Pistons beat Cavs thanks to their stellar bench


The Detroit Pistons returned against a familiar foe in the Cleveland Cavaliers. And despite the clear advantage the Cavaliers have in the post, the Pistons were able to win 106-103. It was behind the play of their supporting cast that sealed the victory for Detroit. Marvin Bagley continues to impress in his new home. He finished with 16 points, was attacking the paint, and even played effective roaming defense around the rim. Bagley hasn’t been much of a force on the glass. He has, however, been effective in the pick and roll. And it appears to have unlocked a part of Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes’s game.

Cleveland was without their all star guard Darius Garland. And despite strong play from Rajon Rondo, they were missing his offense for sure. Kevin Love was a non factor off the bench, and no one outside of Lauri Markkanen was able to generate any offense above 20 points. It was their lack of offensive firepower that cost them. Detroit had more ball movement, and were causing the Cavaliers problems all night long. Despite leading by 10 towards the end of the first half, Detroit came from behind in the third quarter. And felt in control for the rest of the night.

Hamidou Diallo and Marvin Bagley rule the night

In just 21 minutes of action, Hamidou Diallo secured himself 21 points. Not only did Diallo get it done on the offensive end, but it was the defensive end as well. Diallo got 2 steals and 6 rebounds. And he was able to get his shots to fall from beyond the arc. Marvin Bagley also got a lot done on the offensive end, despite not being able to succeed himself beyond the arc. Bagley showcased his post moves, and the athleticism he attains and the Pistons needed so desperately.

And it was all brought home by the surge of Jerami Grant in the second half. Grant finished with 16 points, 6-8 from the free throw line, 2 steals and a block. Even though Cade Cunningham didn’t shoot well again tonight, he was able to get to the line 10 times. In addition, Cade had two blocks of his own, and 6 assists on the offensive end. He was hustling all night, and was able to mostly refrain foul trouble.

After impressing in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night, Saddiq Bey felt MIA for the majority of this game. Bey finished with 3 points and missing 6-7 shots, all of them of which were beyond the arc. He seemed out of rhythm, and struggled to be able to strike. He seemed hesitant to attack the paint, seeing that there’s the elite rim protectors in Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Saddiq will look to bounce back Saturday at home against the Celtics.

Feb 24, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) shoots on Cleveland Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro (35) in the second half at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Pistons have rematch with the Celtics Saturday night

After yet another impressive performance on both ends of the court, Detroit will look to extend their streak against the Boston Celtics. It appears that having a team at full strength and more athleticism in the front court is giving the Pistons identity. The roster feels more complete, and players are accepting their roles. It appears that the Pistons could establish their identity as the season goes on. And with that, it will make their decision come draft time that much easier.

In my estimation, Marvin Bagley has a future in Detroit. And he can play on as many teams as he would like if he plays the way he’s played so far. It really appears that the fresh start has freed Bagley to play his game. And there are also ways that he can improve. Whether by giving better picks in the pick and roll, or expanding his shot, Bagley can improve. And Detroit might be the perfect place for him to do so. One interesting thing of note after the game was a tweet that came from Ashton (Cade’s trainer). Ashton said he would be interested in working with Killian Hayes, and that he sees a lot of potential. This would be a massive development for Hayes’s career. And I hope he takes him up on it.

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Featured Image Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports