Detroit — Injuries continue to pile up for the Pistons, and the latest blow to the roster could be the most detrimental.
Third-year center Isaiah Stewart will miss Detroit’s upcoming 6-game west coast trip due to a sprained big toe suffered in Monday’s 115-111 loss to the Toronto Raptors, according to a release from the team. He will be re-evaluated in two to three weeks.
Stewart crashed into a protective barrier on the baseline after chasing a loose ball during the second quarter of Monday’s game. He came up hobbling almost immediately, asked to check out of the game and walked directly to the locker room.
“He jammed his toe on the wooden part on the bottom of the advertisement,” said Pistons coach Dwane Casey after the game. “We’ll see where he is with that.”
Stewart’s injury comes on the heels of Cade Cunningham’s left shin soreness, which will sideline the second-year guard for a minimum of five games. Pistons guard Cory Joseph also missed Monday’s game against the Raptors due to left hip soreness.
Stewart was having a career year through the first 15 games of the season with averages of 12 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 33% from the 3-point line. Since his arrival in 2020, the 6-foot-9 center has served as the heart and soul of the Pistons’ defense. He totaled nine points and four rebounds on Monday before he left the game following his injury.
Marvin Bagley III and rookie Jalen Duren will be heavily relied in Stewart’s absence as he recovers from Detroit’s latest injury.
Casey tweaks starting lineup
Saddiq Bey found himself in a different role during Monday’s game against the Raptors.
For the first time since his rookie season, Bey did not start and came off the bench as Casey experimented with a bigger starting lineup. The Pistons inserted Bagley into the starting group alongside Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic and Stewart.
Bey finished with nine points, six rebounds and three assists on 3-of-10 shooting. Despite starting the game as a reserve, Bey played the third-most of any Pistons player with 30 minutes. Casey said his reasoning behind the change was to get an idea of what a bigger lineup with Stewart and Bagley would look like.
“We wanted to go big and look at the big lineup,” Casey said. “We’re 3-12. We got a lot of young players who need an opportunity. It’s not concrete.”
When asked about the conversation that took place with Bey, who started all 82 games as a sophomore last season, Casey said the talk was “solid” but also reiterated that the starting lineup is fluid.
“Saddiq’s a pro. Great kid,” Casey said. “Nothing’s in concrete forever. Nothing is in stone as far as rotations are concerned. He’s still going to get starter minutes. I know you guys are old enough to know Manu Ginobili. He had a great career coming off the bench. Again, were going to look at it. we may move it around after a few games but I thought he did a good job.”
Pistons win Governor’s Service Award
The Pistons were recently recognized by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Community Service Commission for their philanthropic efforts.
The franchise was among a group of 46 recipients of the 2022 Governor’s Service Awards, which applauds commitment to volunteerism, service and community efforts.
The Pistons received the Corporate Social Impact Award and will be recognized formally during an awards show on Thursday at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. The event will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but registration is required.
“Michigan succeeds because of Michiganders who go above and beyond to serve their communities and lift up others,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This year’s winners get things done even when nobody’s looking because they know that every contribution makes a huge impact. I am honored to present the Governor’s Service Awards to this year’s 46 recipients and urge every Michigander to get involved in their community so we can move our state forward together.”
The Governor’s Service Awards have been presented since 1994 as a method of recognizing Michigan volunteers, organizations and businesses that play a role in serving the community.