Pistons Jalen Duren: A Detroit ‘Bad Boy’ in the Making

Thu Nov 24 2022 at 2:01 AM

The legend of Jalen Duren grew as the Detroit Pistons played villain in a 125-116 win over the Utah Jazz. Their second win in a row, and back to back on the road.

This is what you want to see from the Pistons. MOOOOOOOORE I say!

The Pistons had a lot working against them on the second night of back to back. Utah has been a place historically tough for the Pistons to win at over the decades. According to StatMuse, they are 13-40 on the road in Utah and only have one other win in the last eleven games of the series. Ouch!

But this night felt different at the start from a physicality standpoint. They picked up where they left off after beating the Denver Nuggets the night before, and brought a little more bad boys to the party.

The Pistons defense is starting to find it’s rhythm and it showed most as they made increased efforts to close out on shooters, and not allow and-1 opportunities. The increased effort, hustling after loose balls, and rebounds has been noted too. From Hamidou Diallo to Kevin Knox to Alec Burks, the Pistons are just playing better, tougher basketball.

To be fair, it’s been more than the vets doing the dirty work.

 

The J.D.E. (Jalen Duren Effect)

19 year old rookie Jalen Duren has been playing with a swagger the last few games. Despite a big night offensively from Marvin Bagley who scored 19 points on 9-10 shooting, coach Dwane Casey elected to go with Duren to finish the game.

A night after getting into a tussle with NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, the rook found himself involved in another physical play. This time with the Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen.

Jalen Duren had seemed to be growing frustrated with the way Utah Jazz were defending him on rebound attempts several plays in a row. Markannen trying to rip the ball away from Duren after a jump ball call, didn’t make things any better.

As Markannen tried haplessly to take the ball from Duren, two more Utah Jazz players joined the fray to no avail.

The referee was the only person who had any luck. He looked Duren in his face, with three Jazz still attempting to take the ball away, and repeated “LET GO! LET GO!”.

Duren smirked, and let the ball go. I chuckled a bit and wondered aloud, “He’s only 19 years old?!”

Order had been restored… Until just after the ensuing jump ball.

Duren’s elbow appeared to inadvertently strike the face of Markkanen, sending him flying to the ground and the Utah Jazz crowd livid.

Coach Casey quickly, and wisely called a timeout rendering the play ineligible for a challenge. This sent the crowd and the Jazz head coach into a frenzy, while Lauri writhed in pain.

Jalen Duren seemed unfazed by the crowd chanting “THROW HIM OUT”, and remained composed under the pressure. A cool, calm and collected Detroit “bad boy”.

This is becoming a trend where Duren is using his physicality to impose his will, and sometimes accidents happen. In Detroit, that’s just incidental contact when the big dogs are out to play.

That play seemed to knock the Jazz off their stride as they attempted one final comeback, ultimately falling to the Pistons. Very reminiscent to how the Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys” era won games through physically dominating their opponent defensively.

This looks more like the team coach Casey said was “ready to compete every night”.

Play of the Game

Jaden Ivey had 16 points, six assists, 5 rebounds and this dunk in the Pistons victory.

 

What’s Next

The Pistons face Michigan native Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns Friday, November 25th at 9PM.

 

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Photo Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports