Hamidou Diallo doing it all so far for Detroit Pistons — even making 3s

Detroit Free Press

In his three games played with the Detroit Pistons, Hamidou Diallo has drawn strong praise from teammates and his coaching staff.

And it has been well-earned, as his 19-point, seven-rebound performance in 26 minutes on Wednesday further established him as an impact rotation player for the Pistons. After recovering from a groin injury, he has quickly fit in and contributed.

Diallo, 22, showed a little of everything against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday: His ability to push the pace in transition, rebound, defend and consistently put pressure on the rim has given the team a noticeable energy lift.

“He plays hard,” Dwane Casey said after Wednesday’s 124-101 loss. “That’s his intensity level and he gets to the basket. That’s probably one of the top shots on our shots spectrum is getting to the rim, and he does that at a high clip. He runs the floor, he plays at that pace that’s just hard to compete against on most nights. He’s earned it.”

How Tyler Cook is endearing himself to Dwane Casey and Pistons ]

In his past two games, he has scored 38 points on 13-for-18 shooting, hitting three of his five 3-pointers, grabbing 17 rebounds, making nine of 10 free throws and blocking three shots.

Wednesday was a well-rounded performance for Diallo, acquired in mid-March from Oklahoma City. He hit two 3-pointers — including a deep one right in front of the logo in the first quarter — and got to the rim with ease. He has soft touch and seems to float while in midair, enabling him to finish a variety of looks. He also had a nice assist to set up a Mason Plumlee dunk in the third quarter, drawing the defense in on a drive and delivering a bounce pass to the big man.

How Pistons rookie Saben Lee got basketball passion from his NFL dad ]

He takes a high percentage of his shots at the rim and was only shooting 30.2% from 3 entering Wednesday. It hasn’t hurt his overall efficiency, which has been good despite his lack of frequency shooting from outside. Making 3s this week is a good sign for him and the Pistons (13-34).

His touch from outside was well-timed. The Pistons were without Wayne Ellington on Wednesday due to injury, and Saddiq Bey had an off night after getting into early foul trouble. Frank Jackson hit his first two 3-pointers off of the bench, but missed his next four.

“We gotta have all soldiers ready to go that are available and (Diallo’s) stepped up and done his part,” Casey said. “I don’t think Saddiq’s going to shoot it the way he shot it tonight. He had some great looks with shots he normally makes and he and Frank, we gotta get those 3’s from those guys to open up things.”

After the game, Plumlee said Diallo is easy to play with because he consistently makes the right reads.

“More often than not he’s making the right play, whether it’s shoot, drive or pass, he’s very in-rhythm with the game,” Plumlee said. “I think that’s why he’s had such an easy time coming in with this group.”

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

Articles You May Like

NBA Finals Game 5 GameThread: Celtics vs. Mavericks
NBA Mock Draft 2024: Predicting how the top 10 picks in the draft could go
Monty Williams’ return would be delaying the inevitable — this match doesn’t work
Monty Williams fired after one disastrous season in Detroit
NBA Finals Game 4 GameThread: Celtics vs. Mavericks

Leave a Reply

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