The Detroit Pistons 2021 kicked off in an exciting and nerve-wracking fashion with a 96-93 victory over Boston Celtics. Detroit at one point led the Celtics by 21, and they needed nearly all of that to fend off the Celtics.
The pistons came out and hit the Celtics from the start. Detroit was without Blake Griffin (in concussion protocol), but the ball, shot and defense moment was shooting all cylinders early. Detroit forced seven turnovers in the first quarter, outright twitching in the Celtics five times.
Jeremy Grant walked Detroit with 10 points and the team generally fired 12 of 24 in the opening frame as the Pistons rose 15 at the end of one point.
The second quarter was a 28-28 draw. The Celtics did not fully mature until about four minutes into the first half, as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were forced to work with their superior gameplay and hacking skills. Marcus Smart did a little bit of everything and was the Celtics’ best player in the first half. Jeff Teague was positive for Celtics as well, scoring eight points from four shots, doing hard work, usually taking a few minutes to injured Kimba Walker.
The Celtics broke the Pistons to 33-24 in the third quarter, tying within six minutes with 12 minutes to play. Jason Tatum took the reins. Jaylen Brown took the reins. They got whatever shot they wanted and got a whole bunch of them in the paint. It was a clinic for offensive aggression and excellent one-on-one gameplay.
The Pistons’ crime really stopped and there wasn’t much of anything except Sadik Bey and being shot outside.
The Celtics dominated the fourth quarter from the start with a pair of the Tatum trilogy, but the Pistons didn’t back down, tightening the defense and doing enough on Derek Rose’s back and free throws from Bay and Mason Blumley. Jaylen Brown looked fit with a few seconds remaining to hook up but didn’t call.
Detroit led Jeremy Grant with 24 points, although he needed 24 shots to get thanks to the lack of love from the umpires in his many paint drives and all-out struggle on the ocean. Meanwhile, Bai’s friend managed to gain five of his three-pointers eight and his fastest free throw late on his way to 17 points. Isaiah Stewart added eight points, five rebounds, and an array of energy.
The Celtics led Tatum (28 points) and Brown (25 points).
Detroit isn’t defeated in 2021, guys.
Here are some additional ideas on each tonight’s press:
Hayes had a few good sequences that led to the secondary break, but he ran into some difficulties with defense and with his jump shot (either from dribbling or catching and scoring). He’s had at least three pretty decent appearances by my statistician, but he’s mistaken a lot for some of them. I’m glad he didn’t hesitate to take these looks. They will fall for him soon.
Be honest with you
Bey got his second start in his career and it didn’t disappoint. Bay defended well enough on the ocean with good sideways movement and positioning.
In the first half, he had two questionable and troubling sequences when trying to get his man out of dribbling, but as many of us have said, you have to love his confidence. He is 21 years old but he is just a beginner.
In the third quarter, Bay drilled three rounds when the rest of the team was very cold.
It wasn’t the best match for Josh, but he did some great first-half plays that helped Detroit make a major lead. Josh is extremely smooth and able to take his photo almost at any time. The big key to the way forward is shot selection, ball safety and defensive consistency. Josh has a lot of room to grow and I expect big things from him.
Jeremy played superbly in the first half on 18 points with a combination of powerful and clever push-ups, plus some rhythmic jump shots. The second half was a wise struggle (and he barely got a call to go his way), but Grant played mostly solo defense and a solid team. Are we all starting to realize this guy is so good?!?
Mason quietly played the monster game in 30 minutes. He is smart and a good defender on the team and in the fourth quarter he hit a key free throw to put the good players in third place five seconds before as Celtics wait for possession. Five of Blumley’s 17 follow-ups were offensive.
Mostly quiet game on both sides for Delon. He put on some nice defensive plays, forcing his player to take tough shots – although on the flip side – if I remember correctly – his turns were rough.
Rose scored 11 points in the first half, although he had some of the usual out-of-control twists that make us all scratch our heads hard. He scored a very heavy blow of late under the late Tatum arm. Rose finished with 17 in just 12 shots. With Hayes struggling so far, Rose needs to be a stellar squad to have a chance to win some matches.
Stewart held six strong boards in nine minutes into the first half and also scored two buckets with nearly a third of them. Contributed to another good nine-minute-per-second shift. Isaiah seems to be taking the huge man’s spare minutes with all he has. His physique is clear and I am sure the coaching staff will allow him a longer streak with his all-out efforts. When he starts taking Jump Shots (he has that ability), watch out.
Svi did some challenging trips (total 3 out of 6) in 18 minutes. He has yet to fully find his groove and possibly his place in this team. His shot is priceless and he just needs to do other things at a decent clip to keep getting minutes.
Sekou had two good looks but didn’t gain. The highlight in the final quarter came with a quick pass in the second half to the late Stewart who ended up with a three-point theater with Big Stew taking advantage of a free throw.
The Pistons will face the Celtics again on Sunday afternoon in Detroit.