The Detroit Pistons entered Saturday with an 0-4 record, so there’s certainly been plenty of down during the first week-and-a-half of the season. But there have been bright spots as well. Here’s who’s trending up, and who’s trending down four games into the season:
Even before his fourth-quarter 3-point outburst on Thursday, Bey has impressed enough to be considered the Pistons’ best overall player early this season. He’s averaging 18.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, all increases from his rookie season. While he’s only knocking down 30.8% of his 3-pointers thus far, his scoring inside the arc has improved significantly. He’s attempting 8.8 2-pointers per game — nearly triple the amount he took last season — and making them at a 60% clip.
Like nearly all of his teammates, Olynyk hasn’t been able to get his 3-ball to fall. But he’s otherwise been one of Detroit’s best players, averaging 13.8 points, five rebounds and 2.8 assists on 48.8% shooting. He started Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, replacing Jerami Grant, and co-led the team in scoring with 21 points. And he closed Thursday’s game against the Sixers and helped spark a furious Pistons run that trimmed a 22-point deficit to five with about 20 seconds left.
The second-year big man has quietly been one of the Pistons’ most consistent contributors so far. He’s leading the team in blocked shots (1.3), and is second in rebounds per game with 7.5 while playing just 24.3 minutes. He’s also averaging two assists, more than double last year’s average while playing just under three more minutes per contest. He didn’t have an assist in the first two games, but had five against the Hawks on Monday and three against the Sixers.
Grant’s been dealing with a left elbow injury, so it’s not entirely his fault his numbers are down from last season. But the Pistons’ primary offensive option hasn’t been scoring very well. He’s averaging 15.7 points on 34% overall shooting and 30.8% shooting from 3. After scoring 24 in the season opener against the Bulls, he’s just 8-for-27 overall and 1-for-8 from 3 in his last two games. His elbow injury prevented him from playing Monday’s game. Grant’s looked springier on defense compared to last season, but he’s had a cold start on the other end.
After arriving before last year’s trade deadline, Joseph quickly established himself as one of Detroit’s top reserves. That momentum hasn’t carried over into this season yet. In about 20 minutes per game, he’s averaging 4.3 points and 2.3 assists while shooting 26.1% overall, and has knocked down one of 10 3-point attempts.