Detroit Pistons banged up as Isaiah Livers leads Summer League squad to 105-99 win

Detroit Free Press

LAS VEGAS — The Detroit Pistons improved to 2-0 in Las Vegas Summer League play following Saturday’s 105-99 victory against the Washington Wizards. But it wasn’t a great day for the franchise, thanks to injuries.

Both Jaden Ivey and Saben Lee left the game with ankle injuries, and their statuses going forward are unknown. Isaiah Livers led the Pistons with 20 points while adding five rebounds, and Isaiah Stewart had 14 points and nine rebounds while knocking down two of five 3-point attempts. Through two games in Vegas, Stewart is 5-for-9 from behind the arc. Jalen Duren also had a solid night with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists, and Braxton Key added 14 points and seven rebounds.

Before their injuries, Ivey and Lee each had 11 points. Ivey scored his points in just five minutes.

SHAWN WINDSOR: Forget the gambling, clubs and buffets, Pistons are building away from Vegas strip

FOR OPENERS: Pistons’ rookies justify buzz in Summer League debut with tantalizing performances

Ivey, Lee leave with ankle injuries

It was a bad day for Pistons injuries. Ivey’s electric start had a premature end after he tweaked his ankle midway through the first quarter. Lee followed Ivey’s lead in the fourth quarter, exiting with 7:27 to play after hurting his left ankle.

With 4:52 to play in the opening period, Ivey landed on the foot of Wizards forward Isaiah Todd, who was called for a flagrant-1 foul, during a 3-point attempt. Ivey made all three free throws, but had a visible limp and was in pain as he walked to the locker room.

Prior to the injury, Ivey had as strong a start as the Pistons could’ve hoped for. He didn’t miss a shot, going 2-for-2 from the floor (including hitting his lone 3-point attempt) 6-for-6 at the line.

He showcased many of the tricks in his bag — leaving defenders in the dust with his quick first step, knocking down a stepback 3-pointer and pushing the pace in transition.

It’s possible we’ve seen the last of Ivey in Vegas regardless of his injury status, as he was the best player on the floor prior to his injury and picked up where he left off after a strong outing on Thursday. If so, he finished on a strong note.

Lee finished with 11 points and three assists in 25 minutes. He too could be shut down for the rest of the week.

Livers finds his shooting touch

He only knocked down one of eight 3-point attempts during Thursday’s 81-78 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, but Livers was still one of the Pistons’ best players. He energized the team with his defense and recorded two blocks. After emerging as one of Detroit’s best shooters last season — after thriving from behind the arc during his four-year career at Michigan — it was clear he would find his outside touch again.

Livers didn’t have to wait long. He hit four of five 3-point attempts Saturday and was Detroit’s best scorer following Ivey’s exit. Livers could be one of the Pistons’ most important players this season, as he’s one of the few above-average shooters on the roster and can also hold his own defensively. He spent time at both forward positions last season and will fill a big need for the Pistons at the wing position.

After Saturday, it seems Livers no longer has anything to prove in Las Vegas.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Pistons content. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

Articles You May Like

The more things change in the NBA, the more the Detroit Pistons stay the same
DBB Live: Previewing the Pistons Frontcourt
The Pistons Pulse: Detroit Pistons Best Lineups Addition

Leave a Reply

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