Detroit Pistons: The first glimpse of the future comes in Atlanta

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

Following Saturday’s crushing double-overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Detroit Pistons are back at it in Atlanta Monday night, but without a few of their veteran players.

When the Detroit Pistons take the court in Atlanta Monday night, they will do so without star forward Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose.

Saturday’s loss to Cleveland left many of us feeling frustrated and disheartened.  It was just the second game of the season, but we could have a glimpse at what is expected from this Detroit Pistons’ team throughout the year 2021.

In each of Detroit’s first two games of the season, the Pistons held the lead for most of the game only to see it squandered with a couple of minutes left in the fourth quarter.  Minnesota overtook the Pistons late in the fourth quarter and went onto win the game 111-101.

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The Cavs, in a similar fashion, trailed the Pistons for much of the game yet forced overtime.  Detroit led by nine at one point in the first overtime, but after back-to-back Rose turnovers, both forced by former Piston Andre Drummond, the Cavs were able to force double overtime, and the Pistons failed to keep pace, eventually losing 128-119.

In both of these cases, it had been a veteran lineup that blew the lead late.  Knowing Detroit held the lead late in each game, not knowing who had been on the court, you’d think Killian Hayes and Saddiq Bey was out there for Detroit trying to close it out.

We need to be patient, and although we know, the Detroit Pistons are entering the first year of a wholesale rebuild.  It’s a ‘show me now’ world, but we’re just two games into the season, and don’t worry, there is plenty of time to lose ball games with the kids; maybe coach Casey is simply trying to protect their confidence early on and ease these kids into critical points in close games as we get a couple of weeks into the season.

The fact that it’s been the veterans blowing the late leads leaves fans infuriated.

Well, tonight in Atlanta, you’re going to get your wish.  We will have a great opportunity to see what these kids are all about because head coach Dwane Casey has opted to rest both Griffin and Rose tonight in the first of a back-to-back, knowing Detroit will host the Golden State Warriors Tuesday evening.

The pair of veterans likely won’t even make the trip to Atlanta.

The Detroit Pistons will also be without center Jahlil Okafor nursing a sore ankle, leaving rookie Isaiah Stewart an opportunity to make his NBA debut.  Bey is in-line to see a significant boost in minutes after totaling a mere six combined over the season’s first two games.

Detroit will try and slow star scoring guard Trae Young who is off to a scorching start to the season averaging over 36 points and eight assists per game.

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This will be a tough task for rookie Hayes and without Rose to lean on, but this is what we asked for, right?  A chance to see these kids develop?  This will be the first step, and I am excited to see how they react.