Pistons Defeat Thunder 112-103
Saddiq Bey and Cade Cunningham led the Detroit Pistons to a come from behind win over the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-103. Down 15 at half time, head coach Dwane Casey attributed the comeback victory to “energy”.
“Once we made up our mind to compete at that level, it was the difference… it was a team effort and I they brought it in the second half.” – Dwane Casey
Cunningham’s all around game was on display, but he displayed his knack for getting going in the third quarter. He shot 4-8 from the field, including 2 threes for 12 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds in the quarter.
Saddiq Bey didn’t shoot well from the outside, but scored in a variety of ways in the paint. He also led the team in free throws with 8, showing growth in his game beyond just a three point shooter.
But the story of the night was fixing the unforced mistakes, and playing better defense. Sounds simple, but the Pistons have struggled all season with 14.9 turnovers per game. They only had 4 in the 2nd half, after tallying 11 turnovers in the 1st.
“Once we started playing defense and playing on that end of the floor it opened up shots for us. We were getting good shots the entire first half. We were happy with them, they just didn’t go in during the first half. Once our defense and intensity stepped up it allowed us to be more free on the offensive end.” – Saddiq Bey on the team’s defense
Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a lot to do with how out of sync the Pistons looked in the 1st half. He finished with a game leading 33 points on 13-23 shooting.
Has Isaiah Stewart impressed you during his transition to stretch-4?
As the early season struggles have piled up for the Detroit Pistons, Isaiah Stewart has been a bright spot.
Last year Stewart put up stats of 8.3 PPG and 8.7RPG, his second season in a row just missing out on averaging a double double. It was also his second season in a row not averaging at least 10 rebounds. If we’re being honest, that isn’t up to the standard of former Pistons big men whether undersized or not.
To put it in perspective, those numbers are eerily similar to former undersized Piston playing power forward, Jerome Williams aka the ‘Junk Yard Dawg’.
Andre Drummond started with averages of 7.9 points and 7.6 rebounds on 60% shooting, but raised that to 13.2 points and 13.2 his sophomore campaign. Drummond enjoyed the benefit of elite athleticism, to go with a 6’11” frame and 280 lbs.
These are natural advantages that Isaiah Stewart doesn’t have, but he makes up for it with a drive you can’t teach. Stewart showed flashes his first 2 seasons of being a long term fixture on this team, but consistency and three point shooting in year three was the next step in his development.
Through 11 games this season, Isaiah Stewart is proving to have found the balance between hustle and skill. But looking at his last 6 games, Stewart is averaging a robust 13.6 points, and 10 rebounds, all while shooting just under 58% from the field and a 38.5% from three.
Isaiah Stewart has been answering the challenge of starting at power forward, and responding to the benefit of the Pistons, fans and himself.
The Pistons hit the road to face Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics Wednesday, November 9th.
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Photo Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports