The Knicks Teach Young Detroit Pistons Masterclass in Physicality


Did you think the Detroit Pistons looked tired, outmatched or both in the 140-110 to the Knicks? The Pistons are in the process of restoring to the standard of previous franchise winners.

And if we know anything, that starts on the defensive end. Accompanied by an intensity that opposing teams had to account for in game plans.

That never stop, blue collar work ethic that has uniquely connected Detroit sports fans to their favorite home town teams through the years.

With any young team, there’s going to be a lot of learning and growth before the end goal is actualized.

Year three of Troy Weaver’s Pistons are proving to need a little more seasoning before they’re ready. The New York Knicks continue to provide a master class of defense and physicality every time they’ve met in recent seasons.

I’ve been trying to figure out if the Knicks are one of those teams that has their number, or if Tom Thibodeau just doesn’t like the Pistons.

Either way, the Pistons need to be taking note or they will experience more big losses. Yes, a thirty point loss. And it looked as bad as it sounded.

 Defense First

They were out rebounded 51-30, and gave up fourteen offensive rebounds despite the return of Isaiah Stewart.

The big man trio of Stewart, Marvin Bagley and Jalen Duren played tough, but the Pistons lost the paint points battle 68-50.

“It’s on everybody, the players and coaches,” coach Dwane Casey lamented. “On defense we were not talking, not crisp, gave up straight line drives to the basket… we had zero blocks and one deflection in the first half.”

To be fair, the Pistons had been playing better defense lately. Really a more competitive brand of basketball over the last five, or six games.

Casey stated he believed this type of let down was one to expect after the lengthy west coast trip.

While I lend that some credence, the Knicks continue to beat the Pistons the same way. With a physicality that takes no plays off on either side of the court. Offense or defense.

This is the standard the Pistons should be, and are striving for. It rung through Casey’s entire post game press conference.

Isaiah Stewart gave some player insight when referencing the fact they’re still learning to play new positions with relatively new players.

It would be unfair to acknowledge the Pistons are in a rebuild, quite possibly tanking and not understand they’re still learning.

But they should always find themselves scrapping hard for every rebound, fighting for every fifty-fifty play, and bring a level of physicality that teams can identify you by.

Being the hammer, not the nail.

What’s Next

Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks visit LCA Thursday, December 1 to battle the Pistons at 7PM.

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Photo Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports