Detroit Pistons Go Bad Boys For Win Over Orlando Magic

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Now that’s more like it Detroit Pistons! No, not the shoving, punching and getting thrown out of the game. Well, a little of that too. But the grit, toughness and aggressiveness were on full display in the Pistons 121-101 win over the Orlando Magic.

I expected somewhere between 22-30 wins depending on health, which hasn’t helped one bit. But I didn’t expect how soft the team has appeared. Far too many times for a young rebuilding team. Wins and losses are generally tough to come by, but energy and hustling should have no room for critique.

Especially Detroit pro sports. For better or worse, a tough, physical brand of basketball is the foundation.

Coming off a historically bad loss against the Los Angeles Clippers, dropping the next would have felt like a ten game losing streak.

The players spoke confidently that they had things figured out and looked forward to better execution verse the Magic. They kept rookie of the year front runner Paolo Banchero largely in check with 14 points on 4 of 12 shooting.

There was definitely a lot more fight in this game. Just ask Killian Hayes.

Add A Pinch of Bad Boys

He was tossed from the game after an altercation with former University of Michigan basketball star Mo Wagner, after Wagner shoved him out of bounds. Hayes went crashing into the bench and immediately jumped up, and hit Wagner in the back of the head.

And that was after Hamidou Diallo grabbed shoved Wagner in the defense of Hayes.

Yes, you just read that right. Killian Hayes, the guy observers wonder if there’s another gear or level too.

The crowd all around got excited at the scuffle, many audibly lauding how “Bad Boys” it was. How much they’ve been “waiting to see this type of fight” from their team.

“I like how Killian responded, and I like how Hami had his back,” Saddiq Bey said. “We had each others backs and it was great to see.”

What really had the arena buzzing was how active the Pistons looked diving on the floor, hustling for 50/50 plays and being sure to physically defend the passing lanes.

The entire team looked spirited and connected on defense, which led Bey to further remark that it was the best defensive performance of the season. In terms of communication and physicality.

“I was proud of the guys to bounce back,” coach Dwane Casey said. “My major concern was how they would respond through adversity… and the guys did.”

He continued “I thought we were talking, connected and communicated.”

And Casey continued in the praise of his young team by giving them all the credit for the bounce back win. “It was their resolve, their togetherness, their attention to detail. It was the players.”

Players of the Game: The Bench

The Pistons bench put up 76 points compared to the Magic’s 43. Alec Burks and Saddiq bey led the scoring charge with 32 and 28 points respectively. Burks only missed one shot, while Bey stuffed the stat sheet with eight rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. Hamidou Diallo didn’t score as much with eleven points, but his hustle, grit and rugged style play added an element to the Pistons they will need more consistently.

What’s Next

The Detroit Pistons play the Chicago Bulls Friday, December 30th, at 8PM.

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Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports