Detroit Pistons need a better performance Sunday after shaking off the rust

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

As expected knowing it was their first game in nine months, the Detroit Pistons enjoyed their share of ups and downs taking on the New York Knicks in the preseason opener.

Friday evening, the Detroit Pistons hosted the New York Knicks in their first preseason game of the season, also, the first game in nine months.  It’s crazy to think the Pistons haven’t played an organized game in nearly a year.

Entering the night, we expected there would be plenty of rust that needed to be buffered off before we got a look at how well the Pistons would perform in 2021, and that proved to be accurate.

On Friday, the Detroit Pistons turned the ball over a whopping 22 times, seven of which came at the hands of rookie point guard Killian Hayes.  Hayes had a bad sequence of possessions where he traveled twice and had his pocked picked in his own zone being a bit too lackadaisical in his own zone.

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Hayes looked like a rookie in his first taste of the NBA.  Don’t be too disconcerted with his NBA debut; it was the first time he’d played any-type of organized basketball in nine months too.  If the Detroit Pistons are fixated on starting Hayes at the point, taking their lumps, and enduring an abundance of growing pains, using Derrick Rose as the off-ball guard starting alongside the rookie wouldn’t be the worst idea, at least until Hayes develops his confidence at the NBA level.

Despite losing to the New York Knicks 90-84 Friday, the good news had been star forward Blake Griffin‘s mobility looking like the Griffin of old.  The veteran forward only shot 3-11 from the field and 2-7 from three but was moving up and down the court really well, and that was a huge positive in his first game action in basically a calendar year.

The Detroit Pistons got beautiful production from rookie Saddiq Bey tied Svi Mykhailiuk for the team lead 14 points.  Bey shot 3 for 9 from three and 4-12 from the field and was a plus 11 on the night.  Svi shot 4-8 from three and 4-9 from the field.

Those two, along with Derrick Rose anchoring the second group, may prove to be more productive than the starters if head coach Dwane Casey opts to use a similar rotation tonight.

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The same two teams will square off again tonight.  I’d like to see Hayes handle the ball and facilitate with more confidence with the first team.  Center Isaiah Stewart played just a touch over seven minutes Friday and ripped down four boards; I’d like to get a better look at the hard-working big man. Oh, and as much Bey as possible.