Why Detroit Pistons’ Deividas Sirvydis will get more minutes this week

Detroit Free Press

This season has largely been a youth-driven one for the Detroit Pistons, with Saddiq Bey becoming a starter, Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart claiming spots in the rotation and two-way players Frank Jackson and Saben Lee getting significant minutes.

Deividas Sirvydis, on the other hand, has rarely been seen. The Pistons drafted him in the second round in 2019, but he didn’t sign a deal with the Pistons and come to the U.S. (after playing overseas in Lithuania and Israel) until last fall.

Before Saturday, he had only logged 49 minutes this season, largely during garbage time. 

GOING VIRAL: How ‘Beef Stew’ became nickname for fan favorite Isaiah Stewart

SATURDAY’S GAME: Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee return, but Pistons fall to 76ers, 118-104

But Sirvydis played meaningful minutes for the first time Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers, and he’ll play more with four games remaining. The Pistons want to get a good look at Sirvydis before the offseason, and his performance against the Sixers indicated he may be able to handle a larger role. 

The 6-foot-8 wing tallied a career-high 24 minutes, playing the entire second and fourth quarters. He scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and knocked down two of his four 3-point attempts. Even though it was Sirvydis’ first extended appearance, his performance didn’t surprise Dwane Casey or his teammates. 

“He played over in Europe, he played in Israel last year in the pro league over there,” Casey said. “He’s been around basketball all his life. He’s one of the better shooters that are on our team as far as getting his feet set and knocking them down. He is a shooter. The main thing with him is getting stronger, which he has done. I told our guys he’s going to be a player someday. I don’t know exactly when that’s going to be, but he keeps working, he keeps getting stronger.”

Meet the Pistons’ mystery man, Deividas Sirvydis. Here are his goals ]

The initial plan this season was to give him significant time with the Grand Rapids Drive in the G League. But the Drive opted out of the G League bubble in Florida, and the Pistons decided not to assign him to a different franchise. Much of Sirvydis’ development this season has taken place behind the scenes, getting shots up on the Little Caesars Arena floor after games.

But Saturday, Sirvydis was part of a bench unit that helped to keep the Pistons afloat for stretches of the game. When he checked in at the start of the second, the Pistons faced a 17-point deficit. The 76ers expanded the lead to 22 early in the quarter, but Detroit answered with a 20-6 run to narrow the deficit to eight points. 

He led a fastbreak and found Sekou Doumbouya for a layup; he also attempted three 3s in the period, hitting two. 

[ Why Sekou Doumbouya is in the midst of his best stretch of basketball this season ]

Sirvydis’ shooting was the primary reason why the Pistons targeted him. But he showed that he can also handle the ball, something Casey said he’ll continue to build on. 

Detroit’s lack of a G League team this season hurt Sirvydis. But he’ll receive additional opportunities this week. Casey said he’s the hardest worker on the team, and it paid off for him on Saturday. 

“That was an awesome feeling,” Sirvydis said. “Just gotta work hard every day and your chance will come. Today was a good game. We lost, but we fought through. Just got to stay ready all the time.”

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

The Pindown: The Highest Upside Player at 5
Report: Pistons want Dennis Lindsey to join new front office
6 candidates to replace Monty Williams if Pistons move on
NBA Finals Game 2 GameThread: Celtics vs. Mavericks

Leave a Reply

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