Pistons Trio Thrives, upsets red-hot Celtics


The Boston Celtics came into this game fresh off a 9 game win streak. In addition, they were fresh off a 48 point win in Philadelphia. However, Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey, and Cade Cunningham had the best game as a trio. And the Detroit Pistons beat the Celtics 112-111. It was the run of Jerami Grant that brought Detroit back in the fourth quarter and ultimately the lead. And Cade and Saddiq brought the Pistons close all game. Bey finished with 20 points shooting 7/13 from the field. He also finished with 11 rebounds and 6 assists. His all around offensive ability was on full display tonight. And it was a marvel to see. Jerami Grant silenced doubters over social media finishing with 24 points (mostly in the clutch) with 2 steals, shooting 8-13 from the field.

And the Celtics sorely missed Marcus Smart’s defense and playmaking tonight. In addition, Derrick White needed to have a good performance and he did not. He shot 3/10 from the field, and despite some good defensive plays, struggled to score. And that was not the case from their dynamic young duo. Jayson Tatum finished with 22 points, and was outdone by Jalen Brown’s 31 points. The duo has had a lot of skepticism go their way after struggling to begin the year. However, they have been the best team defensively since the beginning of the calendar year. And it wasn’t their defense that lost them the game. What lost them the game, was the better offense down the stretch from the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons young core shined in Boston Wednesday night

The Pistons were able to win this game because of the play of their young core. Every usual suspect of their prospects shined tonight. Saddiq Bey showcased his all around game in New England, reminding Boston that he was available to draft for them. And yet they passed. Bey passed the ball with ease, finishing with 6 assists. He also continues to be one of our best rebounders, grabbing 11 boards for the Pistons. And Cade Cunningham, as usual, makes his case for the rookie of the year award.

Cade finished with 20 points 8 rebounds and 6 assists. He played with foul trouble early on. However, Dwane Casey showed confidence in his rookie to adjust. And he was able to play 36 minutes while being in foul trouble. His three other fouls happened for a reason. He showed growth. And he adjusted in real time. The confidence showed in Cunningham was the ultimate reveal of how this organization views their number one pick. Like he’s not even a rookie. He’s got the keys to the Motor City.

Another player that really shined in this game was Isaiah Stewart. Beef Stew finished with 12 points and 6-10 from the field. He’s getting offensive rebounds and second chances, but is also showing more confidence in the post. He’s becoming more efficient and showing development in his game. Stewart is making a case for keeping his starting job in the future if he can keep growing on the offensive end. And going down the stretch after the all star break, Coach Casey will look to utilize him. And Stewart is revealing his aggressive side on both ends. I am really excited to see where that leads him. Especially if he reveals that on Friday night in Cleveland.

Feb 16, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) attempts a free throw against the Boston Celtics during the first half at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics impressive streak snapped

The Boston Celtics have been one of the best teams in the league of late. And a lot of that is owed to one time Pistons candidate Ime Udoku. He has brought a new voice in the locker room, and a commitment to the defensive end. And with the play of Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown, and their supporting cast, they are elite.

Defensively, they have ranked first in defense in the year 2022. And they have had multiple blow outs. In fact, they are coming off of a 48 point win against the 76ers and MVP leader Joel Embiid. However, after the injury of Marcus Smart, they would have an uphill battle. Especially with the way the Pistons played tonight. Horford gave the Celtics a one point lead with less than a minute to go.

However, Pistons forward Jerami Grant countered. It was a midrange fadeaway that ripped the bottom of the net. And after a lot of skepticism about his game, he quieted doubters. And if he can keep playing like this, there’s no telling how far he can go. It also suggests a reason why Troy Weaver would consider to extend Jerami long term in Detroit. No matter what, the future is looking brighter in Detroit after games like these.

Detroit heads into the All Star Break with a confidence boost

This is the type of game that the Pistons needed going into the All Star break. Even though it’ll be a busier one than usual with the rising stars challenge, there will be time to rest for these players. Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart to represent the franchise. To attempt to impress, but to make the most of the moment. For Killian Hayes, however, it will be an all star break to rest and refocus. An ability to get healthy from nagging injuries. To zero in on playing the best basketball the rest of the year as possible. He is not being recognizes as a rising star, as he will instead be fighting for his spot in the Pistons future.

It has been a quiet few games for Hayes, and that explosion he had off the bench has whimpered. He will look to redeem that after this break. And for guys like Kelly Olynyk, they can get healthy and rest. It is clear that COVID-19 has affected his conditioning. In the last 8 games, he had a net rating -32. But the good news, is that he had his best game back Wednesday night. Kelly finished with 15 points shooting 3-4 from three. He let the game come to him. And that’s what the rest of this team needs to do.

The next third of the season will answer a lot of questions. And it will be an opportunity for these guys to audition for a part in the future cast. Ultimately, there’s signs of life in the Motor City. And there’s a lot to look forward to from these rising stars.

Follow Sean on Twitter at seanhalfcourt and on YouTube.

Featured Image Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports