pistons could be coming soon.