The shorthanded Pistons took on the best in the west, Los Angeles Lakers, and things went away different than expected. No one expected Detroit to beat this Lakers team, but they played way better than anyone would have thought. The Pistons ultimately fell to the Lakers with a final score of 106-99. Even though the Pistons picked up their 24th loss of the season, there were three things I noticed that Detroit did well tonight.
1. No third quarter woes
We all know that the Pistons have had their fair share of struggles during the third quarter this year. However tonight, like last night, the Pistons actually played well and won a third quarter, outscoring Los Angeles 32-19. One major contribution to this is the fact that Dwane Casey has been starting Derrick Rose to open up the second half.
After playing only 12 minutes in the first half, Rose played the first six minutes of the third quarter. However, Rose was not the only reason why Detrorit was able to come out on top in the third.
Former Laker Svi Mykhailiiuk torched his former team in the third. After not making a single bucket in the first half, Mykhailiuk put up nine points in the third, with one of those buckets tying up the game. Alongside Mykhailiuk, Langston Galloway filled it up in the third quarter going for five points, including a three that gave the Pistons the lead. Unfortunately, the Pistons were not to hang on in the fourth quarter as the Lakers outscored them 31-20. However, it is comforting to see the Pistons play well in the third quarter after struggling in them so much this year.
2. Sekou can hold his own
Pistons rookie Sekou Doumbouya has been getting a lot of buzz lately, as he should be. Tonight, he drew the third start of his young career, given the task of guarding Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Aside from fouling out late in the fourth quarter, Doumbouya played well finishing with 11 points and five rebounds. Doumbouya has now started three games in a row, averaging 12.3 points and 8.6 rebounds. Sekou has proven that he can contribute to the Pistons and will essentially earn more playing time.
3. Svi’s revenge game
After being traded to the Pistons from the Lakers at the trade deadline last year, Svi Mykhailiiuk had yet to play his former team on their home court. In his return to the Staples Center, Svi had major contributions putting up 14 points on 4-6 shooting from deep. Even though this may not look like the average “revenge game,” it was a game much needed out of Mykhailiuk and it was even better seeing that it was against his former team on their home court.
Along with his 14 points, Mykhailiuk added three steals. When he first came to Detroit, Mykhailiuk was not thought of as much of a defender. However, as of late he has shown that he can defend and has done a good job of it. The only downfall to Svi’s game tonight is that he committed four turnovers.
The Pistons may be 13-24 on the season now, but their young guys have shown their worth. If Detroit opts to go with the rebuilding route, there’s a lot of young talent to at least be excited about.