Detroit Pistons bookend preseason with home win vs. Philadelphia 76ers


Photo courtesy of Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons beat a shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers last Friday.

Reece Taylor, Sports Reporter

On Friday, Oct. 13, the Detroit Pistons beat a shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers 112-108 to close out the preseason with a 2-2 record.

The Pistons, led by forward Jerami Grant’s game-high 24 points, staved off a competitive 76ers team who battled back from being down 22. The 76ers, who were without most of their starting lineup, played a competitive and balanced game in the final night of preseason basketball.

Piston’s second-year center Isaiah Stewart added 17 points and 12 rebounds against former Pistons center Andre Drummond, a good sight after the team struggled to grab rebounds in their first three games. The Pistons are still without guards Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes, both of whom are expected to start for the rebuilding team.

The 76ers played without star center Joel Embiid, guard Ben Simmons who just ended a contract hold out, and most of their starting lineup to rest as they prepare for another run in a competitive Eastern Conference. The 76ers spread the scoring load across the board as they showcased their depth and resilience against an upstarting Piston team.

The young Pistons have struggled against larger frontcourts in the preseason, as they gave up rebounding advantages, and points in the paint against several opponents, but mainly won tonight’s game at the free-throw line, converting on 29 out of 35 trips to the line. The Pistons also struggled with turning the ball over and contested shots as they squeaked out the close win.

Coach Dwane Casey will likely look to keep improving on closing games and interior defense, as the young team allowed a 22 point comeback as well as losing the scoring battle in the paint in the preseason. In an East with players like Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the interior will be a focal point for the defense. The Pistons have shown their ability on the defensive end as they continue to build upon their focuses in the preseason, but for a young team, it will take time.

Entering the regular season, the Pistons showcased a faster pace and pass-heavy offense to go along with a small ball lineup built to run against opponents. As Cunningham and Hayes are introduced into the core, the Pistons will face opponents with the current number one overall pick as well as a dynamic passer with Hayes. The Pistons also look to finalize their 15 man roster before the start of their regular season and make the according roster cuts.

The Detroit Pistons begin the regular season at home against Zach Lavine and the revamped Chicago Bulls this Wednesday, Oct. 20th. The Pistons then play the next three games on the road, including a rematch against a full-powered Philadelphia team, before returning home on Oct. 30th for a back-to-back. This hectic schedule will be an early test for the up-and-coming Pistons as they build momentum and chemistry against a now deep Eastern Conference.

With a heightened excitement surrounding the new-look Detroit Pistons, fans are excited to see the future of the organization. A modern approach to a classic Detroit mentality. Though the quest for the fourth NBA Championship doesn’t end this year, the Detroit Pistons are going to work.